Neimann, Diane Brutout
May 7, 1943 to March 11, 2019
Diane died peacefully in Minneapolis, MN, surrounded by her family. The cause of death was complications from a recent heart procedure.
She was born May 7, 1943 in Sewickley, PA to Florence and Arthur Brutout. Diane graduated from Quaker Valley High School and Chatham College in Pennsylvania, and attended the Graduate School of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While pursuing her graduate work at Madison, she met Paul Grafton Neimann. They were married July 1, 1967.
Early in her career, Diane worked for US Attorney General Dick Thornburgh at the Pennsylvania Crime Commission in Pittsburgh, where she developed a passion for public and community service. Diane and Paul moved to Minneapolis in July 1971 and she began work with a number of organizations as a consultant, including the Minneapolis Foundation, the International Diabetes Center, and the Blandin Foundation.
Through her ongoing collaboration with non-profits and foundations, Diane came to be recognized as one of the leading philanthropic and wealth management advisors in the United States. She was Founder and President of Family Philanthropy Advisors, through which she provided counsel to independent, community, and corporate foundations on a national and international basis. She also served as Executive Director of the Bravewell Collaborative for Integrative Medicine for several years.
Diane was an early and powerful supporter of civil rights and women's rights. She was a champion of women in the workforce and spent many years serving on the board of CHART (now known as WomenVenture). She also served on the board of the Institute for Global Ethics, and as a Trustee for the National Charities Information Bureau, setting ethical standards of practice for U.S. non-profits and foundations. She served as a Trustee and Director of Gillette Children's Hospital in St. Paul, MN, the Whittier Institute for Diabetes at Scripps Medical Center (La Jolla, CA), the Delta Waterfowl Foundation (U.S. and Canada), Milkweed Editions (the publishing house in Minneapolis), the James Ford Bell Library for Rare Books, and Chatham College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
In 1980, Diane and her husband launched the Westminster Town Hall Forum. Watergate special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, was the first guest speaker, and the Reverend Donald Meisel moderated. Since then, nearly 300 speakers have addressed Forum audiences, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel, Thomas Friedman, David McCullough, and Marian Wright Edelman. Diane conceived of the forum's focus on "key issues from an ethical perspective," and for many years it has been broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio.
Diane found immense joy in reading literature, traveling, understanding history, preparing grand meals for loved ones, and serving her community.
She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Paul Grafton Neimann; her children, Paul Grafton Neimann, Jr. of Boulder, Colorado, Elizabeth Neimann Porteous of New York, New York, and Douglas Arthur Neimann of Minneapolis, Minnesota; and her six grandchildren, Charlotte and Daisy Neimann, Isobel and George Porteous, and McGregor & Abbott Neimann. She is also survived by her brother, David A. Brutout, of Denver, Colorado.
All who knew her will miss her brilliant mind, unique and gentle wit, warm and beautiful smile, gourmet cooking, dedication to progressive causes, and endless compassion for others.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 2 pm at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. For those who wish to honor her legacy, please direct memorial gifts to the Children's Defense Fund or WomenVenture (Minneapolis).