Sister Dianne Wansley, O.S.B., a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Florida, passed into her eternal life on Friday, December 30, 2022. Born to Howard and Clara (Vann) Wansley on November 22, 1950 Sister was a native of Plant City, FL, the second of three children. Sister Dianne is also survived by her brother Ivan Wansley, sister-in-law Barbara Wansley, niece Kim Wansley and grandniece. Her brother Malcolm Wansley pre-deceased Sister Dianne.
Born into a family that was always active in their church, Sister Dianne had a solid Christian upbringing as a Southern Baptist. Her father was a deacon, her mom, a religion teacher. At age 25, after college, she converted to Catholicism in 1976. Wanting to grow in her faith she made a retreat at Holy Name Monastery in Saint Leo. Sister said, “I was impressed by the love that the Sisters had for each other.” She came to the Benedictine Sisters of Florida in January 1978 as a live-in volunteer.
Sister Dianne graduated from University of South Florida, Tampa, FL with a BA in Social Studies education and then earned her master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry with an emphasis on Liturgy from Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA. She also received post-graduate certification in Spiritual Direction from Boston College.
Joining the Benedictine Sisters in September, 1978, Sister Dianne faithfully served the community for 46 years in numerous capacities. Sister was an accomplished iconographer, artist, served on the liturgy committee, provided spiritual direction for retreatants and was the director of Postulants and Novices (sisters in discernment vow stages) for the Community. She was the organist and pianist for the community. Sister Dianne also served on the Saint Leo Town Commission.
She taught for fourteen years in public and private schools in Florida. In Ocala, FL she taught at both Northern Marion Middle School and Blessed Trinity school. She also taught social studies at Marshall Junior High School (now Middle) in Plant City, FL. She also served as a music minister for student Masses at Saint Leo University.
A Vigil service on Friday, January 6th at 7:00 pm at Holy Name Monastery (12138 Wichers Road, St. Leo, FL). Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at Holy Name Monastery on Saturday, January 7th at 10:30 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to Benedictine Sisters of Florida, PO Box 2450, St. Leo, FL 33574.