Diana J. Drouillard, 63, who brought know-how and magnetism to her career in hospitality, whether she was tending bar, organizing a function, or consulting for restaurateurs, died Aug. 8, at Odyssey Hospice, Las Vegas.
She had been in ill health for several years, and her fiance, Jack Strassner, was her caregiver, said Ms. Drouilliard's sister, Sandra Gulch. The couple had retired in Lauglin, Nev.
Ms. Drouillard taught a course in bar management and mixology at what is now Owens Community College. In the early 1980s, she started Bartenders & Co. to furnish table service and bartenders for parties, wedding receptions, and other events in the Toledo area.
She had a talent for finding people who were planning functions and persuading them they could use her expertise.
"She was able to figure out exactly what product was needed for so many people and how many wait staff was needed," her sister said.
And she could promote a party mood -- and maintain control.
"She ran a tight ship," said Ms. Gulch, who worked for her. "There was no partying or drinking on the job."
Ms. Drouilliard had a restaurant in Point Place for about a year. She was a consultant as well for area bars and restaurants, and she tended bar at several venues over the decades.
"She had a following," her sister said. "People respected that she knew what she knew. She had that personality. If you walked into a bar, and she was tending bar, you wanted to stick around.
"She had the best personality," her sister said. "She was a take-charge kind of person. She was just fun to be with."
She was born June 7, 1949, to Marveline and Carl McGiffin. She was a graduate of Rogers High School.
Her father was a Toledo firefighter, and her parents owned several bars and clubs, including Parkside Bar on Dorr Street -- one of the places Ms. Drouilliard got her start -- and Sinbads on Airport Highway.
"She was a killer barmaid," her sister said.
Her skills could not save her Bartenders & Co. business from a bad economy. She pulled up stakes and moved to Las Vegas more than a dozen years ago.
"She was fiercely independent," her sister said. "I was in awe of her that she was brave enough to strike out on her own, to leave Toledo and go to the other side of the country and not know what she was getting into."
Ms. Drouilliard was hired by the former Reno Air and worked in international reservations. She lived in Arizona and Texas at various times for the job. Management changed and the airline eventually was bought by American Airlines. She decided to retire.
In Las Vegas, she formed a business that supplied celebrity look-alikes -- such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe -- for parties and weddings.
"And they looked like the real thing," he sister said. "She pulled it together off the top of her head. She was good at that."
She was formerly married to the late Greg Drouilliard and to Jerry Luna.
Her father died four days after her mother's death in June.
Surviving are her sons, David and Michael Drouilliard; sister, Sandra Gulch; brothers, Dean and Brad McGiffin, and a grandson.
There will be no services. Arrangements were by McDermott Funeral Home, Las Vegas.
The family suggests tributes to Odyssey Hospice, Las Vegas, or Hospice of Northwest Ohio.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: email@example.com or 419-724-6182.