Friday, November 27, 2020

Obituaries for Don & Jan Diehl

Don & Jan Diehl

Obituary for Donald A. Diehl

Donald A. Diehl, 92 of Bluffton, passed away on Thursday morning, Nov. 5, 2020, at Christian Care Retirement Community.

Don was born in Chicago, IL. on July 20, 1928 to William and Harriet (Pulaski) Diehl. He married Jeanette "Jan" (Marunde) on September 29, 1966 in Villa Park, IL.

Don worked as a bank examiner for the FDIC and at Harris Bank in Illinois, where he retired in 1988. Growing up, Don was active in the Boy Scouts of America as an Eagle Scout and was a polio survivor. He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed many fishing trips to Canada! He was a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs, Blackhawks and Bears. He played in cribbage leagues when he and Jan lived In Sarasota, Florida for many years. Don served as Treasurer of the Condominium Board for many years where they resided in Florida.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Jan of Bluffton along with a daughter, Donna (John) Emshwiller of Bluffton, son Bill (Carol) Kovach of Wolcottville and 7 grandchildren; Brian Kovach, Bridget Kovach Vasquez, Brittney (Kevin) Gerrish, Brad Kovach, Evan (Mandy) Kovach, Rachel (Alex) Fiock and Lucas Emshwiller, along with 10 great-grandchildren.

Don is preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Howard Diehl.

Due to the pandemic, there will be no service at this time. Burial will be at a later date at Ridgewood Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Thoma/Rich, Lemler Funeral Home in Bluffton. Friends can send online condolences to the family at!/Obituary 


Obituary for Jeanette "Jan" E. Diehl

Jeanette “Jan” E. Diehl, 89 of Bluffton, passed away on Monday, November 23, 2020 at Christian Care Retirement Community.

Known as Jeannie to her siblings, she was born in Bensenville, IL on January 8, 1931 to William and Eleanor Marunde. On September 29, 1966 in Villa Park, IL, she married Donald Diehl. He precedes her in death on November 5, 2020.

Don and Jan spent 22 happy years of retirement in Florida. She loved the beach and collecting shells. She was also on the condominium beautification committee and looked after many neighboring condos for snowbird friends.

Survivors include sons; Bill (Carol) Kovach of Wolcottville, and David Kovach, IL, a daughter Donna (John) Emshwiller of Bluffton, seven grandchildren; Brian Kovach, Bridget Kovach Vasquez, Brittney (Kevin) Gerrish, Brad Kovach, Evan (Mandy) Kovach, Rachel (Alex) Fiock and Lucas Emshwiller, along with 10 great-grandchildren, and siblings Kenny (Mary) Marunde and Beverly (Bill) Bayes.

Jan is preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 54 years, Don, her eldest son Dale Kovach, and three brothers; William, Howard and Lincoln Marunde.

Due to the pandemic, there will be no service at this time. Burial will be at a later date at Ridgewood Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Thoma/Rich, Lemler Funeral Home in Bluffton. Friends can send online condolences to the family at!/Obituary

Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Birthday to Lissi!

Lissi Diehl will celebrate her 
100th birthday 
on 27 December 2013! 

She was born Elizabeth Diehl on 27 Dec 1913 in Marburg, Hessen, Germany to Jacob and Lina (Schraub) Diehl.  She had two younger sisters, Margarete and Hildegard.  During the Diehl Family Gathering in Butzbach, Germany in 2007 she met many cousins from other countries, including Finland, Sweden and the USA.  She still lives in her home in Butzbach under the care of her nephew Alfred Häuser.

Hilde and Lissi in 2007

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hilde Diehl 1922 – 2012

Hilde Diehl died suddenly and peacefully on December 12, 2012. She was admitted to hospital in the afternoon and died a few hours later.  The funeral took place Tuesday December 18, 2012. According to her wishes only the closest relatives were present.  She is survived by her sister Elisabeth Diehl, her nephew Alfred Häuser and many extended family members.

The Struggle is Now Over

Hilde was born Hildegard Anna Margarethe Diehl on 9 July 1922 in Butzbach Germany.  Her parents were Jakob and Lina (nee Schraub) Diehl.  She was the youngest of three sisters and never married.    She worked as a bookkeeper and was an avid genealogy researcher.  In her later years she lived with her sister Elisabeth in Butzbach. 

In June 2005 she traveled to Helsinki Finland to meet family she had been seeking for many years.  She was a surprise guest at the first Diehl Family Gathering hosted by Franciska Diehl Sundholm.  We celebrated her 83rd birthday at the gathering.  Her nephew Alfred and his wife, Inge, had accompanied her to the event.  In 2007 most of those same relatives visited her in Butzbach for a Family Gathering.   On July 9, 2012 she celebrated her 90th birthday in Butzbach, Germany with family.  She was in relative good health although she suffered from arthritis for many years.

Delores Diehl Brawner 1929 -2012

We learned that Delores  “Dee” Brawner, nee Delores Daisy Diehl, suffered a heart attack on May 17 and passed away on May 21, 2012.  A note was received from her daughter Theresa informing us of her mother’s passing.

Dee was born March 22, 1929, the daughter of Frank Diehl and Catherine "Kate" Harkey who preceded her in death, as did her brother John "Jack" Diehl.  The obituary is posted with further details on her family.

from the funeral card

Newspaper Obituary

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Diehls Have It!

I have always endorsed my sister Caron as the family expert in genealogy and I have happily accompanied her overseas a few times to meet our “shoe string relatives”. The thing that struck me the most when seeing and meeting our great aunties of the Diehl family of Butzbach, Germany, was how much they looked like my U.S. born grandmother, her sisters and brother and their descents who were born with the Diehl name: The pure white hair, the small to average statue, the bushy eyebrows of the men (!).

Butzbach family reunion 2007 
Great Aunties Elisabeth and Hilda Diehl, in front of their nephew Alfred and his wife Inge

Sarasota, Florida balcony - prior to 2005
My father Aaron (mother was a Diehl) with his cousins Grace (Diehl) Riegler and Don Diehl

In looking back and knowing many current members, it is also interesting to note that there are several academics, artists, artisans and other entrepenurial and creative types in the family.

Finally, seemingly, the world is getting smaller. The Diehl family that can trace it roots to the 1400s and the Roman-era market town outside of Frankfurt, has spread to Finland, Norway, Sweden, Canada, and the U.S. with other countries and ethnicities represented in the current greatly extended family. I am glad to have met these interesting new relatives and hope all my "some kind of cousins" continue to stay in touch.

I look forward to meeting more family members in the future as my sister continues her research and finds the keys to unlock other doors with DNA tests and new contacts for other branches of the family! With a little luck, Caron and I will be able to make a few more trips to "The Old Country". 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Genealogy: Collecting dead relatives and sometimes a live cousin!

Since I was a young girl, I knew my great-grandfather’s name was Adolph Diehl.  I knew he was born in Norway and came to Chicago in the late 1880s where he married my great-grandmother Marie Westby.  I knew of their 9 children because many of them were still alive and living in the Chicago area.

It was later that I learned that Diehl was actually a German surname.  So why did my Norwegian grandfather have a German name?  I will say that it made searching records a bit easier – Diehls from Germany were not of my line.  It also made it harder – most Diehls were from Germany!

I started using computers in the early 1990s to keep track of my family tree.  Once the Internet gained popularity, I made use of it.  I found the Norwegian Census on-line for 1865 and there I found my Diehls in Kristiania (Oslo today)!
Census year: 1865
Municipality: Kristiania
Municipality number: 0301
Street: Toldbodgaden
Town quarter: Vor Frelsers Menighed

Family Status
Birth place
Adolph Diehl 
Darmstadt  (Germany)
Marie Diehl

Wilhelm Diehl

Carl Diehl  

Fredrik Diehl

Sophie Diehl   

Siegward Diehl


Conrad Diehl 


This discovery was the first crack in this “brickwall” for me.  It ultimately led to finding cousins in Finland, Sweden, and Germany.  I also found other Diehl family members that emigrated to the United States.  You can see some of them on the Family Diehl web site!

I would like to invite other Diehl cousins to post their memories and early discoveries on this blog.   How did you get started researching the family history?  Share your memories and pictures of the older generations.

Painting of Adolph Diehl, owned by Donald Diehl
Believed to have been painted from a photograph

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Welcome To The Diehl Family Blog!

Welcome To Official Blog Of The Diehl Family From Butzbach and their descendants.
Here you will be able to read up on posts from family members and keep in touch.
You will be able to share photos and stories on our blog.