Obituaries – 04-17-2019

Philip A. ‘Phil’ Dieffenbach

Philip A. ‘Phil’ Dieffenbach, 93, affectionately known as Pere to family and friends, died March 29.

Active and engaged until the very end of his life, he ran a marathon, survived leukemia in his mid-50s and played tennis and fished into his 80s.

He was a lover of bridge and opera and was happiest living near the beach, dividing his time each year between Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Anna Maria Island.

He was born in 1926 in Jersey City, New Jersey, and was one of seven children. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, he graduated from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and earned a master’s degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology in natural gas technology.

During his time in Chicago, he met and married Margaret Hawkins. In the 1950s and ’60s, he helped design and oversee the construction and management of the natural gas distribution pipeline system in the western United States. In 1968, he earned a master’s in business administration from the University of Colorado and became an executive in corporate planning for the Southern Railway Co., where in the 1970s and ’80s, he helped shape the current structure of the freight rail system in the eastern United States.

He loved family events, from vacations in warm and wonderful places to Christmas and birthday celebrations, where a running joke was his gag gifts of tennis balls or a dreaded ornamental rooster sculpture. His strong intellect, dry wit and zest for life will be missed by all who knew him.

A celebration of life was held April 15 in Holmes Beach.

He is survived by his special companion, Lynn Carter; brothers Arthur and William and wife Barbara; children Carl and wife Ann, David and wife Cynthia, Louise and husband Randy and Ann and husband Ben; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.


Dennis Norman Rose

Dennis Norman Rose, 71, a longtime resident of Anna Maria Island, died March 29.

He was born Jan. 5, 1948, in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.

He obtained a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Calgary, a master’s degree from York University in Toronto and completed post-graduate studies in Chinese language at Indiana University.

One big triumph and joy came in June 1988, when he was able to obtain a green card and enjoy the “freedom” he so loved about the United States. He became a citizen in 1993 and cried through the ceremony. He was proud of his knowledge of the Constitution and government and felt privileged to live in the United States.

He had a terrific career in business, during which he bought and sold and ran businesses for himself and other people. He loved the business world but, after selling the last one, decided to work less and stay home more.

He became a high school math teacher until his retirement in 2014. He enjoyed teaching and was known for his adherence to the rules, high expectations of students, white shirts, khaki pants and free tutoring.

He loved his playtime and toys. He was a longtime scuba diver, pilot, boater, motorcyclist, shooter and car enthusiast. He often said he would love to have back the money he had spent on Corvettes, but he was happier with the cars.

He was a longtime member of the Florida Engineering Society, Aircraft owners and Pilots Association and National Rifle Association, was a licensed CAM and served for many years on his condo board.

He loved his family and never met a stranger. He will be missed by his family and many friends.

He had no religion; he didn’t oppose it, he just didn’t have one himself. So there will be no service. A private wake will be held.

He is survived by his much-loved wife of more than 23 years, Brenda; brothers Ken and wife Diana and David and wife Liz; sister Beth and husband Byron; sons Darren and wife Meaghan and David and wife Renee; stepsons Walter Nunemaker and wife Courtney and Trent Nunemaker and wife Megan; grandsons Garrett, Connor, Griffin, Nolan, Everett, Nathan and Cason.

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