Diane Louise Ober was an intrepid woman. She was a talented musician, a funny and gifted storyteller, and a true friend to all. She passed away Dec. 18, 2010, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Because we have known her, we have all been changed for good.

Diane was never far from the ocean. No matter where she traveled, water was within sight. Days after her birth in Camden April 5, 1959, her parents, Joan and Leland Ober, brought her home to Islesboro on the ferry boat.

Stories of water adventures continued throughout her life. From crewing aboard charters out of Florida, helping bring to boats south out of Alaska, a planned ‘round-the-globe sailing jaunt that began in a hurricane off Connecticut, scraping hulls of luxury yachts, sail boarding, scuba diving, standing watch in the endless Caribbean night, or simply fishing with her dad, her moments on the water brought her great joy, satisfaction and admittedly a fair share of fear.

To know Diane was to know the definition of grace, determination and dedication. If something was worth doing, it was worth doing well. Every interest that she pursued, she gave it her all.

Her musical career began as a child playing piano and the smallest violin available in the Islesboro Central School Orchestra. From there the guitar became a life-long passion. She carried an acoustical steel string with her throughout her travels and then seriously pursued classical. Through intense and challenging lessons and countless hours of practice, Diane developed her craft. Whether it was classical, folk, pop or secular, Diane embraced it all. Heartfelt and precise, she played for herself and accompanied friends and fellow musicians with both guitar and her voice. She could carry the melody when asked, and had a natural gift for harmony.

Horseback riding took a similar route. Not content with just jumping on for the ride, Diane pursued dressage. Countless hours of lessons, including bartering barn mucking for ride time, led to actually buying a horse of her own. Absolut wasn’t an absolute joy of a horse. He bit and he bucked, and Diane was thrown more than once. Diane was determined to master the horse and the art of the ride and gave him all of her energy. If dressage wasn’t his sport, perhaps he was a “cutting horse.” She tried all the possibilities and finally after several years determined that tennis might be a better sport for both her and the horse.

She hit the courts with the same fierce determination and preparation. Lessons, training, and hours of practice made her a reliable partner and challenging opponent in every competition.

The love and respect that Diane felt for animals was clearly evident in her dogs. First Sadie, and then Confetti and Ruby always traveled with her, both for work and play. They always had a comment or two on the ride and were up for any adventure, some planned and other not so much. They however did not get invited on bird rescue missions for Avian Haven in Freedom. Diane regaled friends with tales of capturing an injured wild turkey, a greasy seagull, and perhaps her favorite moment was releasing a falcon that she had previously helped transport to the haven. Her birdfeeders were never empty, and binoculars and the bird identification book were always at the ready. She would get phone calls from friends imitating bird song and she would think for a moment and say, “sounds like a timberdoodle to me,” and then launch into a tutorial of timberdoodle behavior.

Diane brought her complete focus and dedication to her career as an independent bookkeeper. For over two decades, she supported businesses from Bangor to Portland with her knowledge and professionalism.

Diane took a long time to settle into her life in Rockport. She confessed to having “itchy feet” and a fair amount of wanderlust. There was always a trip in the offing. She and her mom hit the beaches in Cancun and toured the sites of Washington, D.C. She often visited Costa Rica, where the rainforests, birds and people captivated her. She rose to the challenge of a scuba diving vacation in Bonaire, visited dear friends in Calgary and British Columbia, and just last May took a culinary tour of the Tuscan region of Italy.

When Diane was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she was 48 years old. She brought the same determination, grace and dedication to her quest to regain her health. She ultimately ended up at Dana Farber in Boston. She wanted the best team and she found them. Every Tuesday, for over a year, she was there for various treatments. Angel Flight and their Ground Angels enabled Diane’s weekly journey to be as effortless as possible. While she was private and independent, she was surrounded by a vast number of people to support her in her journey. Her mantra for coping was to always say and truly believe, “I only have cancer on Tuesdays.” The rest of the week was hers to enjoy and live as she wanted.

Diane was the valedictorian of the class of 1977 at Islesboro High School. She attended the University of Maine at Orono. She was a serious basketball player and was honored as MVP all four years of high school.

She is survived by her mother Joan Ober and her brother David Ober, both of Rockport. One only has to look at the hundreds of photos, both silly and serious, to understand how she felt about her nieces and nephews. They are Catrina Ober of Rockport, Hannah Ober of Westbrook and Corey Ober of Rumford, her great-niece, Riley Rose of Rumford. Her greatest sorrow was the loss of three of her best friends, her father Leland, her brother Donald and her nephew Adam.

Please join us for a celebration of Diane’s life on Sunday, Feb. 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Rockland Elks Club, 210 Rankin St. in Rockland. Her memory will be kept alive with laughter, stories and song for all the years to come.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to either The Mid Coast Community Chorus, P.O. Box 192, Rockport, ME 04856; or Avian Haven, 418 North Palermo Road, Freedom, ME 04941. Diane was deeply committed to both organization and their missions.

We would like to thank all of the people who have surrounded Diane with their love and support throughout this journey, Marcia Lavigne, Joan Ober, Marty El Hajj, Roe Chiacchio, Kelley and Dave Haskell, Rita and Jim Buckley, Debbie Merchant, and Lynn and Harry Anderson.