Richard Leonard Diffenderfer

Dec. 16, 2013

Richard Leonard Diffenderfer (BS Civ Egr ’57) died Dec. 12, 2013, in Mesa, Ariz. 

Diffenderfer, 85, was born in Jackson, Mich., on Aug. 21, 1928. He graduated from St. Mary's Catholic High School in 1946 and attended Jackson Junior College from 1947 - 1950. He served in the US Air Force from 1950 - 1954.

He finished his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering at Michigan State University from 1954 -1957.

In 1953, he married Patricia Ann Parrish. They had four children: Stephen, Robert, David, and Jan Marie. 

Diffenderfer worked for the Bureau of Public Roads (Federal Highway Administration) from 1957 until his retirement in 1986. He was instrumental in the areas of highway design and road and bridge construction. He was a consulting engineer from 1986 - 1990 before retiring to Alligator Point, Fla.

On Oct. 23, 1993, he married Helen Marie Solberg, welcoming two stepchildren, Douglas Solberg and Linda Solberg. The couple moved to Arizona in 1994 and settled in Mesa.

He is survived by his grandchildren Charlie, Hope, Lily, Noah, Melissa, Brian, Josh, Jessica, and Ashley, and great grandchildren Ava, Madisen, Caden, Troy, Ryot and Taysa.

Graveside services are Dec. 20, 2013, at Mountain View Cemetery in Mesa. See more at: