Diane Robinson, a local high school graduate and a 31-year high school teacher in Roosevelt, died Wednesday of a heart attack at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre. She was 58.
Robinson, who graduated in 1974 from the high school in Roosevelt, went on to get her undergraduate degree from Florida A&M in Tallahassee and her master's from Marquette University in Milwaukee. She returned to the high school in 1980 to begin her 31 years as a social studies teacher there.
"She was a wonderful, kindhearted person who was really -- I mean really -- involved with her students," said Hempstead Town Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, another graduate of Florida A&M. Goosby also spent a semester going once a week to Robinson's classroom to help illustrate how government works.
"I was so proud of Diane, and she devoted so much of her personal time to her students," Goosby said.
Jerrie Smith, a friend and neighbor, and a former social studies teacher at the district's middle school, said Robinson worked hard to become an excellent teacher. "But she was patient with her students," she said. "She was also a very giving person, and you didn't even have to ask."
Smith said she, Robinson and maybe one or two other teachers traveled the country together in the summer, "from Alaska to Hawaii and a lot of places in between -- by air, sea and the road. Diane was a caring, sharing young lady."
Robinson was married from 1992 to 1997, when her husband, Larry Costa, a high school classmate, died of a heart attack, close friends said.
She was an active member of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in Roosevelt from her youth on, and she was an active member of the Roosevelt Retired Teachers Association.
She is survived by two brothers, Ronald of Hempstead and Martin of Stone Mountain, Ga.; and 15 nieces and nephews.
A viewing will be held Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in Roosevelt. The service will follow, with interment immediately afterward at Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale.