George William Diehl, beloved father, grandfather and great grandfather, left us for his next adventure on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. Active and independent until his death, he attributed his longevity to a life of moving forward.
He was born May 3, 1919, in Clinton, Iowa, to Roy and Edith Swanson Diehl. He lived his early life in Morrison, Illinois, and later on his family’s farm near Morrison. He attended a one-room country school in Morrison, where he graduated from eighth grade after seven years.
He loved the outdoors and spent many hours as a boy hunting and fishing with his grandfather, Jacob. He was featured in Outdoor Life Magazine in 1937 with his hunting dogs.
George graduated from Morrison High School in 1936 and completed a civil engineering program, extension division ICS Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1941. He began his federal career in 1941 in Savanna, Illinois, and transferred to Tooele Ordnance Depot in 1942. In 1956, he led a special task force in the development of operations support for the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, which later became the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA).
In 1945, he married Mildred C. Young of Lewiston, Idaho. George and Millie were the parents of four children. They later divorced. George retired from the federal government in 1976 from his position of Executive Assistant to the Commander at Tooele Army Depot.
George attended the College of Business Administration at the University of Utah. After retirement, he joined the University of Utah Bureau of Community Development where he worked as the interim director from 1978-79. In this position, he assisted communities in the State of Utah in problem areas of land use planning, budget and economic development.
George valued community service and the responsibility of voting. In 1983, he was elected Mayor of Tooele, Utah. He served as mayor until 1994, having been re-elected to three consecutive terms. He would be disappointed to know that he will not have the opportunity to vote for his granddaughter in the upcoming mid-term elections.
George married Violet Gooch in 1986. They were married for over 25 years, until her death in August 2011. In 1954, he built a family cabin in the High Uintas at Christmas Meadows. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling to the cabin with family and friends. He spent his retirement years as a day trader and always had a curiosity about the world and new technology around him. He kept up with modern technology and was proficient on his iPhone, iPad and laptop computer.
George was a charter member of the First Lutheran Church, Tooele, Utah, for over 50 years. He was also a member of the Elks and Eagles lodges for over 35 years. George utilized his extensive management skills to help many organizations develop and grow. He served on various boards of directors and volunteered with numerous community organizations. Notably, in 1993, he was invited by the President’s Committee on Chemical and Biological Convention Matters, and the Academy of Sciences of the Russian Federation, to participate in the first Moscow Conference on Chemical and Biological Arms Control.
George is survived by his loving “village” of four children: Paul Diehl, Ronald Diehl (Connie), Tina Moerer (Michael), and Martha Burbidge (Gary); seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, one great-great grandchild and many special friends that he considered family.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Violet; two grandchildren, Eric and Shannon; and daughter-in-law, Diane. The family would like to thank special caregivers, including Intermountain Hospice, Dr. Carole Baraldi and Lisa Schofield.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Eric Moerer Memorial Fund at the Department of Family and Consumer Studies, University of Utah, 228 Alfred Emery Building, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84112.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at Tate Mortuary, 110 S. Main Street, Tooele. Visitation is from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.