Just found out from Anne DeGroff about Randy's passing. I never got to meet him in person, but I enjoyed our emails regarding Diefendorf genealogy. A very nice man. My sincere condolences to his family. He will be missed.
I'm sorry to hear of this. Randy provided a great opportunity to learn more about the Diefendorf genealogy. I didn't get to know him well but he was always a pleasant gentleman. My condolences to his family.
I knew Randy via e-mail and genealogy sites and enjoyed his friendship very much. I nearly always said he was "bad to the bone" which he seemed to like.
I'm very sorry to hear of Randall's passing. I communicated with him by email few times after my father, Allen J. Diefendorf, passed away in 1996. My father and Randall had communicated quite a bit regarding the Dief family history. I truly regret not keeping up on our emails.
I'm sure that Dad and Randy are hoisting a few cold ones!
Today, I was deeply saddened to learn of Randall's passing. I would like to pass on my belated and very sincere condolences to his family and friends. I am an Australian; and Randall and I had worked together in a genetic genealogy project since 2006 via the wonders of the Internet. We were especially interested in learning whether or not our Frame families were connected and we called each other ‘cousin' regardless. BTW, at Randall's suggestion, I always called him ‘George'! I will forever miss his sharp mind, wit and good humour. RIP my friend.
My prayers are with you and your families. Randy was a great man and I will miss him greatly.
My sincerest condolensces to the entire Diefendorf family on the loss of your loved one. All of us descendents of the families of the Mohawk Valley are deeply greatful to Randall for all his research and knowledge. He will always be a part of all of us who have researched our family geneology from the original Mohawk Valley settlers and those who fought so bravely for the country we now have today. Your spirit will always be with us, Randall.
I met Randy once, after a long correspondence while searching for the family of our ancestor Samuel Frame. I kept so many of his entertaining emails because he had something rare and fine: a sharp wit and keen sense of humor.
When his voice fell silent, I can attest that hundreds of people missed him. We just returned from a trip to New York, where my son Jesse and I stopped at the Russia Union Church. Randy's name was on the church plaque commemorating his support for their restoration project. A board member asked after him, saying she was worried about him.
Everywhere we went, exploring family history in upstate New York, over several visits, we found where Randy had preceded us in our search.
What big shoes to fill. My family was honored to know Randy. He was a bright spot in our lives. We can't express how deeply he will be missed among his very many friends and widespread correspondents. He was a treasure, a gentleman, and a fine friend.
Fair winds and following seas, sir, and we will see you on the other side.
Randall Alonzo Diefendorf, a retired Boeing design specialist and a retired Army officer, died in the Burien Nursing and Rehabilitation facility on July 14, 2013.
Born in Syracuse, New York, on October 24, 1918, Mr. Diefendorf attended the University of Pittsburgh and transferred to the University of Utah where he graduated with a degree in zoology.
After college, as a gunnery officer on a small freighter, he served in the Army during WWII. While on leave, Mr. Diefendorf married Margaret Ruth Jensen, whom he had met at the University of Utah.
At the end of the war, Mr. Diefendorf worked for the Utah Bureau of Land and Mines, located in Salt Lake City. In nearby Bountiful City, he and his wife built their first home.
After a short time with the Bureau of Land and Mines, Mr. Diefendorf left Utah for Washington state where he worked until his retirement for the next 30 years at Boeing. There, he designed special sections for aircraft.
He and his family lived in Burien, but he also renovated a home in Langley, where the family spent their weekends.
Mr. Diefendorf had many interests. He sang in a Barbershop chorus. He was elected precinct committee officer and attended state Republican committee meetings, as a loyal Reagan conservative. He raised Irises, Gladiolas and Rhododendrons from seed. He researched genealogy. And he never felt dressed unless he was wearing his bow tie.
His survivors include:
- His son David R. Diefendorf and wife, Glenna Lee (Horrigan) and their four children and spouses: daughter Anna (Diefendorf) Diaz and husband, Mauricio, son Patrick A. Diefendorf and wife, Linda (Truong), daughter Jocelyn (Diefendorf) Bowen and husband Tyler and daughter Hailey, and son Ben Diefendorf.
- His daughter Barbara R. (Diefendorf) Schneeman and her two children and families, daughter Elizabeth Jean (Schneeman) Reynolds and husband, Jon and their children Charlotte, David, Elijah and Cecilia and son William T. Schneeman.
He is survived by three nephews: John S. Diefendorf and family, Thomas Randall Diefendorf and family and Dan Egan and family; and six nieces Kathryn (Diefendorf) Knowles and husband Barry, Mary Claudia (Diefendorf) Kirk and family, Carol (Diefendorf) Brandt and family, Ellen Vanhille and family, Millie Jane Egan, and Susan Odendahl and family. And many relatives he discovered across the states during his active research into family history.
The family would like to thank all the medical staff and care takers and all personnel at Burien Nursing and Rehabilitation facility for their dedicated service and care of Mr. Diefendorf. The family suggests donations to the charity of your choice in his name, and they thank you for your heartfelt love and prayers and support.
Mr. Diefendorf will be returned to Utah for burial in the Brigham City Cemetery. He will be laid to rest next to his wife, "Ruthie May".
About 20 years ago, I received a telephone call from a gentleman who said, "My name is Randy Diefendorf and I think I may be your cousin." That began years of email correspondence and a warm friendship. We did determine that we were 6th cousins and, when visiting my home town of Syracuse, NY I visited grave sites and phoned numerous cousins to provide Randy with missing names and dates for his research. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of having lunch with his grandson, Bill Schneeman (whom Randy referred to as "Little Bill"), while he was attending law school at S.U.
My deepest sympathy to all of you, and especially to Bill, at this time of your loss. I share your grief and am grateful for the gift of family that Randy gave me.
I will miss my Countryman cousin and the way he signed his emails
"My best, Randy"
My deepest sympathies. I did not know Randall but knew his brother Stuart and wife Lillian. My maternal grandmother, Corinne Frame Marquardt, was Randall's aunt, so my mother, Jane Marquardt Murphy, was his first cousin. We enjoyed visits back east from the Stuart Diefendorfs in the 1960s during the world's fair in NYC and I had the good fortune of seeing them again while visiting Murphy family members living in Seattle.
It is sad to see this generation leave us. May you find warmth and strength in cherished memories and the love and support of family.
Susan Hills Murphy
Please accept my belated condolences. May our Heavenly Father's words at Isaiah 65:17,22-24 be comforting to the family.
Dave and Glenna, My heart goes out to you. May God Bless you during this difficult time. He will live on in the hearts of all of you and the Love you all shared.