Richard Leonard Diffenderfer
Richard Leonard Diffenderfer, 85, passed away on December 12, 2013 in Mesa, AZ. Born in Jackson, Michigan on August 21, 1928, he graduated from St. Mary's Catholic High School in 1946 and attended Jackson Junior College from 1947 - 1950. He served in the US Air Force from 1950 - 1954. Mr. Diffenderfer finished his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering at Michigan State University from 1954-1957.He married Patricia Ann Parrish in 1953 and had four children; Stephen, Robert, David, and Jan Marie. Richard worked for the Bureau of Public Roads (Federal Highway Administration) from 1957 until his retirement in 1986. Mr. Diffenderfer was instrumental in the areas of highway design and road and bridge construction.Toward the end of his career, Richard was a consulting engineer from 1986 - 1990 before retiring to Alligator Point, FL. On October 23, 1993, Richard married Helen Marie Solberg, welcoming two stepchildren, Douglas Solberg and Linda Solberg. Helen and Richard moved to Arizona in 1994 and settled in Mesa.Richard is also survived by his grandchildren Charlie, Hope, Lily, Noah, Melissa, Brian, Josh, Jessica, and Ashley, and great grandchildren Ava, Madisen, Caden, Troy, Ryot and Taysa. Mr. Diffenderfer was a lifelong runner and gardener, an avid tennis player, and enjoyed cards with friends and neighbors. He will be missed by all of his friends and family.A Graveside service is scheduled for 10:00 am Friday, December 20th at Mountain View Cemetery 7900 E. Main St. Mesa, AZ (480) 832-2850.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Dec. 15, 2013