Lt. Cmdr. Deborah Diehl, USN (Ret.), 53, a three-year resident of Maryland, died January 6 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.
She was born Sept. 29, 1957, in Chicago Ill., to Don and Jean Tyrrell, and was employed by the U.S. Navy, retiring after 23 years on November 5, 2010 as a Lieutenant Commander, Nurse Corps. Deborah graduated from Scottsdale High School in Arizona in 1975, and attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and Ohio State University in Columbus. She was a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority.
Lt. Cmdr. Diehl enlisted and graduated from Recruit Training Command, Orlando, Fla. in 1980 and was then stationed in New Orleans, La. She went on to graduate from Naval Hospital Corps "A" School, Great Lakes, Ill. in 1981 and was assigned to the Branch Medical Clinic, Naval Station San Diego as an Emergency Medical Technician for the duration of her four-year enlistment.
Lt. Cmdr. Diehl earned her Associate Degree in Nursing in May 1990 and began work on a high-risk Labor and Delivery unit in Texas. She rejoined the Navy in 1992 under the Technical Nurse Warrant Officer Program and was stationed at Naval Medical Center San Diego where she earned the specialty certification for Labor and Delivery. When she was a CW03 she graduated with her Bachelor's degree in nursing from Bowie State University, and was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy Nurse Corps at the United States Naval Academy Clinic in 1997. She transferred to Naval Hospital Twenty-nine Palms, Calif., where she worked in the Emergency Department and then assumed the Division Officer position in the Family Practice and Pediatric clinics.
In 2000, she took orders to Naval Hospital Corps School in Great Lakes, Ill., where she served as an instructor, developed curriculum, and supervised the students' clinical rotations. She held a Master's in education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. Orders following graduation were to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va. Assignments included Associate Department Head of Command Education and Training and Division Officer of Labor and Delivery. While at Portsmouth she deployed with the USNS Comfort on a four-month humanitarian mission as the Assistant Training Officer. Lt. Cmdr. Diehl's final assignment was at the Navy Medicine Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education Command in Bethesda, as Program Director for Simulation and Gaming.
Her personal awards include Navy Commendation Medals, Navy Achievement Medals, Navy Good Conduct Medal, Navy Unit Commendations, Public Health Meritorious Unit Award, and various service and campaign awards. Her designations include Master Training Specialist and Surface Warfare Medical Department Officer.
Deborah loved spending time with her daughters, niece, nephew and all her close family and friends. Deborah's interests included entertaining, gardening, decorating, skydiving, taking care of her animals, and maintaining the many friendships that she developed. Even with all of her moves, she considered herself an Arizonan and was looking forward to spending time there in retirement.
She is survived by her father, Don and stepmother, Alice of Sedona, Ariz.; two daughters, Jennifer Diehl of Silver Spring and Lauren Diehl of Milwaukee, Wis.; two siblings, Susan, and John and wife Pamela; and niece and nephew, Pierce and Caroline, all of Davidsonville.
Friends are invited to Deborah's Life Celebration at 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 13 at the George P. Kalas Funeral Home, 2973 Solomons Island Road. Interment is private. Memorial donations may be made to Fisher House Foundation for Wounded Warriors. Arrangements by the George P. Kalas Funeral Home, Edgewater.