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Submitted by Ann Weber
(permission granted)

Diehl Leon Craven

Born: May 17, 1918
Died: January 28, 2011

Diehl Leon Craven, age 92, departed from this earth on January 28, 2011 to meet his heavenly Father and be re-united with Jean, the love of his life and his wife of 64 years. The love and devotion he gave to Jean as she battled a long illness were returned to him by loving caregivers during his final months.

Diehl was born on May 17, 1918 in Mulhall, OK to J.W. and Stella Craven. He was proud to carry his motherís maiden name and loved to share stories about his Grandmother and Grandad Diehl and growing up in the small community of Mulhall. The foundation for his unquestionable integrity and strong moral beliefs came from a place where family, school, church, and community were the main focus.

He loved nature, animals, and just being in the great outdoors. He belonged for many years to the Oklahoma Beagle Club and loved watching his beagles run rabbits. He raised a garden for many years and enjoyed sharing his garden vegetables with friends and neighbors. He never missed an opportunity to play backyard basketball, baseball, or football with his children and grandchildren, and loved to outrun them in backward motion.

Diehl graduated from Central State University in 1940, where he was a member of the student senate and the science club, with a bachelorís degree in math and science education. He began his teaching career in Washington, OK where he met his wife, Jean, who was a high school English and drama teacher. He left his position in 1942 to join the Army, marry Jean, and proudly serve his country in Persia (Iran) as part of a water treatment corps of engineers company.

At the conclusion of World War II in 1945, Diehl and Jean came to Guthrie, OK. Diehl joined the Guthrie Public School System and spent 35 years teaching math at both the junior high and high school levels. He coached basketball for many years and spent the final years of his career running the scoreboard for every high school basketball and football game, and wrestling match. He also subbed across the school district for seven years after his retirement. He received his masterís degree in school administration from Oklahoma State University but chose to remain in the classroom. His passion for teaching and genuine concern for young people made a lasting impact on those growing up in the Guthrie community who remember him as teacher, coach, bus driver, and friend. The 1976 Guthrie Kynewisbok yearbook was dedicated to Diehl for his longtime commitment to educating Guthrieís students. One of his greatest joys in his retirement years was going to local restaurants and having former students come over to visit with him. He believed there was no greater purpose in life than making a difference in the life of a child, and what a difference he made in the lives of Guthrieís children and in the lives of his own children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He lived his life with strength, dignity, courage, humor, and grace. He always had a kind word and a big smile for everyone he met.

Diehl was a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Oklahoma Coachesí Association, the Kiwanis Club, the Retired Teachersí Organization, the United Methodist Church, and was a 32nd degree Mason.

He was preceded in death by his wife Jean, his parents, his sister Vera, his brother Glenn, and his beloved grandson Jeff. As Diehl makes his final slide into home base and touches the hand of God, he leaves behind the children he dearly loved and nurtured: Jennifer Pate, Lary and Kathy Craven, Caradith Craven, and Gary and Emily Orosco. He was so proud of his grandchildren: Jamie, Brian, Robin, Sandy and Edrick, Brice and Brandy, Jeff, Courtney, Faber, and Jordan; and loved looking at pictures of his three great-grandchildren, Anthony, Brynna, and Bronson. He was also blessed with a wonderful sister, Opal Murphy, many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and wonderful friends and former students.

The family would like to express their appreciation for the loving, compassionate care given to Diehl during the past five months by the nurses and staff at Logan Medical Center, Edmond Specialty Hospital, Loving Care Home Health, and Crossroads Hospice.

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m., Friday, February 4, 2011 at Smith Memorial Chapel with Pastor Adrian Pollard of Mulhall United Methodist Church officiating. Interment will follow at Roselawn Cemetery, Mulhall. Services are under the direction of Smith-Gallo Funeral Home, Guthrie.

Visitation will be Thursday, 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. and Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

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