LOUISVILLE, TN – Diehl E. Unger, age 73, born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, January 28, 2021. He suffered from multiple health issues for many years from exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
Diehl was a patriot and actively served in the U. S. Navy (1967-1971) for “3 years, 11 months, and 29 days” and then in the Naval Reserves until 1973. While assigned aboard the USS Ranger, he specialized in naval aviation and worked on the squadron F4 aircraft. Diehl’s career path was what many consider ideal.
As a graduate of UT-Knoxville (1974) with a B.S. in Business Administration/Marketing, he excelled in every job which included sales (of absolutely anything), marketing, executive management, media and print publishing, event planning, producer of TV programming, land development, and brand promotion—many with companies such as Disney, ABC Sports, ESPN, B.A.S.S., and Whittle Communications; and for Fortune 500 clients such as Coors, FedEx, Gillette, Johnson & Johnson, and Coca Cola.
Some positions sent Diehl around the world visiting such places as China and the USSR, and closer to home across the USA and Canada. Diehl was a man of many talents: welder, mechanic, farmer, artisan/craftsman, builder—he could build or fix anything. There was always a “project” in the garage or driveway. He was the “go to” guy for advice on what to do about anything and earned his reputation as “the smartest guy you know.”
During his youth he spent every summer at Watts Bar Lake swimming and skiing. As a young adult he was an avid motorcycle enthusiast and loved enduro races. Later in life, Diehl transitioned to tractors and his favorite, the Takeuchi skid steer loader.
Diehl was preceded in death by his parents, William E. Unger and Fran Diehl Lindauer, as well as his best friends: Mike Alexander, Randy Harris, and Steve Rose.
He is survived by Jeanne, his devoted wife of 42 years, loving daughter Rachel and her husband, Sean Moore. Diehl also leaves an empty place in the lives of his two brothers, Robb Unger (Kathy) and Mike Unger; and brother-in-law, John David Lamb (Thelma). He was a fun uncle to 16 nieces and nephews as well as a memorable nephew and cousin to the Unger/Diehl relatives.
Diehl was the most likable man you could meet and always filled the room with his smile and fun-loving nature. On a more personable side, Diehl was a protector, a provider, very compassionate, and a loving individual who is missed by his family and friends. Many thanks to the UT Hospital CV/ICU doctors and nurses who provided exceptional effort and care for Diehl, especially Dr. Jerry Crook II.
Please honor Diehl’s life and military service by respecting the American Flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the U.S. Constitution. In lieu of flowers, you may donate in memory of Diehl Unger to DAV.org or give a unit of blood in his name at Medic Regional Blood Center.
Memorial services will be announced later in the Spring due to Covid 19. Cremation and assistance entrusted to Foothills Funeral Home, Maryville. Fond memories, photos, and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.foothillsfh.com.