Elizabeth Dianne Harper Goodnight, of Marquez, went to be with her Lord on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, at age 68. Dianne had struggled with illness the past year, surrounded with the love and care of her sister, Patty and her husband Harold, and her brother, Mike and his wife, Cindy. Patty had been reading the 23rd. Psalms to Dianne and they were listening to the Gaithers (Beulah Land) in her last hours. Visitation will be held Wednesday, April 29, 2015, from 6:00 to 8:30 P.M. in the Groesbeck Funeral Home Chapel. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, April 30, 2015, at the Lake Limestone Baptist Church, with Reverend Johnny Layton officiating. Mrs. Stacy Duffield will be the vocalist, as well as music on CD by David Phelps. Pallbearers will be Danny Coker, Mark Coker, Bryce Stone, Kevin Jahn, Nick Briggs, Juston Prichard. Honorary pallbearers will be John Noey, Bob Loomis, Mark Waycasey, Clyde Chatham and Pat, Coolidge Sparks, the Community of Seale, Cheryl Allen, Sue Noey, Treasia Loomis, and Evenda Layton (her quilting friends,) Sherry Harris, Texas Home Health and Standard Home Health, Lynn Sparks, Denise Smith, and Anita Leonard. Burial will be at South Park Cemetery in Pearland at 12:00 Noon on Friday, May 1, 2015, where she will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband, Glenn Goodnight. Dianne was born on December 10, 1946 to Willie and Midge (Bynum) Coker in Bryan. She grew up in Seale and graduated from Leon High School in 1965. She was the first Leon Homecoming Queen after the consolidation of local schools into Leon ISD. She attended Navarro Junior College the summer of 1965 and then Sam Houston University in Huntsville from the fall of 1965 through the fall of 1967, studying home economics. She worked at Varo, Inc. in Mexia in 1967 and then moved to Friendswood in 1969. Dianne grew up loving to be outdoors and not afraid of physical work. Dianne married A. J. “Sonny” Harper, Jr. on April 7, 1971 in Friendswood. During the first years of marriage, she wore many “business hats,” as bookkeeper, accountant, payroll, and personal assistant to Sonny in his service station, trucking and air conditioning businesses. From 1971 through 1976, Dianne had a first- hand view of the beautiful USA driving an eighteen-wheeler with her husband cross country. She was a skilled trucker, except in backing up. When asked about reverse driving, she said she made her money by pushing forward, not backwards, and therefore she always parked where she could turn a circle rather than needing to back up. Dianne was encouraged by her sister-in-law to apply with Exxon for a job, and in 1976, she became a woman pioneer in the oilfields as one of the first female roustabouts, in the Friendswood production field. According to an article in the Houston Chronicle in 1978, Dianne was “one woman among 38 men, doing one of the dirtiest, most exhausting jobs in the oil patch, working with a shovel and pipe-wrench.” She wanted the job for the benefits and because she loved being outdoors. She said “a lady can be a lady anywhere,” and her superior gave her credit in the article for “not backing off from anything,” even at 5 foot 5 and 145 pounds; and she had worked as a substitute foreman, bossing a crew of five men. Dianne became a widow when Sonny passed away in 1984. Then Dianne had to give up her work in the oilfields after becoming a paraplegic in 1988, and was no longer able to do the physical work. Dianne married Glenn R. Goodnight, a retired Houston Police Dept. Sgt. in 1990 and they lived in Webster and Friendswood. In spite of being wheelchair bound, and becoming a widow again when her husband Glenn passed away January 22, 2001, Dianne remained strong and courageous, never one giving in to self-pity, and never jealous. She remained strong in her faith in the Lord. She always put others first. Most importantly, she taught her family the power of forgiveness. In May 2003, she moved to her childhood home to take care of her widowed father. She had begun quilting fifteen years ago, making her first great-niece, McKenzie a baby quilt, and her first big quilt was made for her mother. She enjoyed her great friends, Cheryl, Sue, Treasia, and Evenda, who came to her home to make quilts with her. She ordered more fabric from her quilt magazines than she could ever make quilts with, but the few she completed will be treasured by the ones lucky enough to receive them. She handled her day to day activities by herself, with support in transportation when needed from Patty, Harold, Mike and Cindy. She thought of Harold as her own brother and Cindy as her other sister. Cindy became her “personal shopper,” knowing the brands she wanted of each item on her list. Dianne’s smile and her eyes could draw anyone in, and she was always admired all her life by her little sister. She inspired her family with her pleasant and positive personality in spite of physical difficulties. Her strength came from her Heavenly Father and she will continue to be a wonderful role model for all the nieces and nephews in the years to come. Dianne joined the Oletha Baptist Church as a young girl, along with brother Mike and her father (and Patty when she was older), but they had to come to town (Groesbeck Baptist Church) to be baptized, as Oletha didn’t have a baptistery at the time. Later she became a member of the Lake Limestone Baptist Church. Dianne was preceded in death by her father, Willie Coker and her mother, Midge Coker; her first husband, A. J. “Sonny” Harper, Jr.; and her second husband, Glenn R. Goodnight. She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Mike and Cindy Coker of Thornton; sister and brother-in-law, Patty and Harold Stone of Jewett; niece, Jennifer Jahn and her husband Kevin of Dripping Springs; nephews, Danny Coker of Thornton and Bryce Stone of Mont Belvieu; nieces, Leah Brooks Briggs and husband Nick of Thornton, and Britney Prichard and husband Juston of Thornton; and nephew, Mark Coker and wife Sara of Thornton; also, great nieces: McKenzie Jahn, Gracie Briggs, Carly Coker, Maddie Prichard, and Hatley Coker; and great nephews: Holden Jahn, Tanner Briggs, Dillon Prichard, and Rex Allen Briggs.
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