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Neil Kenneth Diercks, 85

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Neil Kenneth Diercks, 85, of Red Wing, died Sunday, Jan. 5, at the Seminary Home.

He was born March 13, 1928, in Red Wing, to Rudy and Verena (Voth) Diercks.

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He attended school in Red Wing, graduating early in the class of 1946. He then enlisted in the Marines. He was discharged December 1947, and then enlisted in the National Guard. In February 1950, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. He was discharged in 1953, and in 1956, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Ready Reserve. He logged over 1500 hours flying as a Loadmaster on C-119 and C-130 aircraft, retiring as a Master Sergeant in 1971. In May of 1953, he started working for the City of Red Wing Water and Public Services Department. He retired in June of 1984, after 31 years. On Feb. 13, 1954, he married Eunice Mae Jacobs, of Winona, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Goodview. The love of his life died Feb. 14, 2012, after 58 wonderful years, leaving a deep void in his life.

His main interest was old airplanes and aviation history. He obtained his private pilot's license, flying at Frontenac in 1945. He rode motorcycles for many years and was one of the original organizers of the Indianhead Motorcycle Club. He was a lifetime member of St. John's Lutheran Church, where he served on the church council, school board, cemetery board, and ushered for funerals. He was a member of the Leo C. Peterson American Legion, Post 54, and the Air Force Association.

He is survived by his three children, Wayne (Jean) Diercks of Thurmont, Md., Jayne (Ed) Pompeian of Rochester, and Jean (Rick ) Lee of Rochester; nine grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Dorene (Byron) Pearson of Red Wing, and Loraine Fox of Las Vegas.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Eunice; and his parents.

Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 10, at St. John's Lutheran Church, with Pastor Todd Engel officiating. Burial will be in the Burnside Cemetery with Military Honors provided by the Leo C. Peterson American Legion, Post 54. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. with a Legion prayer service at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, at the Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson Mahn Chapel, and one hour prior to the service at church.

Memorials are preferred to the church.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com.

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