Diane Hesterhagen

06/23/1964 - 04/22/2024


Obituary For Diane Hesterhagen

Executive Director of the Seton Foundation for Learning, Staten Island Catholic School Principal, Diane Laura Hesterhagen (nee Cappola), 59, passed away on Monday April 22, 2024 with her loving family by her side.

Born in Brooklyn, NY Diane later moved to Staten Island, grew up in New Dorp and married her high school sweetheart Robert in 1984. Together, they loved to travel to Cape May, NJ and Disney World and were extremely proud of their sons, Robert, Dylan, Michael, and Matthew as well as their two granddaughters, Adrianna and Alessandra.

Diane attended the College of Staten Island where she earned a Bachelors and Masters in English Education. A devoted lifelong learner, Diane returned to school at the age of 52 to earn the Orton Gillingham Teacher and Dyslexia Specialist Certification from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She taught at St. Ann’s School from 1986-1997, was principal of St.Adalbert School from 1997-2020, successfully merged St. Adalbert School and Holy Rosary in 2020 as principal of the Father Vincent Capodanno Catholic Academy, served as an adjunct professor at St. John’s University from 2014-2020 and finally served as the Executive Director of the Seton Foundation for Learning in 2023.

As the daughter of a WW2 veteran and retired NYC Transit Police Officer, Diane loved planning activities with the veterans community including the publication of the Hometown Heroes book series which preserved the stories of over 225 Staten Island veterans and ice cream socials introducing the school children to local veterans. Among her many awards and accomplishments, she was always proud of being the valedictorian of the NYPD Citizen’s Police Academy in June 2001. She advocated strongly for maintaining a bridge between the community and the police serving as the Vice President of the 121 Pct. Community Council.

Diane loved shopping, scrapbooking, and watching Hallmark Christmas movies, but her truest joy was found being with the students of the Archdiocese of NY since 1986.

A wake will be held at Hanley Funeral Home, 60 New Dorp Lane Staten Island, NY 10306, on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. A funeral mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 25, 2024 at Holy Rosary Church located at 80 Jerome Avenue Staten Island, NY 10305. Internment will follow at Oceanview Cemetery Staten Island, NY 10306

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  • 04/25/2024

    Our sincerest condolences to the Hesterhagen family. Diane was truly a gift to St. Adalbert's when she was the principal. Rest in Peace. The Cropley Family

  • 04/24/2024

    Diane, rest in peace in the loving arms of our heavenly father. You will, forever, be remembered. Maria Haynes

  • 04/24/2024

    My most heart felt Condolences to the family. I will always remember being part of the faculty of St. Adalbert School with Mrs. Diane Hesterhagen loving principal! Rest In Heavenly Peace dear Diane! We will always keep you in our hearts!

  • 04/23/2024

    She was so loving and compassionate! I saw her for years at the Annual Thomas J Tori chapter 421 Memorial Service every June! In April 2022 my son Patrick died unexpectedly. He and his wife Mary were planning on sending their youngest Liam to Father Capodanno School. Having seen Diane at all those memorial services I thought it was a blessing that Liam was going there! Being home since birth though Liam never really was around other people! When I met Diane, she told me " Dont worry I will look out for him" I was worried about my poor little orphan grandson going to PK3. Diane met my daughter in law every morning at the entrance for the whole year even after he stopped crying! So loving so compassionate! The world will miss her! May God bring comfort to all her people! Francis X. Meagher

  • 04/23/2024

    Mrs.H was not only the Principal of St Adalberts but a friend to many. I was fortunate to have met her through my grandkids that attended the school both were active in School sports teams Cheerleading n my Grandson played Basketball. I attended all games and I got to know her well and share great conversations. We both loved our families, as well. I volunteered at her school events, field trips, fundraisers, etc She always donated to charities and so caring of the children and the Veterans. She truly was a blessing to know and touch everyone's hearts. My prayers and condolences to Matthew and the family. 🙏🏽❤️Norma,Ricky and Reyes family

  • 04/23/2024

    My Condolences to Diane's family. I had the pleasure of meeting her in the late 80's when were young teachers. We were involved with the FCT teacher's union and then throughout the years would see each other at meetings. Always kind and helpful following her vocation to teach God's children. May she rest in peace. Josephine Fanelli and the Community of St.Theresa School Bronx, NY

  • 04/23/2024

    Please accept our heartfelt sympathy to all of Diane's family. Surely Diane did God's work on earth with all the wonderful things she accomplished during her lifetime, together with giving of herself to everyone. I'm sure you are all proud as she set an example of what we should all be doing during our lifetime. Love, Marie Illuzzi and Family

  • 04/23/2024

    From the moment she walked through the doors of St. Adalbert School and into our lives, the world got so much brighter. Diane always knew the right thing to do and say to lift your day. Her presence brought so much joy and warmth into the lives of those around her. She taught our children how to be kind, caring, responsible, respectful, and how honor our beloved veterans - the heroes who gave up so much for all of us. She was an awesome mother, supportive friend & excellent boss. Remembering her kindness, laughter and countless memories. Bob, Bobby, Dylan, Michael & Matthew, our hearts are breaking for you. Our thoughts & prayers are with all of you. With Love & Heartfelt Sympathy - Dawn, Mike, Ryne, Taylor & Valerie Mondello


  • America the Beautiful

    Norma Lopez sent America the Beautiful for Diane Hesterhagen - 04/23/2024

    Condolences to Matthew and family❤️🙏🏽 Norma & Ricky n family