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Donald R. Diestelmeier

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Donald R. Diestelmeier Obituary
Donald R. Diestelmeier 1935—2017
Donald R. Diestelmeier, 82, passed away Thursday, November 2, 2017, at FHN Memorial Hospital. He was the son of Raymond and Pauline (Beck) Diestelmeier. He was born January 6, 1935, in Freeport, IL. Don is survived by his wife, Shirley (Nes) Diestelmeier, and his three children, Jeff (Maria) of Roscoe, IL, Mark (Shellie) of Kenosha, WI, and Beth (Mark) Madden of Iowa City, IA; three grandchildren, Megan (Jimmy) Starke, Matt Diestelmeier, and Ben Madden; one great-grandchild, Leo Starke; two siblings, Judy (Arlen) Meyers of Freeport, IL and Ronald (Connie) Diestelmeier of Rockford; and numerous nieces and nephews. Don attended Flansburg and Eleroy grade schools and Lena High School. He attended Bradley University before serving two years in the army, mostly with the Military Police Unit at 5th Army Headquarters in Chicago, IL. He served in a special Honor Guard for Queen Elizabeth when she visited this country in 1959. Don's passion was building, restoring, and repairing pipe organs. He apprenticed with Richard Dirksen and E.N. Lewis, owners of the Freeport Organ Company. Larry Krusie, a lifelong friend, was also learning the trade. Together they purchased and operated the Freeport Organ Company. Both were active with sales and installations of Reuter Pipe Organs of Lawrence, Kansas. Their territory covered several Midwest states. They also did installation and service work in the Washington, D.C. area that included work in the National Cathedral, as well as work in Florida. He took great pride in his craft and continued his life's work into semi-retirement. Don's memberships included First Lutheran Church, Freeport, IL, Rockford Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (A.G.O.), Audubon Society, and the Amvets. Don was also an avid gardener all of his life. He had a good sense of humor and was loved by many.
Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, November 6, at First Lutheran Church in Freeport, with visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. Burial will be at Oakland Mausoleum. A memorial fund has been established in his name. Condolences may be shared with his family at www.walkermortuary.com.
Published in The Journal-Standard from Nov. 3 to Nov. 5, 2017
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