Transcript for Woman Moves Family to New Home After Husband Dies Suddenly: Part 1
Reporter: At the foothills of the ozarks, sits Branson, Missouri, the Las Vegas of the midwest. Drive 45 miles north on old route 66 and you're in Springfield, a tranquil college town where the buckle of the bible belt meets beer joints. Here on page street, a modest 900-square-foot home, Diane staudte and her husband mark embody that unlikely mix of holy water and fire water. She's the church organist down at redeemer lutheran. âª he's the lead singer and guitarist of a local blues band messing with destiny. You'll get the irony of that later. Together the couple, former college sweethearts, are raising four kids in that small house. Six people, three small bedrooms, one bath. Tight quarters for what looks like a tight family. Did you get any sense of what their relationship was like? As far as I knew, mark's wife was great. Reporter: Charles Alexander is mark's close buddy and the drummer in the band. He was always happy with the kids, he was always happy with his wife. He loved them. He loved his family. And it was just a great family. Reporter: Well, things aren't great for everyone. See, Diane isn't just praying in church. She's paying the bills at home. Okay, mark picks up an occasional shift bartending. But Diane, a nurse is the breadwinner. She seemed to be stable and ended up supporting him. He was the house husband, stayed at home with the children. Reporter: And if mark was a laid-back Mr. Mom, the actual lady of the house was civil, if a bit standoffish. Was Diane friendly, warm? You know, she was friendly to the point that, "I can tolerate you being in my driveway." Reporter: As the years wear on, life just keeps heaping more weight on Diane's slight shoulders. Supporting her family in that cramped house and coping with some heavy challenges. Fourth grader, Brianna, has a learning disability. Son Shaun has autism and oldest daughter Sarah, a college grad, is still at home, with no job and a mountain of student debt. But inside that page street pressure cooker, Diane's beloved child is blossoming -- 22-year-old Rachel, a star student. This is the relationship that would forge the whole family's fate. She congratulated her every time Rachel had an accomplishment. When you look at it from the outside in, you think, "That's a really close mother-daughter relationship. And isn't that great?" Reporter: Ron Davis with ABC affiliate kspr-tv took us to the staudte home. And what was it about Rachel that drew her mom to her so intensely, do you think? By all indications, Rachel is an exceptional human being. Very smart, very talented, artistic. Reporter: On Facebook, Diane raves about her beloved Rachel, her art, her academics. But a nary mention for her husband mark, who in April of 2012, is finally having his moment in the spotlight. We had a good band. We were literally taking off. Reporter: He's flying high. Messing with destiny is booking semi-regular gigs in Branson, joining the Aretha franklin impersonators to get marquee billing. It's also mark's birthday weekend. These are pictures from rehearsal that night, where Charles notices that mark isn't quite himself. What did you think was going on with him? He was just so out of whack. And it wasn't like he was drunk or anything. He was just out of whack. He wasn't with us. Reporter: Then the next day, more odd behavior. He just showed up at my door one day, on a Saturday. And I said, "Mark." And he goes, "Oh, I'm here to celebrate my birthday, Charles!" Only one thing struck me so out of place, his skin color. Reporter: What did it look like? Yellow. His skin was actually a yellowish color. Reporter: So something was wrong with him. Something was wrong with him. Reporter: He's right. On Easter Sunday, Diane comes back from church and finds her husband dead in bed. I was devastated. I was devastated. Reporter: Did you have any inkling that anything was wrong? Did you get any clue that mark's health might have been bad? I mean -- No. Reporter: Yet Diane tells authorities her husband's been sick and refused to see a doctor. There's a curious ring of blood around mark's mouth, but it's not enough to alarm the medical examiner, who rules the death "Due to natural causes." It was a bit of a shock, but I thought, "Well, you know, he doesn't really exercise. He doesn't really cook, so probably not real healthy eating habits." There was no autopsy, there was no testing, he was cremated, his ashes were scattered at a lake, that was it. Reporter: Diane organizes a memorial service at redeemer lutheran church. It was, it was sad. It was a sad event. The wife wanted us to do a song in his honor. So we played the song. Reporter: Mark's favorite song, "Darkest hour." This is their audio recording from that day. âª Reporter: As the family copes with mark's sudden death, there's a small consolation, a $20,000 life insurance payout, enough for Diane to move the family to a new neighborhood and a larger home. They moved into this house, right here. Reporter: Oh, big difference. It definitely is. It's a step up from where they were.
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