James Fredric Diers passed away in Tucson, AZ on July 2, 2023, at the age of 81 from complications associated with dementia.
Jim Diers was born in Sheridan, WY on May 12, 1942, to Master Photographer Don C. Diers and Ilene Helen Poffenberger Ball Diers. His family moved to Lamar, CO for his high school years, where he excelled in many sports and met Janice D Hollifield who would one day become his wife. He attended one ill-fated year at Lake Forest College before graduating from the University of Wyoming. Upon hearing Presidents Kennedy’s words about “asking what one can do for one’s country,” he joined the Navy and graduated from Officer Candidate School. Soon thereafter he married his high school sweetheart and traveled the world until their only child was born four years later. He left the Navy to fulfill his dream of becoming a teacher and coach in a small town in Wyoming. Unfortunately, the worldliness gained through travel took the small-town desire out of him and his wife, so they settled in Colorado Springs, where they resided until their retirement some 30 years later.
Teaching was truly a vocation for Jim. He relished his time in the classroom, allowing no-nonsense, establishing high expectations of his students and himself, and kindly encouraging the learning process. No one made it out of Mr. Diers’ AP English class without a firm mastery of the 5-paragraph essay, primary sources, and the evils of split infinitives. He also reveled in his second job as an officer with the United States Navy Reserves. For 25 years, he served in the reserves, rising to the rank of captain, which was his nickname amongst many high schoolers. His favorite job with the reserves was as a recruiting officer for the US Naval Academy through which he counseled many outstanding young men and women toward successful military careers. Once retired from teaching and the Navy, he threw himself into his other passion, the art, and history of the American Southwest. As an employee with the Southwest Studies program at Colorado College, he arranged desert tours for other “aficionados” and became fast friends with local authors and artists, especially in New Mexico.
After retirement, he and Jan moved to Green Valley, AZ where he put his teaching skills to work as a trainer and volunteer with the Pima County Sheriff’s Auxiliary. He also followed his interest in the cultures of the southwest as a volunteer site docent with the Arizona Archaeological Society. He was a member and sang in the choir of the Good Shepard United Church of Christ.
Jim was predeceased by his parents and his much-beloved sister, Donna Kaye Diers. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, his son Theodore (Ted) Diers, his daughter-in-law, Kerrie Diers, and his grandchildren, Nate and Ella Diers, all of
Concord, NH. Jim will be remembered as a strong personality, a vocabularian, a grammarian, a punster, and a good friend, husband, and father. Please join his family in making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Foundation to fight the disease which robbed him of his mind but not his spirit.
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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Angel Valley Funeral Home