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
17 High Street
Plymouth, NH 03264-1595
or given online via go.plymouth.edu/diehl