Frederick “Fritz” Diehl died peacefully of natural causes Friday, January 8, 2021 in his home. He was 96 and lived a long full life. He will be missed by Ruth, his wife of 74 years, his daughters, grandson, and friends. He was lovingly cared for in his last years by James and Melissa Driscoll and their family.
Fritz was born in Butler, PA on May 22, 1924. There his grandfather owned the thriving Diehl Bakery where Fritz worked while attending Butler High School and briefly after service in the Navy’s Pacific Fleet during WWII. He married Ruth E. Bachman in 1946 and they headed to Ohio where he earned his Civil Engineering degree at the University of Cincinnati and begin their joyful life adventure.
Together, they and their two daughters moved often as required for his 30-year career in large private commercial and industrial construction. Then, after several years working and consulting in Saudi Arabia, in 1980 they came “home” to Beaufort and settled into paradise at beloved Sam’s Pt on Lady’s Island.
With Ruthie at his side, they built their home and cultivated wonderful gardens and an orchard. There was always something to harvest, blooms to admire, and birds to watch. They shrimped, crabbed, and fished throughout their years on the island. They enjoyed each other’s company and were known to many on Lady’s Island. Thank you to all those that gave them a smile and a little extra care.
Fritz, never one to idle, quickly found his “retirement” job and had a second career as part of the Facilities Group on Parris Island. He was proud of the Marine Corp RD projects and the folks he worked with for 30 years until again retiring in 2016.
He enjoyed bird hunting and had a love of hunting dogs. The dogs were eager to please and were always part of the family, including the move to Saudi Arabia.
Fritz is survived by Ruth, his wife, and two daughters and a grandson. First daughter, Dana Gautier, and her husband Randy, of Brookhaven, Atlanta, GA, and their son, his sole grandchild, Kevin Gautier, of Marietta, GA, and second daughter, Gina Diehl and her husband, Steve Donohue, of Austin, Texas.
Interment with a graveside service at the Beaufort National Cemetery, 1601 Boundary St, Beaufort, SC, will be 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 13, 2021, with United States Navy Honors.