Obituary of Billy Gene Diegel
Billy Gene Diegel was released from the horrors of dementia on November 1, 2023 at his home in Meridian, Idaho with his wife holding his hand. He was born to William and Arline Diegel in Aberdeen, SD on, as he would tell people, the same day as the atomic bomb. He lived in South Dakota until moving to Idaho following Army Basic Training. In Aberdeen, ID he met and in 1968 married his wife, Lucia (Matthies).
In 1973 he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease that would plague the rest of his life and lead to dementia in his final years. His working life was interrupted by his illness several times, resulting in career adjustments and changes in direction. Over the years, he worked as a technician for the Idaho National Guard; as a professional photographer, a draftsman, a commercial HVAC sales representative and a mechanical engineer, concluding his working life at Micron in Facilities. He took flying lessons, but MS intervened. He built and flew radio control model airplanes, a hobby he enjoyed for 50 years. He learned auto mechanics from his father and for years worked on restoring old Fords.
He was particularly proud of his service to his country in the South Dakota and Idaho National Guard and the Army Reserve. He attained the rank of Sergeant First Class.
Billy is survived by Lucia, his wife of 55 years. They had no children but had a special love for four dachshunds over 40 years. He is also survived by his brother Michael (Joanne) and nieces Morgan and Kristi. He is also survived by his best friend of over 50 years, Al (Carol) Culver, whom he always remembered during his dementia, even when he forgot everyone else.
A special thanks to his Hospice nurse Brandie for her kind care during his last days and Luis, his part time caregiver in the last few months, with whom he developed a special bond.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Billy Diegel, please visit Tribute Store