Diane D. (Dotterweich) Soucy died Thursday, January 16, 2020 in Madison, NJ. She was 83.
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Diane was born in Bloomfield, NJ, a daughter to the late Elsie (Gustavson) and Daniel Dotterweich, living in Cedar Grove and Denville before moving to Millington, NJ in 1968.
She graduated from Bloomfield High School, and became co-founder of The Raptor Trust in Millington, NJ.
The Raptor Trust began from a long-time interest in nature and birds of prey. With her late husband Len Soucy, they first became interested in raptors after a visit to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, Pennsylvania, in the fall of 1964. From that time on they had a passionate concern for the well-being of wildlife, and birds of prey in particular. With almost no facilities that provided care to injured and orphaned birds, the Soucys bought a home on 14 acres of property in Millington, N.J. in 1968. This is where they began to care for injured raptors, part time, in their backyard. At first the case load was small, but as their work became better known, the number of birds brought to their backyard bird hospital grew dramatically each year. By the end of the 1970’s hundreds of birds of all kinds, not just raptors, were being admitted annually.
In 1982 the organization was named The Raptor Trust and established as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. The Raptor Trust has admitted over 130,000 injured and orphaned wild birds over 35+ years.
Diane was also involved in league bowling, enjoyed reading and was a creative artist who made beautiful stoneware and pottery. With other Long Hill Township residents, Marj Tyndall and Judy Schmidt, she established what became a well-known co-op of pottery artists, making hundreds of pieces each year which were given as gifts to family and friends as well as sold in several local shops.
She was pre-deceased by her husband of 53 years, Leonard Soucy, Jr. in 2014, and is survived by her son Christopher Soucy, who is now the Director of The Raptor Trust, and by her granddaughter, Leah Soucy. She is also survived by her brother Daniel Dotterweich and his wife Lucille.
A memorial visitation will be Saturday, February 29, 2020 from 10 AM to 1 PM at the Valley Memorial Funeral Home, 1012 Valley Rd., Gillette, NJ. For more information and online condolences visit valleymemorialfuneralhome.net, For information about The Raptor Trust and memorial contributions in lieu of flowers to the Len and Diane Soucy Memorial Fund for Education visit www.theraptortrust.org.