Lasting Memories

Diane Louise Churka
Feb. 23, 1944-April 17, 2012
Pleasanton, California

Diane Churka, 68, enhanced downtown Pleasanton with her flowers, trees, and plants for the last 23 years at the SP Depot on Neal Street, and the Coffee Roast Express building at 780 Main Street. Born at home in Riverside Calif on Feb. 23, 1944 and died at home in Pleasanton, Calif. on April 17, 2012. Graduated from Highland School of Nursing in Oakland, designed and built the Coffee Roast Express business in three locations in downtown Pleasanton. She loved classical music, gardening, alpine skiing, the theater, designing and building interiors for home and business, and traveling on back roads throughout the USA. She is survived by her husband Edward Churka, daughter Alicia Lutz, son Mark Churka, two grandchildren, and one great granddaughter.

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From Marge Churka Elwell
Sept. 1, 2012

Sorry to hear about your loss. She will be missed.

From Tom & Judy Tuite
June 13, 2012

Diane was a part of downtown P-town, along with Ed. She will be sorely missed. Our love goes out to Ed, Eric, Alicia and the grand kids.

From Julie Frey
May 14, 2012

I worked at the Coffee Roast as a teenager, and a bit during college. It was my favorite place to hang out, and Ed and Diane were wonderful to work for. I will always remember Diane's smiles, her positive can do energy, her encouragement, and of course her beautiful flowers and gardening. I will also never forget the very best surprise birthday party ever, I got to celebrate at the Coffee Roast for my sweet 16. It was a breakfast party with Diane's famous zucchini carrot muffins, her amazing biscotti, and, of course, fabulous coffee drinks & fresh squeezed juice for everyone. I felt very special that day. Such wonderful hospitality, always! Diane, I hope you know how very much your presence in Pleasanton is missed. You were wonderful.

From Jack & Bernie Cruger
May 2, 2012

We moved to Pleasanton in 1986 probably the best place we have ever lived. When the Coffee Express opened up at the old train station, I think Bernie and I were the first customers. The funny part about this was that we were not coffee drinkers. The Coffee Roast did not have tea, at that time, so we brought our own. Many evenings we were the only customers until word got out through the Pleasanton Newcomer’s Club and other organizations in town. Diane did not want us to pay for just hot water but we wanted them to survive, so we paid for the water. The Coffee Roast Express was a big part of our lives, we met news friends there, we held parties, and I and many other business men meet there with clients. We followed Diane and Ed to their first location on main street and later on when I retired I went to work for Diane opening the store every morning. We have a lot of memories of Pleasanton and the Coffee Roast Express, in particular, and the friends we still have. Diane, we miss you and Pleasanton more that anyone can ever imagine, it will be the memory of a life time.

From Nicole Stahl
April 30, 2012

Diane, I am so sorry to hear of your untimely passing. It was more than 20 years ago that you and Ed welcomed me when I knocked on the door of the old train station you were in the midst of reviving, and accepted my offer to write a little history of the building that you could use in the promotion of the first Coffee Roast Express. You left a legacy for Pleasanton that will endure forever. Thank you for your vision. You touched many lives and will always occupy a special place in my heart.

From Nancy Roe
April 30, 2012

My husband & I were just in Pleasanton this past weekend after attending a computer awards event in Mtn. View. We were having Happy Hour at Handles with a couple of friends & my thoughts went immediately to the building across the street and the Coffee Roast Express. I was privileged to work there during the transition period, 1998-99, while the Coffee Roast Express Building was being built and happy to have been a part of such a fun and wonderful coffee shop in town. I just got a phone call from a friend who had just heard about the passing of Diane and have looked it up online. I was very sad to hear of her passing and my husband & I send our condolences to the family. She will be missed by many.

From Virginia Meyer-Lai
April 29, 2012

A beautiful friend and a beautiful person, inside and out. Just like the roses in the Coffee Roast garden that you tended so faithfully. None of us gets to choose our exit road from this life, and you were given an especially difficult one to travel. The way you managed it is a testament to your amazing strength. By now the angels will have given you a first class tour of heaven, and no doubt will have requested the recipe for your divine blueberry scones. I'll miss our coffees together, and I'll surely miss you, but every time I'm in a garden, especially one with roses, I'll smile and think of you.

From Robert and Linda Ware
April 27, 2012

Diane, you will surely be missed here by all. We had great times at the Giants games eating your cookies that you baked. You are in a better place now.

From Joan Tenbrink
April 23, 2012

Rest in peace Diane, you will be missed. Sure enjoyed your Zucchini walnut muffins you made for the Coffee Roast.