Robert Dale Diefenbaugh Sr passed away in his home on Sunday, October 22, 2017. He was 96.
Dale was born on April 23, 1921 in the family home on a farm in Litchfield, NE to Elmer and Shirley (Eastabrooks) Diefenbaugh. In1937, Elmer passed away and the family moved into town. Dale attended and graduated from Litchfield High School on January 13, 1939 where he was allowed to go to school in the morning and work in the afternoon his senior year to help support his family.
After he graduated, he hitchhiked to Fort Calhoun, NE where he found work on a farm belonging to his future Step-Father, John Autzen. Dale then joined the Army July 25, 1942 serving with Battery C, 630 Coast Artillery Separation Battalion as a Military Policeman in Africa and Italy during World War II. He was proud to have served his country and loved telling stories of his military experiences especially of the little dog that became his sidekick during his tour in Italy. He was honorably discharged in November of 1945.
After being discharged from the service, Dale came back to Fort Calhoun to work for his Step-Father, John Autzen on the farm. On March 2, 1947, he married Lois Stewart at the Presbyterian Church in Fort Calhoun, NE. They lived and farmed east of Fort Calhoun. In 1973, he went to work for the City of Fort Calhoun as the City Maintenance man until his retirement at the age of 72. In 2011, they lost their home to the flood and moved with their son and daughter-in-law to Blair.
Dale LOVED to garden. It was not uncommon for him to have 100+ tomato plants during the season because when he wanted a tomato, he wanted a tomato. And lots of potatoes - he had to have at least one to eat every day! He also loved building things from storage sheds to bird houses and delighted in giving them away and seeing them put to use.
Dale was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Shirley and Step-Father, John; brother, Don and sisters, Fern, Lois and Peggy.
Dale is survived by his wife, Lois of 70 years, Blair; son, Bob (Lori) of Blair; Grandchildren Jason (Suzanne) of Omaha, Julie (Brandon) Klanderud of Omaha, 6 Great Grandchildren; Ethan, Parker and Olivia Diefenbaugh and Laurel Bennie and Ben and Grace Klanderud and nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, October 28th from 1 to 3 pm at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Community Chapel in Blair NE. Private graveside service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be sent to the Fort Calhoun and Kennard Fire Departments.
Chapel of Memories
9001 Arbor Street #111
United States 68124