Dorothy Mather Diehl
1941 - 2021
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Dorothy Mather Diehl

Alexandria - Dorothy Mather Diehl of Alexandria, NH, aged 79, passed away on December 17th in Naples, FL. She was born May 16, 1941, in Bareville, PA to George and Sarah Mather. She is survived by her husband Thomas; her sisters Alberta Gable and Violet Geib; her daughter Emily Diehl (Hunter Moseley), and grandchildren Thomas and Elena Moseley; her son John Diehl (Julie); six nieces and nephews; and numerous grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Her brother Jim predeceased her.

Dorothy, or "Dot," was a loving wife, mother and grandmother, a lifelong educator, a fitness mentor, a trailblazer, an outdoorswoman, an inspiration to many, a cheerful friend, a good listener, and more. She will be missed by the many who knew her well. In Pennsylvania, the family will hold a private celebration of her life at a date to be determined.

Dot was an extraordinarily active person. As the third of four children in a family of tenant farmers and a student in a one room school house in Pennsylvania Dutch country, she learned about hard work at a young age. When she was 13, she moved with her family to the town of Manheim. She energetically embraced the opportunities of this larger world, participating in school service groups, field hockey, cheerleading, track, tennis, the newspaper, and school plays. In her junior year, she became captain of the cheerleading team, was elected to the National Honor Society, and began dating Tom.

Dot was the first member of the Mather family to obtain a college degree, graduating in 1963 with a BS in Physical Education from Westchester State College. She married Tom and they moved to the Northeast, both choosing to pursue teaching careers.

While Tom settled into teaching English at New Hampton School in New Hampshire, Dot developed her career at nearby Plymouth State College. In a career spanning well over 30 years, Dot "wore many hats." Her academic roles included teacher: tenured professor, committee member, department chair, faculty speaker, and mentor. She was PSC's field hockey coach from 1973-1989. Her teams made post season appearances from 1980-1987 and earned an ECAC championship in 1984. She also became a strong advocate for women's equality in sports, working tirelessly and forcefully to realize for Plymouth State the opportunities promised by title IX. Additionally, Dot's PhD work qualified her to be a witness in court regarding some title IX disputes in New Hampshire. In 1998, she received the first Theodora J. Kalikow Award from Plymouth State, and in 2008, the college established the Dorothy "Dot" Diehl Award to be given annually to the female student who most embodies leadership and equity advancement in women's sports and physical education.

Throughout her life, Dot was the embodiment of physical activity and exploration. She earned three varsity letters in high school and captained the cheerleading team in both high school and college; she was involved in field hockey for over six decades as a player, coach, and umpire; she ran or biked daily; she learned, practiced, and taught, Pilates; she was a life-long tennis player and captain of several teams; she took her family cross-country skiing in the winter and swimming in the summer; she took Tom dancing whenever they could get away; she led NH visitors hiking up nearby Cardigan mountain; she learned to ice skate when she was in her 50's; she went "bouldering" (low height rock-climbing) after age 70; in retirement, she amazed her Florida doctors by biking to appointments.

But two years ago, Dot fell and suffered a severe head injury. Although she returned occasionally to the tennis court and the dance floor when she could, this "energizer bunny," as her friends called her, gradually became exhausted by complications stemming from her concussion.

In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to the Dr. Dorothy Diehl Memorial Scholarship at Plymouth State University, which can be sent to:

Dr. Dorothy Diehl Memorial Scholarship

Plymouth State University

Advancement Services

MSC 50

17 High Street

Plymouth, NH 03264-1595

or given online via

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Naples Daily News from Jan. 20 to Jan. 22, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Gendron Funeral & Cremation Services
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6 entries
February 18, 2021
I was a colleague of Dot for her entire tenure at Plymouth State. In the late 90's I experienced a number of personal events that left me barely able to cope. After Dot became aware of my situation, she would often come into my office to ask how I was doing. Her sincerity , expressed concern, and her ability to listen helped me through my darkest period.

She was everything that you can hope for in a friend.

Fortunately, years later, I was able to thank her for being there for me and for being so considerate and kind.
Gerd Lutter
February 3, 2021
Tom, Emily and John,
So sad to hear that Dot died. She was a wonderful woman with strength of character and spirit. Despite her long list of accomplishments she had an air of humility and warmth that made us feel comfortable in her presence. She always greeted us with that warm smile of hers and would express interest in our family and ask what each of us was doing. A strong woman, she was a role model to many of us at New Hampton— a working mother, an athlete and a caring friend. May you all find some comfort in the many memories of your times together.
Love, Carol and Richard Dulac
Carol Dulac
January 30, 2021
So sorry to hear about this. Sending prayers to Tom, Emily and John. I always remember Dot as a smiling, happy person, and a role model for strong women.
Caitlin Dulac
January 9, 2021
Dot was always a role model for the women in our class, graduating from Manheim Central in 1959. We cheered together, walked to school together, and were in classes together. She was always filled with life and energy, and excelled in everything she did. Thinking of her husband Tom, and family, my prayers are surrounding you. may GOD give you HIS peace ,through this time, as you mourn .
Susan (Achey) Kirchner
January 9, 2021
My condolences to the Diehl family. I was a PSU student of Dr. Diehl's and played field hockey on her team. I have many fond memories of her enthusiasm, sense of humor, encouragement, and her commitment to helping her students and athletes shine and be successful. She instilled in us important values such as integrity, kindness, service to others, and keeping healthy and fit. She often admonished me for my love of Snickers bars and, with her signature smile, suggested I "sophisticate" my eating habits. I can remember her regular summer letters that began with "Dear Fleet Footed Friends", reminding us of how many miles we should be running to be ready for the upcoming pre-season activities. We may have lost some games from time-to-time but she always made sure we could out-run the other team. I remember a few times we thought we had a day off from practice only to arrive at the field house to find she had signed us up to run in the intramural club's road race. She smiled brightly at our moans and groans. In her physical education major classes, I learned how to cross-country ski, square and folk dance (she REALLY loved dancing), referee field hockey, and somewhat improve my tennis game. Coach Diehl was a very funny, humble, and kind woman, and while it saddens me that she has passed from this earth I hope her family knows that she left behind a tremendous legacy of students and athletes who took our learnings from her and passed them on to others throughout our own careers. She was a wonderful woman with a very big heart.
Linda Mitchell
January 8, 2021
My condolences to Dr Diehl’s family. She was an amazing professor and such a positive role model. Plymouth State was so lucky to have her. One of the greats!
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