Cover photo for Charles E. Diefenbacher's Obituary
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1925 Charles 2024

Charles E. Diefenbacher

January 4, 1925 — May 12, 2024

Charles E. “Charlie” Diefenbacher Jr., 99, of Norwich, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 12, 2024 at the NYS Veterans’ Home in Oxford with his family by his side.


Born in Norwich on January 4, 1925, Charles was the first-born son of Charles E. Sr. and Margret (Condon) Diefenbacher, one of their seven children. He graduated for Norwich High School in August of 1943 and joined the Navy in 1943 during World War II as a Gunner’s Mate 3C aboard the USS Serra. He was Honorably Discharged in March of 1946. After his service to his country, Charles went to work for the Chenango Union printing office for 47 years until his retirement in May of 1987. He also worked for NBT Bank for a short time during his retirement before moving to Florida with his second wife, Ruth (Williams) Diefenbacher, who predeceased him in 2010. Charles and Ruth moved back to Norwich in 2006.


Charles was a Life Member of the VFW Post 2782 in Norwich. Charles served as a two-time Post Commander, past Southern Tiers Counties Commander and past 5th District Commander for the VFW. Charles is also a Life Member of the Loyal Order of Elks Post 1222 in Norwich, also serving one term as Exulted Ruler. He loved to play golf and softball. His true love was bowling in the Community League, which he served as League Secretary for many years. Charles was inducted into the Norwich Men’s Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 1970.


Charles is survived by his sons, Ronald (Kathy) Diefenbacher, of Wilmington, NC, and Kevin (Bonnie) Diefenbacher, of Norwich; a step-daughter, Diane (Arlyn) Shedd, of Norwich; step-son-in-law, Donnie Golden, of Oxford; grandchildren, Eric Diefenbacher and Jennifer Saeed, of Norwich, Christine Cook, Terra Donnely and Leighann Diefenbacher, all of Wilmington, NC; step-grandchildren, Brian (Jeanie) Crandall, of Oxford, Jeff Crandall of Binghamton, Jessica (Don) Waterman, Rebecca (Robert) Jenkins, and Amanda (Santee) Holmes, all of PA; great-grandchildren, Aidan and Nora Diefenbacher, Brian and Shelby Hartwell, Brittany Lousier, Dakota Cronin, Megan and Tristan Cook, Brycen and Kyleigh Donnely, and Emma, Madison, and Cataleah Verleni; step-great-grandchildren, Zachary Crandall, Shania (Joe) Bartlett, Josiah Crandall, Sarah-Mae Crandall, Gabriel Crandall, Arielle Crandall, Amellia Crandall, Ethan Crandall and Addyson Waterman; great-great-grandchildren, Rowan and Arabella Bartlett, Opheoia DeVanie; and several nieces and nephews. Charles was preceded in death by his parents; step daughter, Dawn Golden; brothers, David, William, John, Robert and Thomas Diefenbacher; sister and brother-in-law, Ellen and Tony Magistro; step-granddaughter, Melissa Holmes; and a nephew, Bobby Magistro.


The family would like to thank the entire staff at the NYS Veterans’ Home in Oxford for the care they give all our Veterans, especially the care they gave Charlie these last seven years.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Norwich at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 23, 2024. Burial will immediately follow with full Military Honors at St. Paul’s Cemetery in Norwich. Contributions in Charlie's memory may be made to NYS Veterans’ Home activities department, 4207 NY-220, Oxford, NY 13830 or the Norwich Family YMCA Dolphins swim team, 68 North Broad Street, Norwich, NY 13815.


Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Wilson Funeral Home.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charles E. Diefenbacher, please visit our flower store.

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Thursday, May 23, 2024

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