March 30, 1919 -- September 7, 2015
Henry Diener, 96, of White Pigeon, MI passed away September 7 at Thurston
Woods in Sturgis, MI. He was born March 30, 1919 in Sullivan, IL, to the late
Obed and Anna Mast Diener.
He married Mary Beachey Diener on December 23, 1937, in Arthur, IL; they
celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary before her death on February 3,
2008. He is survived by six children: Anna Louise (Paul) Yoder of
Harrisonburg, VA; Verna Marie Townsend of Chattanooga, TN; Vernon
Eugene (Gloria) Diener of Harrisonburg, VA; Jerry Lee Diener of
Harrisonburg, VA; Ronald Duane (Marilyn) Diener of Austin, TX; and Mary
Eileen (James) Sutter of Clarksville, MI. He is also survived by twelve
grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; three sisters, Lydia Miller and
Fannie Gingerich of Arthur, IL, Mary Mast of Greensburg, KY, and a brother,
Dannie (Erma) Diener of Lovington, IL.
He was preceded in death by a great grandson; three sisters, Katie
Bontrager, Lucy Otto, and Emma Bennett; and two brothers, Andy Diener
and Jerry Diener.
Henry was a man of strong convictions and wide-ranging interests. As a
young married man, he operated a farm in Arcola, IL, and began a lifelong
career in auctioneering. At age 40, he enrolled at Eastern Mennonite College
in Harrisonburg, VA graduating with a Bible major. He then served as pastor
of Pleasant Grove Mennonite Church in Fort Seybert, WV, and taught at Fulks
Run Elementary School.
Henry moved to Middlebury, IN, in 1965 to serve as principal of the Clinton
Christian School. He also pastored Riverview Mennonite Church, White
Pigeon, MI, for twenty years, taught at Roosevelt Elementary in Elkhart, IN,
and co-founded Lakeview Youth Manor, a group home providing foster care.
In the 1970’s, Henry owned and operated Michiana Painters and later
founded Michiana Tree Movers, providing “instant shade by hydraulic
spade” to residential and commercial customers until his retirement in 2002
at the age of 83.
Henry was a colorful storyteller and an avid musician who played the
harmonica enthusiastically until days before his death.
Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Riverview Mennonite Church,
69212 U.S. Hwy. 131, White Pigeon. The funeral will be held at 10:00 a.m.
Saturday at Riverview Mennonite Church. The Rev. Glen Gingerich will
officiate. Burial will be at Sunnyside Mennonite Church, in Arthur, IL.
Memorial contributions may be given to Thurston Woods in Sturgis, MI.
~ ~ ~ ~ Condolences ~ ~ ~ ~
My, what a full life of many years. As a father ,grandpa and much more a true
friend and former "student." Henry will be greatly missed. May God's Grace
and full measure of Peace be yours as you go through this change in life's
From: Luke M Drescher
~ ~ ~ ~
What an interesting person he was! We are thinking of and praying for all of
you. May you find comfort in knowing that so many people are loving and
From: Roy and Donna Heatwole
~ ~ ~ ~
Blessings as you attend to each other and reflect on the life of a remarkable
man. We can see where some of the entrepreneurial energy of the next
generations has come from! Love and prayers.
From: Owen and Ruth Ann Burkholder