News and Views

Rev. Diane L. Rainey

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The Rev. Diane L. Rainey, 72, wife of the Rev. Joe S. Rainey, both Elders on extension, died Sept. 10, 2017, from cancer in the Halquist Memorial Inpatient Hospice Center in Arlington, Va. A Memorial service was held Oct. 7 at Bethesda United Church of Christ with the Rev. Darla Dee Ledger officiating.

Diane Louise Rainey was born Feb. 27, 1945. She was a registered nurse, working the night shift, while she was a student at Wesley Theological Seminary. In 1989, she pastored Dickerson UMC, and for two years Hughes UMC in Wheaton. She was ordained an Elder in 1992. 

Rainey was passionate about learning, and in 1992 received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Maryland, then in 1997, a PhD from the Institute for Clinical Social Work in Chicago. She earned the Certificate in Adult Psychoanalysis from the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute.

She and Joe Rainey met at then-Metropolitan Memorial UMC in 1987 and married in April 1988, when both were in their 40s, twice divorced, each with three children. He wrote of his wife, “We realized we knew more about separation and divorce than about the nurture and work of building a happy marriage.” They found ways and had 30 years together before her death.

One of her hobbies for the last few years of her life was crocheting, which she taught herself, then made baby blankets for the Angel Closet in the maternity department of Inova Fairfax Hospital.

She donated her body to medical science through the Virginia Anatomical Program. “I won’t need it anymore,” she told her husband.

Among the things Rainey was grateful for, her husband said, were meaningful work; the opportunity to work side by side as partners in their practice as well as their marriage; for travel and to see so much of God’s world.

She was a deeply spiritual person, beginning and ending every day with prayer together with her husband.  Facing an important decision, she would say, “We need to pray about it,” he said.

Survivors, in addition to her husband, include daughters Kym Harrison of Windsor Mill, and Vicki Perham of Concord, N.H.; son Kevin Litten of Boyds; step sons Gregory Rainey of Portland, Ore. and Jonah Rainey of San Diego, Calif.; step daughter Chelsea Todd of Rockville; six grandchildren and four step grandchildren.

She was also grateful to and for trees and the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Arbor Day Foundation to plant a tree in a National Forest in Diane’s memory.