Obituary: Richard Diemer, 89, Cookeville, Tenn.

Staff Writer
Morton Times-News

Funeral services for Rev. Dr. Richard Dean Diemer, 89, of Cookeville, were held 11 a.m., Monday, May 27, 2013, at First United Methodist Church in Cookeville. Interment followed at Crest Lawn Cemetery.

The family received friends from 4-7 p.m. Sunday, May 26, 2013, at the Cookeville Chapel Hooper-Huddleston- Horner Funeral Home and Monday from 10 a.m. until service time at the church.

Dr. Diemer passed into the eternal presence of Jesus on Monday evening May 22, 2013, at his residence in Cookeville after a prolonged illness.

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

He is survived by his son, Mark Preston Diemer and wife Debbie of Oak Ridge, Tenn.; his daughter, Marcia Kay Diemer Mullins and husband Gene of Cookeville; grandson, Andrew P. Diemer of Nashville, Tenn.; sister, Violet Hillman of Morton, Ill.; sister-in-law, Wilma Diemer of Cookeville; Amanda Mullins Galbraith of Memphis, Tenn.; and several nieces and nephews.

He was born in Groveland, Ill., to the late Frank Frederick and Clara Lavina Birkey Diemer.

Dr. Diemer graduated as valedictorian from St. Paul Bible College with Th.B in theology in 1949. He then received a B.A. in 1954 from Taylor Univ., Upland, Ind. He received a M.A. in social science in 1956 from Ball State Univ., Muncie Ind. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Purdue Univ. in 1966.

He taught at Tennessee Tech from 1962 until his retirement in 1989. During his teaching career at Tech, he served as chair of the Dept. of Sociology and Philosophy from 1967 through 1975. It is estimated that he taught over 13,000 students during his tenure.

Well-loved by his students, he was a three-time recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award. He also volunteered hundreds of hours as Cookeville’s first licensed marriage counselor and was a Clinical Member of the American Assoc. for Marriage and Family Therapy.

He began his ministry for the Lord teaching and preaching at age 17 at the Peoria, Ill., rescue mission. He preached at several Evangelical Mennonite and Methodist churches in Illinois and Indiana from 1949-1961.

He was an ordained Methodist pastor, serving in several Methodist churches and filling in at many other churches in the Upper Cumberland area from 1963-1993. He faithfully served as hospital chaplain for several years.

Dr. Diemer’s avocation was cattle farming and was known around the area for the good care he took of his cattle. He also loved boating, water skiing, fishing, and hunting.

His dry sense of humor was revealed by once describing these as “leisure activities with a question mark.”

In addition to his parents, Frank and Clara Diemer of Groveland, Ill., he was preceded in death by his wife of 39 years, Hilda Binnington Diemer of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; two sisters, Fern Diemer and Marjorie Civey; two brothers, Floyd Diemer of Groveland, Ill., and Dennis Diemer of Cookeville, Tenn.; and one grandson, Richard Binnington Mullins of Cookeville, Tenn.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Cookeville Rescue Mission P.O. Box 1144, Cookeville, TN 38503) or The Gideons International PO Box 422, Cookeville, TN 38503).

The family wishes to thank caregivers Sandy Baliff, RN, CNP; Dr Kathy Bertram and nursing staff; Shannon Hunter, RN; Dr. Randy Gaw; Highland Rim Home Health Care; Maxine Gaw; Home Instead Senior Care; Linda Lisic; Jan Fritz; and private caregivers Jo Jones, Suzanne Buck, Angi Linde, and Tammy King for their loving, devoted care.

Pallbearers will be Mark Diemer, Andrew Diemer, Gene Mullins, Jerry Boyd, Jerry White, Dr. Chris Wilson, Wayne Nichols, Dr. Dean Richey, Davis Watts, Dr. Harsha Mookherjee, Paul Davis, and John Roberts. Honorary pallbearers will be the staff at Maddie’s restaurant.

Pastor Jim Rodgers, long time associate and dear friend, will officiate at the services. Jay Archer, District Superintendent for the United Methodist Church, and Pastos Donnie Davidson of Cookeville Life Church will assist.

Dr. Diemer endeavored to live his life by the following verses in Hebrews: “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

Hooper Huddleston & Horner Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements: (931) 526-6111.

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