Larry D. Dieckman
Date Of BirthJan-27-1940
Date of deathMay-24-2019
Visitation will be held at Batavia Covenant Church, 1314 Main St., Batavia, IL 60510, on Saturday, June 15, 2019, from 10-11 a.m. with a service to celebrate Larry’s life to follow at 11 a.m.
Private family burial to take place at a later date at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.
Larry D. Dieckman, age 79, of Batavia, IL, passed away on May 24, 2019, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family. Larry was born in Aurora, NE, on January 27, 1940, to proud parents Harold and Evelyn (Rath) Dieckman. While growing up in Aurora, NE, football played a large part in Larry’s life. In high school, he played both the offensive and defensive lines in football games, growing up a die-hard Nebraska Cornhuskers fan. Larry also was active in band where he played percussion. As an all-around athlete, Larry also played basketball and was active in track and field. Larry graduated from Aurora High School, class of 1958. Following graduation, he attended Kearney State College in Kearney, NE, where Larry majored in Physical Therapy, and also continued his football career. In 1959, Larry was the starting Center for the NCC Champion Kearney State College Antelopes football team. Following graduation, Larry began working at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN until he answered the call of his country. He proudly served in the United States Army and was stationed abroad in Okinawa, Japan. His football roots ran deep, so it was no surprise that Larry participated in the Recreational Army Football League, touring South Korea and Japan with the team. Then, in 1967, he had the privilege of watching some of the preliminary qualifying rounds for the 1968 Olympic Games that were held in Tokyo. Following his military career, Larry returned states-side, with an honorable discharge, to begin his professional career. Fate stepped in while Larry and his friend Gary visited Gary’s girlfriend and her roommate in Omaha, NE. Time stopped for both Larry and Jeanette and it was love at first sight. They exchanged letters throughout their courtship as Larry traveled for his job as a medical supply salesman turned pharmaceutical representative, making time for dates along the way. They eventually wrote their way to being united in marriage on July 8, 1967. Larry worked for Donnelly Medical Supply, then Upjohn Pharmaceutical before answering the call to serve his Lord in 1974. He attended seminary in Chicago, graduating with a Master's of Divinity degree from North Park Theological Seminary in 1976. Larry became pastor of the Fairfield Covenant Church in Haxtun, CO. He was then ordained in the Covenant denomination in 1979 before moving to Tracy, CA, to become the pastor of the First Covenant Church there. A move back to the Midwest brought Larry to Bristow, NE where he served the community at Rosedale Covenant Church. There he was able to indulge in his passions of both faith and farming. Sustainability was a something Larry continually strived for and as such, spent his "spare" time clearing land, planting large gardens, raising bees, rabbits, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, and some very ornery cows as well as learning farming techniques from Jeanette's uncle. From 1986-1992, Larry was pastor of the Mead Evangelical Covenant Church, helping to lead that congregation through the adventure of an expansive building program for a new, larger building for the church to call home. Throughout his pastoral career, Larry found a calling to senior citizen ministries, which culminated in accepting the position of Chaplain at the Holmstad Retirement Community in Batavia, IL. When retirement came in 2006, Larry continued to call the Batavia area home. Larry was a member of the Cook-DuPage Beekeepers Association. He had had a passion for bee keeping that started while serving in Tracy, Ca, and lasted until declining health forced him to hang up his beekeeping suit, hive tool, and hive smoker in 2012. Larry shared his passion with anyone who would listen. While in Mead, NE, Larry formed a 4-H chapter, the “See-Bees”, where he took at-risk boys and taught them not only beekeeping, but how to build a strong work ethic, and use what they learned as a teaching tool for both youth and adults. Throughout his beekeeping career, he worked in cooperation with local farmers and produce growers, lending them his bees in pollination service to help increase productivity on their farms. He was an emeritus advisor for the Cook-DuPage Beekeepers Association. He was an avid gardener and loved to putter around his wood shop where he made all the equipment for his beehives. Larry also invented and built a “solar beeswax melter” that would break down and separate beeswax from the spent honeycomb of his hives. From this process, Larry had his own batch of clean beeswax for candles, further bolstering his goal of sustainability, as well as giving him another creative outlet and stock for local festivals, customers and farmer's markets. There was nothing that Larry wouldn’t try to do. A man of many talents and a large heart; his memory will live on in those he met and will not be forgotten. Larry is survived by his three children: William (Sandra) Dieckman; Amy (David) Seedorf; Jonathan Dieckman; two grandchildren: Matthew and Callie Dieckman; his one sister, Marilyn-Jean (Duane) Gibson. He is preceded in death by his loving wife of 49 years, Jeanette Dieckman, and his parents, Harold and Evelyn Dieckman. Visitation will be held at Batavia Covenant Church, 1314 Main St., Batavia, IL 60510, on Saturday, June 15, 2019, from 10-11 a.m. with a service to celebrate Larry’s life to follow at 11 a.m. Private family burial to take place at a later date at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Larry’s name. Checks may be made to the “Larry Dieckman Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address, the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page, or at www.conleycare.com.