Diane was born in Towanda on November 5, 1955 the daughter of John H. “Jack” McCarthy and Judith Emily “Judy” Fry McCarthy.
She was a graduate of Towanda Area High School class of 1973 and continued her education at Elmira College, Elmira, NY where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Sociology in 1976. Diane received her Master of Science degree in Education from Mansfield University in 1994. Diane taught First Grade at the Carvin School in Carolina, Puerto Rico from 1978 to 1979 and later taught Spanish classes for grades 9-12 at the Athens Area High School from 1993-1996 and at the Towanda Area High School from 1996-1997.
She served as Elementary School Principal for the Towanda Area School District from 1997-2006, Towanda Area School District Superintendent from 2006 to 2012 and as Athens Area School District Superintendent from 2012 until the time of her passing. Diane was a hard-working dedicated teacher, principal and administrator who held a deep commitment to learning and to the education of students which was her top priority. She received her Doctorate degree in education, which was a life-long goal, in May of 2014 from Wilkes University. Dr. Place was a champion for public education and an advocate for those less fortunate and those she loved.
Dr. Place was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and the church council in Towanda, the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools having served as Vice President and board member, Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, Pennsylvania School Boards Association, National Institute for School Leadership, Pennsylvania Governor’s Institute for Early Childhood Educators and the Pennsylvania Department of Education Principal’s Technology Leadership Academy. She was a Past Executive Director for the Towanda Area School District Education Foundation, Bradford County Action, Inc. and the Abuse and Rape Crisis Center in Towanda. Dr. Place was a member of the Guthrie Healthcare System Board of Trustees, Guthrie Foundation for Education and Research, former advisory and governing board member of Guideline, Beacon Light Residential Treatment Facility, Family Center, Early Childhood Partners and Northern Tier Counseling Center. She formerly served as Strategic Plan, Mid-Point Review Coordinator, Title I Coordinator, ESL Coordinator, and Student Assistance Program team member for the Towanda Area School District. Dr. Place was a member of the Valley Rotary Club, past president of the Towanda Rotary Club, former Andaste District Chairman of the Boy Scouts of America, committee member of Boy Scouts Pack 6, Towanda, and former manager for the Towanda Country Club. Dr. Place was a member of Delta Kappa Gama, and was a U.S. Department of State Fulbright Scholar with the International Administrative Exchange Program 2008-2009, Argentina/Pennsylvania. She enjoyed volunteering as a Spanish language translator and tutor in Bradford County, supporting numerous community events, running, fitness, reading and cooking. Most of all, Diane will be remembered as a loving and devoted daughter, sister, mother, wife, aunt, niece, friend, teacher and mentor to many. Surviving are her husband, Dr. Fred R. Place, sons, Michael A. Cantellops and fiancé Melissa Frank of Towanda, Mark A. Cantellops of Towanda, granddaughter, Katalina R. Cantellops of Towanda, sister and brother-in-law, Doreen and Rick Secor of Towanda, niece, Tifani Starr and husband Bobby, Washington, PA, nephew, John Secor of Towanda, father-in-law, Fred A. Place of Towanda, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Dr. Robert A. Place and Jody Place, Towanda, nephews, Zack and Nick Place of Towanda, great niece and great nephews, Jackson, Camryn and Wyatt Starr, uncle and aunt, Clarence and Carol Fry of Bel Air, MD, cousins, David and Barb Fry of Texas, Tom and Pam Fry of Maryland and many dear friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Francisco “Frank” Cantellops on January 23, 1997, father, John H. “Jack” McCarthy on October 23, 1997, mother, Judith E. “Judy” McCarthy on March 5, 2008, mothers-in-law, Florence Place in April of 2008, Carmen Cantellops in October of 2014 and father-in-law, Francisco Cantellops in March of 1999.
The family expresses their deepest appreciation to their wonderful friends, community and Guthrie Hospice for their prayers, love, support and many acts of kindness shown during Diane’s illness.
A memorial service was held Saturday, March 7, at the Towanda High School Auditorium with Pastor Jira Albers of Trinity Lutheran Church, Towanda officiating.
Interment will be at a later date in Oak Hill Cemetery, Towanda, PA.
The family suggests that contributions be directed to the Towanda Public Library, 104 Main St., Towanda, PA 18848, Grace Connection, PO Box 122, Towanda, PA 18848, T.A.C.O., PO Box 463, Wysox, PA 18854 or to the Animal Care Sanctuary, PO Box A, East Smithfield, PA 18817 in Diane’s memory.
The Maryott-Bowen Funeral Home of Towanda, PA is assisting Diane’s Family with arrangements. Memories and condolences may be expressed by visiting www.bowenfuneralhomes.com.