Diane Bailey Chesnut

  • BORN: April 22, 1936
  • DIED: July 12, 2017
  • LOCATION: Vermilion, Ohio

Diane L. Chesnut (nee Bailey), 81, of Vermilion, died suddenly Wednesday, July 12, 2017, at Cleveland Clinic due to an infection from a surgery.

She was born April 22, 1936 in Lorain, Ohio and had been a life time Vermilion resident.

Diane graduated from Vermilion High School, class of 1953 where she met her high school sweetheart and husband of 61 years, the late Don Chesnut. She also graduated from Oberlin School of Commerce in 1955.

Diane was influential in the historical preservation in Vermilion, local counties, and the State of Ohio dedicating her life to make these areas travel destinations. In 1970, she helped organize committees to form the Harbour Town 1837 Historic District to develop the historic district and downtown revitalization for Vermilion. Diane was the Executive Director of The Friends of Harbour Town 1837 since its inception. Diane worked with the State of Ohio Travel and Tourism Division since 1973, represented the Friends of Harbour Town on the Ohio Travel Association and served on the Board of Directors for 8 years in Columbus. Diane was chairperson and created Travel Showcases in the surrounding states and Ohio for the Ohio Travel Association to promote Ohio travel and Motor Coach Trips throughout Ohio and incoming from surrounding states. She helped start the Lorain County Visitors Bureau as well as helped create the Erie County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Diane received many awards during her life including the prestigious "THE PAUL SHERLOCK AWARD" OHIO TRAVEL ASSOCIATION This award is given annually by the Ohio Travel Association to honor individuals who had demonstrated outstanding service to the development and promotion of Ohio tourism. The Paul Sherlock Award received in 2009 is the highest level of recognition the Ohio Travel Association bestows.

Don and Diane received the "Guin Roller Memorial Award" from The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties, for their significant contribution to mental health, alcohol/drug addiction and related fields. Mayor Jean Anderson recognized Diane declaring in a proclamation on October 31st, 2009 as Don and Diane Chesnut Day for their years of service to Vermilion and dedication in working with the youth of the community. She was given the "Vermilion KEY TO THE CITY" by Mayor Alex Angney as well as Director Maureen Coe presented the Vermilion Chamber of Commerce Anchor Award. Diane also received the Vermilion Women of the Year Award from Vermilion Women's Club. Diane will be sorely missed in the community and surrounding area for all of her hard work and dedication to make Vermilion a place to drop an anchor for a short time or for a life time.

She was a member of many organizations during her life, the Eta Zeta Chapter, Alpha Iota Sorority of Oberlin Business College. Heidelberg College wives group, the Lorain Chamber of Commerce Women's Group, Historic Lyme Village of Bellevue, Vise President of the Firelands Council of Historical Societies and Museums, Lorain County Visitors Bureau, Cleveland Restorations Society, Erie County Historical Society, Lorain County Historical Society, Lake Erie-Firelands Tourist Council, Ohio Travel and Tourism, Kelleys Island Lot Owners Association, The Friends of Harbour Town 1837. She also served on the Vermilion Zoning Board of Appeals.

She is survived by her daughters, Deborah (Steve) Hansen of Vermilion, and Denise (Mark ) Fahrney of Huron and her grandchildren, Matthew and Chaz Hansen.

She was preceded in death by her high school sweetheart and husband of 61 years, who died on March 17, 2017, Donald Chesnut, parents, Henry G. and Edna G. (nee Phillips) Bailey, and brother, Robert Henry Bailey.

The family will receive friends on Monday, July 17, 2017, from 10:00 am to the time of the memorial service at 1:00 pm at Riddle Funeral Home, 5345 South Street, Vermilion. The Reverend Jim Peter will officiate. Private inurnment will take place at Ridge Hill Memorial Park, Amherst.

The family suggests memorial contributions to The Friends of Harbour Town, 5741 Liberty Ave., Vermilion, Ohio 44089, the Firelands Council of Historical Societies, P.O. Box 102, North Fairfield, OH 44855 or the Kelleys Island Historical Association 224 Division St, Kelleys Island, OH 43438

Online condolences may be made at www.riddlefuneralhome.com.

  • July 17, 2017
    10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
  • Riddle Funeral Home
  • 5345 South Street
  • Vermilion, OH 44089
  • Get Directions
Memorial Service
  • July 17, 2017
    1:00 PM
  • Riddle Funeral Home
  • 5345 South Street
  • Vermilion, OH 44089
  • Get Directions


“ To say that Diane will be missed is a tremendous understatement! A family friend for over 50 years! She was an incredible voice of reason in a world...Read More »

Posted by: RJ Horan - Vermilion, OH - Friend

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