Robert Clifford Diederich, Bob, 89, passed away on October 24, 2019 in his home in Billings, Montana of natural causes.
Bob was born on August 14, 1930 in Casper, Wyoming, son of Peter and Perseus Diederich. He is survived by two sisters, Reva and Donna. He was married to Beverly, who passed away in 1959. He then married Shirley Buffington (Mccullough). He is survived by 4 children, Mike, Sherryl, Ed and Rick; 15 grandchildren; and 12 great grandchildren.
His grandchildren would describe their grandfather as strong willed, well respected, a story teller and full of life. Bob gave his grandchildren some of their best childhood memories, whether it was a handmade playhouse, toys, personally framing his wife Shirley's incredible paintings, boating trips, craw-dadding, storytelling around a camp fire, showing his grandchildren how to build a garden and an immaculate yard, showing his grandkids how to snap green beans on his porch and so much more. Every single person that met Bob has a sweet story to tell about him.
Towards the end of his life he was blessed with a sweet friend named Leo, the 3-year-old son of his incredible caregiver Tacia. Leo and Tacia visited Bob daily and gave Bob much joy. Bob would get on his hands and knees and give little Leo rides on his back, built him a sandbox and kept his home full of toys so little Leo and he could play. Leo became Bob's best friend in the last years of his life and brought out the kind, gentle and sweet grandfather he was to all children.
Bob had a BS in Chemical Engineering, from the University of Washington, 1957. He served in the US Navy during the Korean war, oversaw 5 different uranium mines and uranium extraction operations, 5 different coal mines and one iron mine in his long career as a miner. He also co-authored 3 patents, all concerning hardening of drill and metal lathe bites, techniques in use to this day. He was an elected official in Cortez, CO, received numerous awards, including Outstanding Member of the Colorado Energy Council, appointed by the governor of Colorado in 1964. Bob was a strong and recognized leader in the mining industry and local government.
Bob will be dearly missed by all and truly was an incredible example to all around him. Robert Clifford "Bob" Diederich
Published in The Journal on Dec. 4, 2019.