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Wilda J. Diebel

February 14, 1929 November 16, 2018
Wilda J. Diebel
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Obituary for Wilda J. Diebel

Wilda Jean Diebel (née Armstrong) died in Clawson on Friday November 16, 2018 at the age of 89 enveloped in the love of her family. She was born on February 14th 1929 in Detroit to William and Metha Vera (née Nugent) Armstrong. Wilda was the younger sister of Gerald and the older sister of Marian. She grew up in East Detroit but spent a lot of time in the Yale, Michigan area visiting with her very loving, extended family. Wilda was a true Valentine’s baby, a lover of all people.

Wilda was a graduate of East Detroit High School class of 1946. She is remembered by all as having a sweet and positive disposition. All glasses were half full in her eyes! A faithful servant of the Lord her entire life, her senior quote described her outlook on life the best - “An ounce of cheerfulness is worth a pound of sadness to serve God with.”

Wilda married Charles (Bob) Diebel on May 21, 1948. They were married in a double ceremony with Bob’s identical twin brother Elmer (Ray) and his wife Marie (née Dilts). Bob and Wilda were very involved residents of Clawson for many years where they raised their 3 children Bobby, Doug and Janet. Her children remember her as a very active participant in the Lutheran church, a Cub Scout den mother, cook extraordinaire (fudge, cinnamon buns and homemade pizza were some of her specialties) and seamstress of everything and anything one could need. Many benefited from her skillful hands over the years!

Many remember Wilda (or Mrs. Diebel) as the secretary of Kenwood Elementary School in Clawson where she worked in the school office for 17 years. To this day her former students continue to share the fond memories they have of her during her time at Kenwood. She was a favorite of her co-workers as well and cherished their friendships for the remainder of her life.

Shortly after her 1986 retirement Bob and Wilda moved to their newly built house on Lake James in Prudenville, Michigan just outside of Houghton Lake. Wilda was an avid fisherman and relished her days on the lake pulling in bass after pike after pan fish after bluegill. Whether she was fishing off the dock in the backyard, out of the rowboat or on the pontoon she had a line in the water whenever the opportunity arose. She also indulged her lifelong passions of sewing, cooking and playing cards and board games.

Wilda was the quintessential wife, mother and grandmother. She doted on her husband, children and grandchildren and loved them deeply and unconditionally. She was constantly thinking of how she could make them feel special or help them in some way, and never stopped worrying about them. She never showed up empty handed and always had goodies for her guests when they visited her. Her life was spent thinking of others and she was interested in and concerned about everyone around her. Accompanying her on errands or into town was always a lengthy process because she wanted to stop and talk to everyone. She cared about others in the purest way a human being can care for another. It was truly a remarkable privilege to witness her in action.

Bob and Wilda were married for 63 glorious years at the time of his death in 2011. Their love story was one for the ages. It is hard to imagine two people more in love than they were. She has missed him tremendously these past 7 years.

Her last years were spent in Clawson being cared for by her daughter, Janet. Wilda is survived by her children Bobby (Kim), Doug (Kathy) and Janet, her grandchildren Lisa (Edd) Frazier, Ryan Diebel, Rachel (Doug) Bayne, Megan (Bill) Wright, William Diebel, James and Joel Heppner, and Katie Trupiano, her great grandchildren Emily and Abigail Frazier, Austin and Kayse Diebel, Charles and Rebecca Bayne, Elizabeth, Matthew and Samuel Wright, her sister Marian (Kemp) Renno, her brother in law Elmer and many loving nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her parents William and Metha, her brother Gerald, her sister in laws Jean Armstrong and Marie Diebel, her son in law Bob Heppner and her beloved husband Bob.

Although those who loved her mourn her loss from this world we heed her constant reminders during times of pain and sadness that ‘this too shall pass’. We are comforted by our treasured memories of her and the knowledge that she loved and was loved throughout her life in the deepest way possible. May her love continue to give us strength and comfort throughout our lives. Until we are reunited again…Vaya Con Dios!

Private family services will be held in the spring at Great Lakes National Cemetery where she and Bob will be rejoined.


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