Chalys Diane Baker


Chalys Diane Baker
Chalys Diane Baker

Chalys Diane Baker, 88, of Amarillo, died Saturday, May 22, 2021. Known to her friends as Diane.

Memorial service will be held at 10:00 A.M., Saturday, June 26, 2021, at First Presbyterian Church with Dr. Murray Gossett and Dr. Howard Griffin officiating. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.

Diane was born on September 30, 1932, in Evanston, Illinois to Dorothy and Peter Gross.

Diane graduated from Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and later attended New Mexico State University. It was there that she met and married now-retired Air Force Col. Richard Allen Mayfield. They had three daughters and traveled the world during his active-duty status in the Air Force. That marriage ended, and she later briefly married the late Jerry Baker of Santa Fe.

Diane had a very distinguished career in marketing and tourism. She taught the importance of tourism and all the benefits it could bring to a city.

She was Director of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, and the Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau. She traveled nationally and internationally promoting Santa Fe. By the end of her career in Santa Fe, she developed and brought the term “Santa Fe Style” to life putting Santa Fe, New Mexico on the map.

The mayor designated October 4th as Diane Baker Day in Santa Fe.

Diane also served as the Marketing Director for the State of New Mexico. She then was lured to California to establish the Convention and Visitors Bureau in Huntington Beach, CA. She marketed Huntington Beach like she did Santa Fe, traveling nationally and internationally promoting Huntington Beach, and Orange County. She met with the VP of Disneyland and staff bi-monthly, and she produced numerous brochures and magazines for distribution. She developed the Orange County Tourism Council. She was instrumental in bringing the first 5-star hotel to Huntington Beach, the 12 story Waterfront Hilton Beach Resort and Spa with conference space. She coined the term “Surf City USA” and put Huntington Beach on the map. Diane was awarded several awards over the years including a Resolution from the California Legislature Assembly commending her on her commitment to the Huntington Beach Area making it a popular visitors’ destination.

Diane was also the first woman ever to sit on the United States Chamber of Commerce board.

She will be remembered for her energy, compassion, knowledge, savviness, generosity, love of shopping the “great deals”, love of Disneyland, and most of all the love she had for her children and grandchildren.

Diane moved to Amarillo when her grandchildren were very young to be close to them. As “family” was of the utmost importance, she saw them almost daily throughout their childhood. Diane quickly made many good friends here and was recently appointed as a board member of the Amarillo Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Diane was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Amarillo, where she previously served as an Elder.

She was preceded in death by her parents Dorothy Evans Gross and Peter James Gross.

She is survived by her three daughters, Cheri Lynn Kofakis, and husband Jim of New Braunfels, TX, Pamela Ann Mayfield, and husband Charley Runkle of Santa Fe, NM, and Karen Diane Price, and husband Four of Amarillo, TX. She is survived by four grandchildren, Brooke Diane Reynolds, and husband Fisher of Austin, TX, Cody Allen Barnhill, and fiancée Madison Varney of South Jordan, UT, Abigail Kathryn Price of Leander, TX, and Thomas Curry Price of College Station, TX.

The family suggests that memorial gifts be made to The First Presbyterian Church of Amarillo.

3 Replies to “Chalys Diane Baker”

  1. I learned so much from Diane at a turning point in my hospitality and tourism career. She was such a positive impact for so many.

  2. I knew Diane through her daughter Karen Price. Always smiling and ready to engage in conversation. Diane will be missed by many as she made a positive impact wherever she was. Rest in Peace

  3. Diane, you were in so many chapters of my life, coloring it with happiness, laughter and so many profound moments. Our families danced stories to the music of the seasons. You were close in tough times and oh, how we partied in New York when you took Santa Fe to NYC. It snowed in April, so we bought sweat suits & rubber boots to keep warm. Laughter was our energy. You knew how to take heartache and turn it into a lesson of acceptance, understanding & love then move on. Your voice still resonates in my memory when I need your wisdom. You, my darling, beautiful friend/sister are with me always. Our time together is a narrative poem that lives in the bones of my being. I surrender your being and embrace the spiritual you that all of us still have. Goodbye and hello. Acceptance and love were your hallmark . Jacquelyn spier

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