Cover photo for William Diederich's Obituary
William Diederich Profile Photo

William Diederich

d. September 26, 2019

William Boyd Diederich, age 93, died Thursday, September 26, 2019 at the Riceville Family Care Center. He was born December 1, 1925 to Ernest M. and Erma (Boyd) Diederich in Austin, Minnesota. Bill attended Pacelli and Austin Public Schools. After graduation, Bill enlisted in the US Navy on June 12, 1943 and served aboard the USS Mendocino as a Signalman First Class in the South Pacific during WWII. Following the war, he came home and married Merriam Nelson on December 27, 1947. They moved to Duluth and he attended the University of Minnesota Duluth where he graduated Cum Laude. His first and only teaching post was in Riceville, Iowa where he ran the music program from 1950-1972. In order to further his education, he attended summer school at the University of Iowa and graduated with honors with his Masters. In 1972 Bill accepted the position of High School Principal where he stayed until retirement in 1987. Bill was involved in many community programs during his time in Riceville: Boy Scout leader, Booster Club, volunteer fire fighter, Jay Cees, Community Club, American Legion, Knights of Columbus, Riceville golf course, and choir leader for Immaculate Conception Church. He was known far and wide for his beautiful voice and was requested by many to sing for weddings, funerals, and other celebrations. Some of his favorite ways to enjoy life were golfing, playing cards with friends, and of course fishing with the gang on 8th Crow Wing. In later years you could always find him at Kenny’s Oak Grill sharing a cup of coffee and a few stories with the Kenny’s crew. Survivors include his children, Deanna (Tom) Lifka, Bob Diederich, and Barb Diederich; grandchildren, Becky (Dennis) McInroy, Jeff (Diane) Lubbert, Jeremy Diederich, and Lexis (Joel) Sluys; great grandchildren, Christopher (Jennifer) McInroy, Zach McInroy, and Samuel Sluys; great great grandchildren, Savannah and Camden McInroy. He is preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Merry; his parents; and brother. His body has been donated to Mayo Foundation for research and education. There will be a memorial service on Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 2-4 pm in the church hall at Immaculate Conception Church in Riceville. There will be a private burial at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family is suggesting donations to the Riceville Family Care & Therapy Center where Bill spent the last three years of his life with his guardian angels. Condolences may be left online at

Service Information


Saturday, October 19 2019
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Immaculate Conception Church

Riceville IA

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