(POP) E., 88
High Springs - Thomas (Pop) E. Diedeman, age 88, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 13, 2014, at Shands Health Center. Tom was born in Bartow, FL to Herbert and Thelma Diedeman and moved to High Springs, FL. When he was 13 he moved to Bartow, FL, where he graduated from Summerlin Institute. Upon graduation from high school, Tom enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served as a Sonarman Third Class. From 1943- 1946, Tom spent most of his stellar service career in the Pacific Theater on the USS Frament, a Destroyer Escort. Tom returned to Gainesville and earned both his Bachelors of Science and Masters of Education from the University of Florida.
He began his teaching career at High Springs School, and then became Principal of High Springs Elementary. In 1970 he was instrumental in establishing one of the first middle schools in the State of Florida. Tom retired from Spring Hill Middle School in 1990 after 40+ years.
Tom was a member of the High Springs Rotary Club where he received the Paul Harris Fellow, including over 30 years of perfect attendance. He was a member of Springhill Methodist and First United Methodist of High Springs.
Tom served as Mayor of High Springs from 1970-71.
He was a loving husband, father, brother, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He loved the City of High Springs and the surrounding area. Poe Springs was one of his favorite spots, where he taught hundreds of kids how to swim. He had a passion for education, and wanted the best for all his students and teachers. Tom and Virginia traveled extensively, visiting all seven continents.
Tom is survived by his wife Virginia of 64 years; son Tommy (Bridgett) Diedeman; daughters Linda (Tom) Sorrells; Nancy (Greg) Gillman; sister Virginia Anderson; grandchildren Matthew, David, Brianna, Katie, Tom and Tiffany; seven great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers gifts made in memory of Tom Diedeman may be made to the Springhill Methodist Church, 1623 NW 278 Avenue, Alachua, FL 32615.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, August 16, at the First United Methodist Church of High Springs on 441.
Arrangements are being handled by Evans Carter Funeral, High Springs, Florida 386-454-2444.
Evans-Carter Funeral Home
220 North Main Street High Springs, FL 32643
Published in Gainesville Sun from Aug. 15 to Aug. 16, 2014