A Life Well Lived.
Siegfried John Diehm, 89, passed away peacefully after a brief and sudden illness on Friday, December 4 in Chandler Regional Hospital, Chandler, Arizona.
Siegfried was born on July, 24, 1931 in Schwabisch Hall, a small town in southern Germany, to parents Leonhardt and Thekla Diehm. He was the youngest of 7 children, and was the last surviving sibling.
Siegfried grew up in Germany during World War II, and though the family experienced much hardship & difficulty, his parents’ belief in God sustained them and taught the children the value of faith and family.
In 1956 at the age of 25, Siegfried met the young, pretty Dorothy Bittlingmaier, who with her mother was on vacation from New York City, visiting with family in a nearby farming town where Siegfried’s aunt and uncle lived. The 2 youngsters hit it off, and when Dorothy left to return home, she and Siegfried wrote frequently to each other. A year later, Siegfried left his beloved Germany for Bronx, New York, and within another year, the two were wed in May of 1958.
Upon arriving in New York, Siegfried took an interest in drafting and woodworking, and attended night school to learn his new craft. He began his first woodworking/cabinet making business in Bronx, New York, then, upon moving to New Jersey in 1964, established
Diehm Woodworking Company
in Paramus, NJ. Along the way he merged his business with a friend who installed custom kitchens, but his artistic heart yearned to create masterpieces out of wood. This led to the establishment of his final company,
S. Diehm Company
in Westwood, NJ, where he ran a shop that created custom woodwork for churches, homes, offices, as well as special workmanship for companies like Goldman Sachs and the New York Port Authority.
Following the loss of Dorothy to cancer in 1995, Siegfried retired from business, but his faith, giving heart and love of travel found their expression in the mission trips he lent his craftsmanship talents to, including ship maintenance for
wheelchair supply and repair with
Wheels for the World
and the plying of his woodworking talents helping others in Albania through his church,
Pascack Bible Church
in Hillsdale, NJ. Where there was need, Siegfried was willing, his broad smile and positive attitude always at the ready.
In his spare time, Siegfried enjoyed cooking and baking for family, friends and guests. It was common for him to show up at the door with a plate of cookies, many times made from recipes handed down to him by his mother in Germany. A good bottle of wine was generally found on his table, where he enjoyed good conversation, a frequent laugh and a good meal. He had a humble spirit, and always had a word of encouragement and a prayer for those in need. His faith never wavered. He touched many lives in his time on earth, and the world is most certainly better off because he walked on it.
In 2019, after living 62 years in New York/New Jersey, Siegfried moved to Phoenix, Arizona to be closer to family, and enjoyed the landscape, warmer weather and new friends.
Siegfried is survived by his two sons Steven and Michael, their wives Debbie and Susan, and four grandchildren, Danae, Raquel, Schuyler and Adam.
Memorial services will be held in January in Paramus, New Jersey, where Siegfried will be laid to rest with his beloved wife, Dorothy. Donations may be offered in his name to the mission organizations listed above, or one you personally really care about: he generously gave to many who were in need.
For further information on memorial details, please contact Michael S. Diehm at