Franklin H. “Hank” Diestler Jr, age 86, passed away peacefully on April 23, 2023, at Living Tree Assisted Living. Hank was the son of Franklin Henry and LuLu (Peters) Diestler Sr. He was born September 13, 1936, in Appleton, and spent his childhood there. Following high school Hank met Joanne Leitzke, the young lady destined to become the true love of his life. The two were married on May 16, 1959. Soon after, Uncle Sam called, and Hank was drafted into the Army. While on deployment, the couple welcomed son Mike to their family, and son Tim was added to the fold when Hank was stationed in Korea. After his Korean deployment, Hank was able to see daughter Mari born. The family moved to Greenville and Hank began his 42-year career at James River Corp/American Can Co.
Hank loved baseball, softball, deer hunting and “fishing” (it was more about the relaxing than actually catching fish) and watching sports on tv-Packers, Brewers, Bucks-all Wisconsin teams! His wife Jo was the gardener of the family, and more often than not, recruited Hank to do the hard work of tending the vegetable garden. He did not love to garden, but he certainly loved the fruits of that labor.
Hank was known to be a man of few words, but a deep thinker. He was a great passenger to ride in a car with-as he was never a “backseat driver.” He was also a master tinkerer and loved to maintain his lawnmower. One of his favorite pastimes was “gopher management” on his lawn. Hank was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church and a faithful member of Greenville Methodist Church. As a follower of Christ, Hank’s eternal vision was of his true home.
Hank is survived by his children: Mike (Lisa) Diestler, Tim (Sue) Diestler and Mari (Dave) VanStippen; 6 grandchildren: Matt (Hannah), Katrina (Larry), Leah (Chris), Holly (Nate), Ben (Kimmie) and Sam (Abby). He is further survived by 7 great grandchildren and his sister Linda Hathaway and sisters in law Char Leitzke, Pam Uhlenbrauck and Kathy (Neil) Plamann as well as special niece Kathie Miller.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, his parents, siblings: Chester Diestler, Marie (Carlie) Krause and Ramona (Al) Moser. His in-law family also precedes him in death: parents in law Myron and Nelda (Schroeder) Leitzke, brothers and sisters in law: Alan Uhlenbrauck, Shirley (Paul) Hameister, Karen Leitzke and Buzz (Helen) Leitzke.
A visitation for Hank will be held Friday, April 28, 2023, from 5:00pm until 8:00pm at Wichmann Funeral Home, 537 N Superior Street, Appleton. Friends and family may gather again at Faith Community United Methodist Church N1966 Julius Rd, Greenville on Saturday April 29, beginning at 9:00am until the start of the funeral service at 10:00am. Hank will be entombed at Highland Memorial Park.
The family would like to thank Moments Hospice as well as the staff at Living Tree Assisted Living for the ever-compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers a memorial fund will be established.