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DIEHL, Craig D., Dr. 1947-2018


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 5/16/2019 at 08:06:40

Dr. Craig D. Diehl died Sunday February 18, 2018 at home with a dear friend Laurie Bart by his side. He was 70 years old, a beloved father, grandfather, pediatrician, and friend to many. Dr. Diehl was the son of Mae Warner and Homer Diehl, and brother to Charlie Diehl.

He was raised on a farm in Eldora, Iowa and promptly enlisted with the Marines when he graduated from high school. Shortly after deployment to Vietnam, he was injured and sent home. He received a purple heart and over the course of his life, had frequent surgeries for the wounded leg. Dr. Diehl married his wartime pen pal Bonita Warning, and they had two sons, Mike and Jim. He used GI benefits to earn a mechanical engineering degree through the universities of Eau Claire, WI and Tucson, AZ; then took a job at the Ford Proving Ground in Yucca, AZ. After working with Ford for eight years, Dr. Diehl decided he wanted to be a physician. He attended the American University of the Caribbean in Montserrat and graduated with his medical degree in 1983. He completed a short internship at Iowa Methodist Hospital, then a three-year pediatrics residency at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, IA.

The family moved back to Lake Havasu City where he began his medical practice named Lake Havasu Pediatrics in October 1986. For thirty years, Dr. Diehl attended deliveries, cared for babies and children in the hospital, and saw patients at his office on Mesquite Avenue. He was a skilled and intuitive physician with a fun and gentle manner. He could tease his patients into submission and explain difficult concepts to parents with engineer style drawings. His employees adored him, and his medical peers respected him. His favorite part of the day was seeing newborns in the nursery. Dr. Diehl had no intentions to retire, but a serious lung condition forced it upon him. With great sadness, he ended his practice March 2017.

Dr. Diehl was hospitable and generous with his time. If you showed up at his doorstep, you would be invited in for a cup of coffee and some pancakes. If you were hospitalized, he would visit you. If you were a student needing preceptorship, he would take you under his wing and teach you. If you were an uprooted foster child or a child with severe disabilities unable to find a medical home, he was your caregiver. If you were a marine, your newborn son got that "special surgery" for free. Dr. Diehl was a proud marine. He was proud of his sons for the fine men and fathers they have become. He was both proud and humbled to assist at the beginning, and sometimes at the end of lives. He never forgot that parents entrusted him with those most precious to them.

Above all, Dr. Diehl enjoyed himself. He was not one to be bored or boring. He was a serial hobbyist, ever curious to try new things. His brother recalls that he always had his nose in a book, trying to figure something out. His final project was the completion of a wooden ocean grade kayak meant for his granddaughter Jessie.

Dr. Diehl is survived by his brother, Charlie (Lois), his sons, Mike (Stacey) and Jim (Jen), his granddaughters, Jessie and Myah.

He was grateful for the love of Laurie, the care from the angels of River Valley Hospice, and the 25 years of support from Marge and the Sun Group. He appreciated all of his employees, hospital nurses, and fellow physicians.

Anyone wishing to donate is encouraged to make it to Phoenix Children's Hospital or any children's charity or your choice.

A Funeral Service will be held at 10:00AM on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at St. Michaels United Methodist Church with Graveside to follow at Lake Havasu Memorial Gardens.

Services were placed in the care of Lietz-Fraze Funeral Home.

--Lietz-Fraze Funeral Home (www.lietz-frazefuneralhome.com)


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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