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Dr. Merle M. Diment

Posted February 05, 2015 in Obituaries, West Des Moines, Windsor Heights
Dr. Merle M. Diment, 82, died Monday, February 2, 2015, at home with his family beside him after a courageous battle with cancer. Merle was born at home in Danbury, Iowa, on January 8, 1933, the youngest of ten. He began his public school education in a one room rural school house and attended schools at Sergeant’s Bluff, Hinton, and Correctionville before graduating from East High School in Sioux City in 1951. Merle attended the University of Iowa on an academic scholarship and graduated as a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Beta Kappa. He entered the University of Iowa, College of Medicine where he received his M.D. and was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha. He married his high school sweetheart, Betty Lou Thomas, in 1955.

Dr. Merle M. Diment

Dr. Merle M. Diment

Dr. Diment had a rotating internship at Detroit Receiving Hospital and later interned at the University of Iowa in Anesthesiology before accepting a position with Associated Anesthesiologists in Des Moines. He began practice in 1962 and practiced anesthesia for 30 years until he retired in 1993. Dr. Diment belongs as an Emeritus member of the Polk County Medical Society, Iowa Medical Society, American Medical Association, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Iowa Society of Anesthesiologists, and the International Anesthesia Research Society. He was board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology and the American College of Anesthesiologists. While in practice, he served as Group Chief of Associated Anesthesiologists and on many Iowa Methodist Medical Center committees.

Aside from a distinguished career in medicine, he was a person of compassion, humor, and ingenuity. He had a habit of rescuing injured animals and nurtured a menagerie of critters throughout his life time. Feeding animals and gardening was always special for him. Merle was fortunate for good neighbors and friends in Windsor Heights and enjoyed building things in his work room. He could fix anything and made everything from kites to pine box derby cars. He enjoyed family vacations and photography and above all instilled in his children a love of nature and the outdoors.

Merle was an accomplished runner who competed from age 35 in all distances between 100 yards and 26 miles. He won the masters division half mile at the Drake Relays in 1976. To support distance running in Iowa he hosted the annual Turkey Trot and Firecracker Five road race. Merle lent his generous support and encouragement to many students and runners in AAU, Hawkeye Striders, and Hoover High School track and cross country. His home was always welcoming to runners and athletes.

His children were his greatest pride along with his beloved dog, Buddy. He was an I club member and lifelong Hawkeye fan. Merle and Betty’s four children are all past students of the University of Iowa and Merle was most proud that all hold advanced degrees.

Left to celebrate Merle’s life are his wife and best friend of more than 60 years, Betty, son Dr. Michael Diment (Maria) of Sylvania, Ohio, identical twins, Barbara of West Des Moines and Kathrine Roth (Roger) of Evansville, WI, daughter, Linda, of Des Moines; grandchildren, Greg, Nick and Kate Diment and Ben and Emmeline Roth; his beloved sister, Joyce Miller, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service and visitation will be held on February 6 at Windsor United Methodist Church, 6222 University Avenue, with family visitation at 10:00 am and service at 11:00 o’clock. Burial will be at Glendale Cemetery with a luncheon to follow at the church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

ARRANGEMENTS BY ILES ~ WESTOVER CHAPEL.





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