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Dr. Don Diebel's Story

Don Diebel’s Passion for Service and Helping Others

Dr. Don Diebel’s life was marked by a passion for helping other people both professionally practicing Obstetrics and Gynecology and personally.  When his workday at the hospital ended Don frequently devoted his personal time to quietly offering his medical assistance in people’s homes who could not afford a visit to a doctor’s office or the ER.  He didn’t talk about this “extra” work.  It was his gift to people in need in the community.

His passion centered on helping others which no doubt contributed to his desire to follow his father, Donald Diebel Sr., into this medical specialty.  His passion also included his great devotion to his family.  No matter how busy his career and outside volunteering kept him, he always found the time to be a great father to his three boys who were two, three and five years of age at the time of his death.  Whether he was enjoying after work sessions in the pool, taking them with him while running errands or bringing them along on the golf course, he cherished every moment he had with his family.

About Dr. Don Diebel’s Relationships:  Family, Friends and the Community

His dedication and passion were qualities that helped make him such a beloved figure in so many lives.  Dr. Don Diebel took great pleasure and pride in the relationships he forged with his family, friends and patients.  This was illustrated by the tremendous outpouring of grief and family support from the Central Florida community following the accident that took his life.  

Even the story of how the Diebel Legacy Fund came into existence is a testament to the lasting bonds he formed with those around him.  Joseph Meier, Drew Samelson and Michael Snure, three of Don’s closest friends introduced the idea of putting together a foundation in his honor.  The bonds Don formed with the community and its members were so deep that it quickly became apparent that it was important to provide an outlet for those who wished to remember and maintain their connection to him even if it was through his legacy.

Dr. Don Diebel, Winter Park Physician

The story of Dr. Don Diebel, a fourth- generation physician would never be complete without discussing his dedication to his chosen profession and the patients he treated.  A skilled physician Dr. Don Diebel always put the patient first and inspired enormous confidence in those around him.  That tremendous skill and dedication grew from his conviction that physicians have the obligation to help others as fully and competently as possible. 
Those qualities that made him such a wonderful physician, family man and friend were the same qualities that made him pull his car over on June 8, 2002 to help that young couple in their overturned vehicle in the median of the Florida Turnpike.  He could easily have called 911 to report the accident and continued driving as to not interrupt the vacation he was taking with his family.  In true character he stopped to offer his assistance.  It is doubtful that it ever crossed his mind to drive on without stopping to help.

While difficult, particularly for those who were personally touched by his kindness and generosity it remains important to remember all the good that has come after Don’s death.  His story continues and his examples live on today as strongly as when he was with us.  It is those great deeds and actions Don carried out while he was alive that direct The Diebel Legacy Fund today.  To find out how you can honor Dr. Donald Diebel Jr. and the principles he exemplified please visit our donation page.