ROBERT F. DIEHM '37
In 1951 he left his position as an accounting section head at General Electric in Cleveland, and in 1955 joined Allstate Insurance Company in Chicago as a claims examiner. After nearly thirty years there, he retired in 1976 and relocated to Santa Rosa, California. He soon returned to Ohio, however, this time to Cincinnati, where his newly found free time proved to be thoroughly energetic and productive. He learned to play the organ, became a member of The American Guild of Organists, and frequently played in church. Mr. Diehm was a member of the Reserve Officers Association, and active in the cause of equal rights for gay people.
A pioneer in the gay rights movement, Mr. Diehm took an active role in the formation of the Oberlin Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Organization (now the Oberlin Lambda Association). In 1980 he reactivated the defunct Cincinnati Oberlin Alumni Club, and was a member of the Class of 1939 Reunion Gift Committees for the 50th and 55th reunions. At the time of his death, he was chair of the 60th Reunion Gift Committee, and looking forward to seeing his classmates again on the Oberlin campus. Mr. Diehm had remained close to Oberlin College and loyal to his fellow alumni all his adult life.
Mr. Diehm was a founding member and officer of Integrity, Inc., the gay ministry of the Episcopal Church, and served as treasurer of the Church Club of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago when he lived there, in addition to holding a number of lay positions within various church parishes. In his leisure time, he was an avid reader, and enjoyed attending movies and the theater, and traveling. He was especially fond of his cats.
Mr. Diehm is survived by his life companion, Don Bramkamp, who composed the poem (see below), and by two sisters, an uncle, a niece, and a cousin.