Funeral Details

Diane Kliebard Silverberg

March 25, 1961 - December 1, 2022


Date and Time

Friday, December 2, 2022 at 2:00 PM


Chicago Jewish Funerals
Skokie Chapel
8851 Skokie Boulevard
Skokie, Illinois 60077
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Rabbi Toby Manewith


Memorial Park Cemetery
9900 Gross Point Road
Skokie, Illinois 60076
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Kliebard Residence
2285 West Course Drive
Riverwoods, Illinois 60015
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Friday following the interment
Sunday from 3PM to 7PM

Memorial Contributions

The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras
PO Box 258039
Madison, Wisconsin 53725
The Wills Eye Hospital
840 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107


Diane Kliebard Silverberg, loving partner to the late David Steiner, mother, daughter, sister, friend, social justice advocate, and accomplished litigation attorney, died peacefully at her home in Evanston, Illinois, on December 1, 2022. She was 61. Diane was preceded in death by her beloved fiancé, David Steiner, her father, Herbert M. Kliebard, and her mother, Bernice (Bleiweiss) Kliebard.

Diane was born in New York, on March 25, 1961, the oldest of two children of Herb and Bernice Kliebard. She graduated from Madison West High School in 1979. In high school Diane excelled in her academic studies while also pursuing her love of music. In addition to collecting an array of academic honors, Diane was voted by her classmates to serve as the student representative on the City of Madison Board of Education. An accomplished flutist, Diane?s musical pursuits followed in the footsteps of her mother, Bernice, who was Diane?s flute instructor. One of the highpoints of Diane?s musical achievements was when she took the stage to play flute with Chuck Mangione at a concert in Madison, Wisconsin, in November 1977 during the height of Mangione?s wildly successful hit song ?Feels So Good.? That same year she won first place honors in the Steenbock Young Artist Auditions held by the Madison Civic Music Association. Diane next attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she obtained her B.A. in 1983 with a dual major in English and Philosophy. In college, Diane continued to excel academically and was elected Phi Betta Kappa. Destined to become a successful litigation attorney, upon graduation Diane attended the law school at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she received her J.D. in 1986.

After earning her law degree, Diane practiced law in St. Louis for a few years where she met Mark Silverberg, former husband and father of her children, before relocating to Chicago. Diane was an exceptional and fierce litigator, known for her keen intellect, tireless advocacy for her clients, her outstanding legal writing, and the warmth and humor she provided to her colleagues. She was a mentor to many. She was aptly described by clients as a skilled trial lawyer who had earned her peers? respect and admiration. One of the many highlights of Diane?s legal career was winning a complex condominium association case in the Illinois Supreme Court in 2014 that was closely watched around the country. Diane never took her success for granted and was always willing to assist those in need by providing pro bono legal representation and by advocating for social justice. Diane was the proud recipient of the 2022 Award for Excellence in Pro Bono and Public Interest Service. This award is presented annually by the Judges of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago and the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association to award lawyers who have served the court and the community by providing pro bono representation and advocacy.

Diane loved her family dearly. Her children, Marissa (Will) Cowell and David Silverberg, were the light of her life, and she always cherished her relationship with her younger brother, Ken (Judith) Kliebard. She was an amazing mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, colleague, mentor, animal lover, advocate, and friend. Diane was as gregarious as they come, with an awesome sense of humor. She loved to host large holiday dinners for her friends and family where she served up delicious meals and stimulating conversation. She is fondly remembered by all for her radiance, strength, intellect, and humor.

As strong as she was throughout her life both intellectually and physically, Diane met her match when Ocular Melanoma entered her life three years ago. Cancer is indiscriminate in those who it takes. Diane fought it with every ounce of energy she had and with the tireless support of beloved friends and family, but the brutal truth is that her body could no longer carry on. Diane?s untimely passing is devastating. But she expressed her sincere wish that her friends and family would not allow their sadness to displace their love and fond memories of Diane. She wanted us to celebrate her life and for her to be remembered for all of the joy and laughter she brought to our lives.

Diane is survived by her brother Kenneth (Judy) Kliebard, daughter Marissa (Will) Cowell, son David Silverberg, niece Brianna Kliebard, nephew Joey Kliebard, as well as myriad colleagues and friends.

Service Friday 2PM at Chicago Jewish Funerals, 8851 Skokie Blvd. (at Niles Center Road) Skokie.

Interment Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family lovingly encourages contributions to charities that advance Diane?s passions and wishes, including: The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, PO Box 258039, Madison, WI 53725, and the Wills Eye Hospital, 840 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19107,

To attend the funeral live stream, please visit our website. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822,


We encourage you to share your personal condolences and stories of Diane Kliebard Silverberg below and we will share them with the family.
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I always saw my cousins Diane and Ken holding hands exploring beaches in Brooklyn and climbing monkey bars in Valley Cottage in Rockland county, New York. Diane was a passionate individual who loved music, like her mother , Bernice, and embraced social justice. She was a wonderful cook and friend. I will miss her presence on this earth.
Cousin Laura

Laura Berman
December 1, 2022
I was always in awe of Diane's grace and beauty. After reconnecting with her through facebook, I came to see her big and loving personality, her love of food, her intellect and sense of humor. I am so sorry for those she has left behind and hope that you all can find some peace in your loving memories. I really hope she is back together with her love, David.
Sending love and peace,

Monica Bridgewater (Elder)
December 1, 2022
A favorite story that Diane once told me: During one court case where her opposing counsel was a somewhat pompous short male attorney, Diane made sure to wear her highest heels so when they were face to face she could look down at him. Diane, I will always remember your great sense of humor, your fierce fighting spirit tempered with grace, your generosity and your beautiful smile.

Leslie Steiner
December 1, 2022
Sincere condolences to all of Diane?s family and close friends.
She was a true light and inspiration to all of us. She really lived life to the fullest. May you find comfort in her memory.

Debbie Ottenstein Alden
December 1, 2022
I?m so sorry we have lost Diane. I only met her a few times but I always felt connected whenever we met. Our last conversation was after I moved to New Orleans and we had a very animated conversation about NOLA restaurants and fun things to do. She lived life to the fullest! Her gifts will live on in the lives of people she touched.

Ruth Mills
December 1, 2022
Accomplished, musically talented, whip smart, brilliant attorney, loyal friends to many, fierce loving mama ?? all that and more and I knew her as a hilarious 6th grade girl in Mr Noftzinger's band class ? we became fast friends, spending hours hanging out at each other's houses. So many escapades we were involved with, those legendary band parties in high school. In my bedroom a favorite picture of mine, at our last West HS reunion.
Forever my friend..I love you Di ??????????????????

Ellen Lacroix
December 1, 2022
I am heart-broken for her family. Way too young, way too gifted, beautiful, smart, talented. Her parents were friends, she was a lovely and gracious teen when I knew her. May she rest under HaShem's care, may her memory bring you comfort.

Eve Siegel
December 1, 2022
The untimely passing on of our beloved friend & partner is so disturbing! Diane worked hard to save my life, paid hospital bills & gave me all support I & family needed amidist challenging time when I got involved in a fatal accident with her dear husband David! When David left us, we were comforted by having Diane! All of sudden, they're both gone now! I can't hold tears! This is a big loss to us who have witnessed rare humanity traits of Diane. May the Almighty comfort the family & friends in this trying times.
Dear Diane, you will always remain in my heart!

Alex Gumisiriza
December 1, 2022
Such sadness in my heart hearing the news about Diane. Heaven gained the most remarkable Angel. In high school I was always awe struck with Diane?s confidence, intellect and her musical talent. I loved her long curly hair! 🙂 the summer before our senior year I hosted a big party at my house. Diane was present and wore the most incredible clog shoes! Fashion icon. Reconnecting with you on Facebook and sharing conversations with you at HS reunions was such a gift. Thank you for sharing your world with me/us. ??

Brenda KayBruce Hammel
December 2, 2022
I had the honor of attending high school, college and part of law school with Diane. I will always remember her spirit and incredible smile. Everyone was a friend. She was a warrior for civil rights, and I always admired her courage to lean into resistance and voice what was right no matter the cost. What a privilege it was to know her. The gifts she shared with the world are immeasurable.
Paula Forbes

Paula Forbes
December 2, 2022
I have been a co-worker of Diane?s for as long as I can remember. When I knew she was in our suburban office, I would seek her out to catch up with her life. I loved talking to her and hearing her professional and personal stories. No matter the subject, she was articulate interesting and so funny!!! Her laugh was infectious. I kept in touch with Diane via email and she was always upbeat, in spite of the honesty of her illness. She was one tough, smart, fun-loving woman. My heart goes out to her family & dear, close friends. In time, may your memories of Diane help with the void in your lives at this time.

Doree Fried
December 2, 2022
Some of my favorite memories with Diane are from the last couple of months, where I'd sit on the couch next to her and we'd be cracking up laughing at the bad scriptwriting and cringeworthy special effects of old detective shows. She radiated a warmth that was simply inimitable and eternally unique. My parents and I only knew her for four years but from the beginning, she always made us feel like family. Diane was the kindest, most generous person we have ever known, and I wish I could tell her how lucky I feel that our paths crossed in this lifetime. I will miss her terribly.

Sofia Bening
December 2, 2022
My heart goes out to you for your loss. I am just a neighbor, but I truly loved Diane. We struck up a friendship right away, once she moved into her home, because we both loved dogs, and would chat, and laugh together while walking ours. When I lost my chocolate lab, Ollie, a rescue who graced me with his presence for over 10 years, Diane wrote me a condolence note I still treasure. She was clearly motivated by a heart overflowing with love and understanding, eager to support me (and anyone else) however she could . That's who she was -- a truly amazing person, an exceptional human being, a mensch. What came next demonstrated her can-do spirit, buoyant optimism, and supportiveness even more.

16 days later, inconsolable, missing my dog, I went to an adoptathon of PAWS Chicago and came home with a 4 month old puppy. I had never raised a puppy, let alone an energetic, muscular one, who suffered from countless fears, anxieties, and intestinal problems. One morning, last winter, while we were walking our dogs, I opened up to her about feeling way over my head. She listened empathetically, and offered helpful tips. She had instilled me with hope, and lifted me mood, touched by her can-do spirit. But then later that day she showed up with gifts. "I just happened to be near Petsmart," she explained, "and picked up a few things that may help." Then she laughed, under her breath admitting, "I may have bought every item on the shelf for stress reduction." She would not let me reimburse her. Giving brought her pleasure. Pointing to a few items, she shared, "I have used these with my dogs, and they occupied them for hours." ... Diane was one of a kind, irreplaceable. But, for all the gifts she's given, the great one was her presence.

The entire neighborhood lost a light yesterday; it feels a darker place. Hers is an inconceivable loss, because her sparkle and zest for life just seemed inextinguishable. ... I am afraid Lucy, the goose, will no longer be dressed like Ruth Bader Ginsberg (on Election Day), or a peacock, or Wisconsin Badger; will no longer celebrate each and every holiday with her impeccable attire. Kids and families routinely would come by to visit the goose, take her pictures. The robust humor, the bright sparkle, the having fun in life, that extraordinary contribution remains, and like Diane, is inextinguishable. It is my earnest hope that in time, your memories will warm you deeply. You will all be in my prayers.

Sally Fell
December 2, 2022
As a colleague, friend, and neighbor to Diane, I'm remembering all of my connections to her with a sad fondness. When I had a question on a work related matter she always made time to share her opinion, no matter how busy she may have been. If we ran into each other in the neighborhood we would stop and update each other on family and current events. If we had business to conduct together Diane was, of course, always on top of every situation, asked thoughtful questions, and we would collaborate on how to proceed.

She was a consummate professional, always with a smile, and a kind word.

I will miss her. May her memory be a blessing to family and friends.

December 2, 2022
May her memory be a blessing. I loved Diane very much.

Howard Silverberg
December 2, 2022
Sincere condolences to David and Marissa, her family and all of her friends. She was an inspiration to all and will be deeply missed. may her memory be a blessing.

December 2, 2022
I am a former staunch legal adversary of Diane. We battled for years. I will always remember her passion, her astute interpretation of the law, and especially her rhetorical skills.

My enduring memory: Once, while my wife was undergoing cancer treatment, after a heated exchanged before the bar, Diane and I met in the lobby. Diane reminded me that "this stuff isn't important. Vikki's recovery is all that matters."

I will always remember her for that moment of grace.

Rest in Peace, Diane.

brian connolly
December 2, 2022
My heartfelt condolences to Diane?s children and loved ones. I had the pleasure of learning from one of the best legal minds in the Chicagoland area. I wish you comfort during this difficult time.

-Matthew O?Malley

Matthew O?Malley
December 2, 2022
What sad news and what a terrible loss. I was privileged to serve as co-counsel with Diane on several condominium association cases and all I can say is that when Diane talked condominium law everyone stopped and listened---including Circuit Court of Cook County judges. A walking encyclopedia, she was the consummate professional. And as I learned over time, a warm, incredibly funny woman I came to consider a dear friend. I am so sorry she is gone and send most sincere condolences to her family first and foremost and to her Kovitz colleagues as well. Rest in peace, great lady,and may your memory be for a blessing.

Marshall Seeder
December 2, 2022
When I moved into this neighborhood a few years back one of the first people I met was Diane she had this enormous smile on her face as she was walking her two dogs and I was walking my dog Duffy she walked right up to us with this enormous smile and said hello what better way to greet a new person in your neighborhood than with a smile I will never forget that many times we would run into each other when we were walking our dogs and we would talk how she was feeling what she was planning on doing and not once did she ever show defeat being a nurse for 45 years I have to say that her courage and optimism really impressed me and made me pray for her every single day I will miss my walking friend and I'm sure her family and friends feel lost without her but how fortunate were we to have had such a bright light in our lives rest in peace beautiful woman

Maggie Martinez
December 3, 2022
Diane was important to our family. She and Ken grew up in our Madison Hill Farms neighborhood and swam in our neighborhood Hill Farms Pool. Their mother, Bernice was flute teacher to our daughter Rachel, and bat mitzvah tutor to Anne (at age 50) and to our sons, Josh, Jon and Ben. We were fellow members of Beth Israel Center in Madison, WI and shared many times there together. We were often at their house to work with Bernice, admire Herb's Judaica collection, and hear about the latest doings of Oliver the rescue cat. Bernice and Herb were so proud of Diane and Ken's careers and children.

We have a photo of Diane and Bernice playing flute at our wedding at Beth Israel Center on February 4, 1979.
I don't know how to send it to you, but please contact me if you would like to have it..

We send our deepest condolences to all of Diane's family and loved ones. She was an inspiration and a role model to us all and will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered.
We have made a donation in her memory to the Wisconsin Youth Symphony.

Anne Altshuler and David Sulman

Anne Altshuler
December 3, 2022
I knew Diane as a neighbor and dog lover - I do not think we ever discussed the intersection of our professional lives. Her front yard goose and its costumes brightened the neighborhood, especially during the last few years. A wonderfully kind person was taken way too soon. May her memory be for a blessing.
Alisa Arnoff

Alisa Arnoff
December 4, 2022
I always known Diane to be the most generous and kind person I?ve ever known. Her love and care for others are unconditional and genuine. I missed her very much and her beautiful spirit will always be with us forever ? Rest in peace my dearest friend ?

Purwati Sundjojo
December 19, 2022
I was so distraught I felt I could not find the right words to share in this space for some time.
Diane was an Airbnb host who somehow became our closest family friend in Evanston. In 2019, we were one of many guests from overseas who enjoyed her gracious hospitality. By 2021, an unexpected friendship blossomed, and in June 2022, she was the only guest who was at my daughter's university graduation.
We shared a love for the English language, liberal values, and cute and crazy dogs and cats.
Diane's effervescent personality, unconditional generosity, and irrepressible sense of humor are forever etched in my memory.

mokhtar ismael
February 7, 2023