Thursday, April 22, 2010

Claude Phillip Diehl Jr., SFC, USA, Ret.

The obituary was published today...

HARRISONBURG — C. Phillip Diehl Jr., 58, of the Mountain Valley area, passed away Tuesday, April 20, 2010. Phillip was born Feb. 22, 1952, in Rockingham County, and was the son of Claude Sellers Diehl and Hazel Pauline Beverage.

Mr. Diehl graduated in 1970 from Montevideo High School. He served our country for 34 years in the Virginia Army National Guard and retired in April 2006 as sergeant first class. He was a member of Mountain Valley United Methodist Church, where he was a trustee. He was a former member of the VFW in Harrisonburg and the 29th Division Association.

He is survived by his wife, Judy Gibson Diehl. They were married Sept. 23, 1989.

Also surviving are one son, Christopher Alan Diehl and wife, Layna, of Mountain Valley; two stepchildren, Neil Daniel Roadcap and wife, Jennifer, of Broadway and Angela Renee Akey and husband, Thomas, of Charlottesville; two brothers, Michael "Mickey" Diehl and wife, Nancy, of Mountain Valley and Larry Diehl and wife, Victoria, of Waynesboro; one sister, Deborah D. Miller and husband, Bob, of New Hope; and five grandchildren, Grayson, Gavin, Josh, T.J. and Tyler.

A funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday morning at Mountain Valley United Methodist Church, with Pastor Erich Bennett officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday evening at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mountain Valley United Methodist Church, 11583 Mountain Valley Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22802.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at
I am almost literally at a loss for words. Reports are that Phil took his own life. He was certainly wrestling with demons but when and where they had taken over his life, if they did, I can't say. For all the years I'd known and worked with him there was no hint of such things.

Oh, there was a bit of rowdy soldier type kidding and ribald humor but that was far and away overshadowed by a quiet and persistent dedication to accomplishing the mission. I well remember the many times Phil would hear the latest self-promotional mission statement from some commander at some level above us or the resultant administrative requirement and simply chuckle a bit, make a wry comment and move on. There were times we shared quarters, transportation and some of it less comfortable by far than our beds at home and he was always ready to join in joke or laugh at the circumstance. There were times when he demonstrated a wicked sense of humor and others when he brought others back to the compassion they ought to have felt.

There were several instances when Phil helped me or I helped him or we teamed up to help somebody else. It struck me that no matter what he might really think, Phil would always screw up to working with anyone (maybe even me!). Although he had started later than I in the full-time/active duty thing he was always professional.

This Saturday they will lay Phil to rest. I'm afraid that he's left his family without so much peace. I've prayed that they find the peace with his passing that they deserve and I hope God grants them that.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I just wanted to say that I had the privilege of serving with Phil as my supervisor. He was a great man and a great leader. He will be missed.

SSG (RET) JJ Lambert