Paul Diehl, Sr.

  • Born: April 6, 1933
  • Died: February 15, 2018
  • Location: Tampa, Florida

Brewer & Sons Funeral Homes

3328 S. Dale Mabry Hwy
Tampa, FL 33629
Tel. (813) 835-4991

Tribute & Message From The Family

Diehl, Paul Sr. "Pops" 84, passed away February 15, 2018, peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family. Paul was born in 1933, in Carbondale, PA into rough beginnings. As he says in his unpublished autobiography "Odyssey of a Poor Boy, "my father had abandoned my mother and my sister who was 18 months old. Mother was left alone to give birth, then try to find some way to care for two babies." From this rough start which included periods in foster care, and dealing with family alcoholism and abandonment, Paul built a happy life based on a foundation of hard work, service to his community, great fun and most importantly, a devoted, loving family. He was relentless in his pursuit of self-improvement from getting his GED to taking college courses at the University of Hartford, to taking the Evelyn Woods Speed Reading Course and the Dale Carnegie Course where he eventually became a guest speaker. Despite his sporadic formal schooling, he was an extremely competitive scrabble player, a crossword buff, and a prolific reader and writer. In addition to his lifelong poetry writing skills, he also wrote the draft of a novel based upon his life, and his autobiography. He also took up Transcendental Meditation 40 years ago which he continued for the rest of his life.
At age 17, Paul joined the Army and spent the final years of the Korean war stationed in Paris, France. After completing his service when the war ended, he returned home where he met his bride to be, Virginia, "Tinka" Trump, whom he married soon after. When asked just days before his passing, what was the best thing he did in his life, his immediate answer was, "Marry Tinka!" Paul is survived by Tinka, his wife of 61 years, and his five children Chris Diehl, Paul Diehl and wife Amy, Fred Diehl, Bill Diehl, and Heidi Diehl and partner Mike Martin. He also leaves behind grandsons Alex, Corey, Kyle and Kent Diehl, sister-in-law Inge Trump, brothers-in-law Chris and Norman Trump, niece and nephew Alice and Carl Sealund. He is preceded in death by his parents, his three sisters Mary, Barbara and Alice, nephew Eddie Sealund, and to his great sorrow, his grandson Chris who passed unexpectedly in 2014.
In the early years before moving to Florida, Paul, along with his wife Tinka, was a leader in the fight to protect Coventry, CT from a massive urbanization project which was slated for this small country town. This battle, with its slogan "Keep the Cows in Coventry", galvanized the community and was ultimately a successful. Paul was a lifelong Republican and the Chairman of the Coventry Republican Party during the1970's. He was outgoing and gregarious, easily making friends of all kinds, and he counted an astronaut, a governor and a hockey star as close friends. He was also friends with Bill W. since 1975. Paul worked hard to support his large family, often holding down three jobs while the kids were young. But that did not stop him from having fun. He often caused a stir on Coventry Lake, where the family lived, when the neighbors would see big Paul Diehl, water skiing by waving while standing on one leg, on a stool, atop of a wooden platform. Later in life, Paul worked for his son Paul and wife Amy's business, Awnclean, for many years until retirement, keeping the operations and equipment running smoothly.
Paul's passions were many. He always loved martial arts and earned his Brown belt in Karate while in Connecticut, which he returned to while in Tampa, FL in the form of Tae Kwon Do, shepherding his grandsons to their Black Belts he ultimately earned a Black Belt himself in 2004, while taking classes with grandson Corey. Paul also loved to dance and for several years even taught ballroom dancing. Paul was passionate in his love of our country and was an ardent supporter of our troops. From 2001 through 2016, he could be found every Friday afternoon without fail at rush hour, waving the American Flag with the Bayshore Patriots. He was also a fixture at Post 5 American Legion Hall for many years where, as ombudsman for eight years, he met with members and guests alike, greeting folks, counseling young people, and helping to organize hall rentals. Since 1984, he was also the Vice President of the Florida East Coast Connecticut Club, a group of former Connecticut natives who meet monthly to gather and have fun.
We mourn the passing of this giant oak-tree of a man from our lives, but we are not sad for him. He told all that he met, from friends and family, to the dedicated hospice folks in his final days, that he had lived a full life he was proud of and that, as he looked back had few regrets. He was ready to go.
The family will hold a private celebration of his life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to or, a non-profit private school for bright, low income students in Tampa Bay.

Condolence & Memory Journal

I wish you peace. I send my love to your amazingly wonderful family. Paul and Tinka so very special to me from a young age. You were my very favorite of family friends, always such a wonderful event for me. Never a dull moment, and especially happy times. Just plain fun and good times. Reality gave meaning to learning. Always honest and true, good, good people. Tinka, I love you, please take take this loss as easily as possible. I am so very sorry, Paul was over-the-top, it doesn't get any better. Love from, Chris Atwell. I miss you and could never forget you.

Posted by Christina Atwell - Aptos, CA - Family Friend   March 24, 2018

It was a privilege to have Pops as my Grandfather. He set an example of strength, respect, caring, and work ethic that I will always try to live up to. He inspired me to work hard for my dreams and always appreciate how lucky I am. The stories he used to tell of his childhood left a powerful lasting impression on me. Because of him I have always sought to earn the blessings I was give, never give up and never forget how much harder life can be. As a kid I couldn't fathom how he had gone through so much and was just Pop's, he was my superhero. I'm really going to miss him. I love you Pops. Thank you for writing this mom. It's beautiful. I have never seen those pictures of him as a young man. Thank you.

Posted by Alex Diehl - chattanooga, TN - Grandchild   March 01, 2018

Paul was a wonderful person. He will be missed. Daniel appreciated his years of encouragement during College. We both will keep his family in our thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Darlene Hunt - Tampa, FL - Friend   February 24, 2018

I met Paul on Bayshore when my husband and I were out there waving flags with the Bayshore Patriots. He was such a great man! I enjoyed each Friday afternoon getting to talk with him and listen to the stories and jokes he told. He was never without a story! He was a special man that will be greatly missed. Thinking of his family at this difficult time. He will leave quite a large void.
RIP Paul.

Posted by ROBIN MATTSON - riverview, FL - Friend   February 22, 2018

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Posted by Fred & Pam(Green ) Sewell - Coventry, CT - friend   February 22, 2018

My condolences to the entire Diehl family. Paul leaves a great legacy: the Diehl Family; and his spirit will live through you all.

Posted by Keith Eidson - Tampa, FL - Family Friend   February 22, 2018

So sorry for your loss its hard when you lose a loved

Posted by Cole Carey - Riverview   February 22, 2018

God Bless you all may he RIP great person ... ❤

Posted by Elizabeth Waltman - Melbourne, FL - Friend   February 21, 2018

Deep heartfelt sorrow hearing of your patriarch passing. My father was from Mahanoy City PA, not far from Carbondale, so I am familiar with the early struggle of life there. Mr. Diehl did so well to climb out of that misery so you should be very proud. Fervent prayers for your family in days ahead, Wendy Thompson Smith (CHS class 1976)

Posted by Wendy Smith - Dawsonville, GA - Family Friend   February 21, 2018

Prayers for your family, Heidi. Beautiful obituary!❤ RIP "Pops"

Posted by Tamra Jenkins - WEAVER, AL - Friend   February 21, 2018

Have loved this man and his family for a long time, especially his daughter Heidi whom I had the pleasure to get to know very well. All of the Diehl's will always be very special to me and I'm so grateful for when they reached out to me after my son's passing last year. The world is simply poorer for his passing. I believe he and Chris will have a reunion beyond our mortal imaginations.

Posted by Loueita Hargens - Riverview, FL - Friend   February 21, 2018

Family Album

Family Album

Family Album

Family Album

Heidi And Dad on Wangumbaug Lake

Family Album