Dr. Jeanne Diefenbach

Dr. Jeanne Eleanor (Dahl) Diefenbach, 97, of Hudson, WI, passed away peacefully on April 20, 2022, at Christian Community Home, surrounded by her family and loved ones. Jeanne was born on October 6, 1924, in Minneapolis, MN, to Raymond B. and Marion Almen Dahl. She graduated from Washburn High School in Minneapolis and went on to earn both a BS Degree and her MD from the University of Minnesota. Upon graduation, she was elected to the honorary medical fraternity, Alpha Omega Alpha. Jeanne was married while in medical school in 1947 to Eugene John Diefenbach, also a medical student at the U of M. Both Drs. Diefenbach did their internships at Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. During an extended trip to Japan in 1949, when Eugene was in the Army, a daughter, Susan Lee, was born, and three years later in Edina, another daughter, Karin Lynn, arrived. Dr. Jeanne worked part-time for many years at the University of Minnesota Health Service and the Cancer Detection Clinic.

While living in Edina, Jeanne was active in many areas, serving as President of the Edina League of Women Voters and then on the State Board of the League of Women Voters. She was very active in the Lutheran Church, particularly enjoying singing in the choirs for 25 years. Jeanne was also involved in the WISE tutoring program in the Minneapolis Inner-city Schools. She was an Edina Women’s Club member and a Girl Scout Leader. The Diefenbach’s moved to Hudson, Wisconsin, from Edina in 1974, when Dr. Eugene transferred to the Hudson Clinic as an OBGYN. Shortly after that, Dr. Jeanne began a long association as a Medical Director, first with the Convalescent Home at the Hudson Hospital and then at the Christian Community Home, until her retirement in 1989. She found geriatric medicine an enjoyable challenge and often said it kept her reading, active, and out of mischief.

Since retirement, she read for 20 years to CCH residents on Saturday mornings. Also in Hudson, Jeanne worked for the Literacy Program and was active in the Women’s Club, serving as president from 1988 to 1990. Dr. Jeanne was an active member of Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, serving multiple terms on the Council and as president. After her time at Mt. Zion, Jeanne joined United Methodist Church and was an active member for many years. Jeanne sang in the Phipps Oratorio Chorus, missing only one year since its’ inception. Music was always a significant part of her life.

Jeanne was an active member of Chapter BJ, P.E.O. Sisterhood, and a Coordinator at the Red Cross Bloodmobile in Hudson from 1990 until 2003. Jeanne and her family were very enthusiastic boaters and spent nearly every weekend from early spring until late fall on their boat or St. Croix River property, her ‘other world’ as she referred to it. She was also an avid bird-watcher and passionate dog lover, often having three dogs as ‘part of the family.’

Jeanne is preceded in death by her parents and husband, Eugene J. Diefenbach. She is survived by her daughters, Susan Mitchell(Greg) and Karin Erickson(Mark); grandchildren, Alexandra, Andrew, and Ann Erickson.

A memorial service for Jeanne will be at 11 am, May 19, at United Methodist Church in Hudson, with Pastor Dawn Jeffers Ramstad Officiating. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service, with a luncheon to follow after the service at the church. Arrangements are entrusted to O’Connell Family Funeral Homes and Countryside Crematory, 520 S. 11th Street, Hudson, WI 54016, 715-386-3725.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Mercy Ships (https://donate.mercyships.org/), St. Croix Animal Shelter (https://scafshelter.org/donate/) or St. Croix River Association (https://wildriversconservancy.org/).

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