Diana Kaye Whatley Liford, 68, of Ludowici, GA sadly and unexpectedly passed away in her sleep on April 24, 2023. She was the daughter of Thomas Albert Whatley and Etta Louise Whatley Willman. Diana was born December 11, 1954, in Brownwood, Texas and graduated from Northwest High School. She attended Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri and became a registered nurse working at Christian North Hospital and DePaul Hospital for Kids in St. Louis. She lived in Missouri for many years where she raised her children. In 2016, she moved to GA to be with her soulmate, Jim Kicklighter.
Diana had a beautiful Catholic faith and was a very giving and generous person. She was a sweet, caring lady. Many months ago, when asked how she wanted to be remembered Diana had expressed this: “Nothing gave me more joy in my life than my children and grandchildren. I love each unconditionally. I loved nursing! I cherished my friends and have had many, still, since childhood. And that Jim Kicklighter made me happier and more complete than anyone ever had. I will carry the experiences of all these loves with me to the next journey and I am grateful.”
She was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas Albert Whatley of Brownwood, Texas and Etta Louise Whatley Willman of O’Fallon, MO; her sisters, Cindy Long, Vicki Montefelice Blomberg and Linda Tuttle; and her son, Joseph Patrick (Joey) Murphy, all of Missouri; and by Jim’s brother, Allen Kicklighter of Colquitt, GA. We know she was welcomed into Heaven by all these relatives.
Diana is survived by James W. (Jim) Kicklighter, of Ludowici; two daughters, Jennifer Murphy and Brittany Liford; one son, Christopher Michael Murphy; three step-sons, Stephen Shawn Liford, Stephen Ryan Liford and Justin Liford; her step-father, Charles Willman; 16 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren, all of Missouri; Jim’s sisters, Sandra (David) Todd of Claxton, GA; Glenda Morris of Statesboro, GA, and Julie (Bob) Dunay of Bellevue, PA; sister-in-law, Gray Kicklighter of Colquitt, GA; and numerous much-loved nieces and nephews.
A private service is being planned for a later date.
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