Crockett: A heartfelt goodbye to Diana Unkel

Derby High accompanist Diana Unkel died Tuesday

Briantae Crockett

I woke up around 1 or 2 p.m. on Tuesday with the news that our pianist, Diana Unkel, had died.

At first, I didn’t know how to react.

It was surprising for me, and I’m sure many others who were close to her felt the same way. I remember interviewing her for a story about retiring teachers. At the time we talked about our favorite memories with the choir, and she told me that her favorite was when we won contest in Kansas City.

I am so glad I got to interview her because I got to know her more as a person, besides the fact that she was my pianist for four years. It was just nice to sit down and have a conversation with her.

She and Tyler Morris were so close. I always loved walking into the room and seeing them bond and laugh together. He was like a son to her, and their relationship with each other was beautiful.

The thing I loved about Ms. Unkel was that she was so nice and understanding. I remember back in seventh grade, I was having a bad day, and she talked to me outside of the room and told me that whatever I was going through, it would be OK.

She had a kind heart. Her outfits, oh, don’t get me started on those.

Ms. Unkel was always matching, whether it was a pink shirt, jeans, pink shoes and a scarf or a plain shirt with matching shoes.

She could out dress anyone.

She made us laugh. Whenever she’d mess up, we’d hear a faint “sorry guys.” But we all realized that even someone who has played piano for years makes mistakes.

Ms. Unkel and Morris made me realize that you are going to make mistakes, but you learn from them and you keep on going, you keep on playing.

Ms. Unkel, you will be missed, and I know it won’t be the same without you. But I know you are in a better place.

I’m so happy I got to spend some of my most greatest memories with you and the choir.

We love you.