Merwin Richard Dieckmann, MD

Merwin Richard Dieckmann, MD

July 6, 2024, 95, Lake Gaston –

Merwin Richard Dieckmann, MD – CAPT USN (Ret.)

November 30, 1928 – July 6, 2024

Merwin Richard Dieckmann, MD, 95, of Macon, formerly of Waterloo, Iowa, passed away peacefully on July 6, 2024.

Merwin was born November 30, 1928 in Clarksville, Iowa to the late Louis F. and Esther Clara Nordmeyer Dieckmann. Soon after the family moved onto his grandfather’s farm in Clarksville. Growing up as the child of a farmer, Merwin learned early the meaning of hard work and the value of a dollar. Evenings and days away from school were spent tending the animals, helping with the crops, and watching his younger sisters. A day off meant swimming or fishing on the Shell Rock River. The family later moved to Waterloo in 1941.

Merwin graduated from West Waterloo High School in 1946. At the age of 17, his world changed forever when he met Betty Jane Baker during a youth play at Trinity Lutheran Church titled “Things Do Happen.” And, so it was…that things did happen for Merwin and Betty. Merwin would walk Betty and another young lady home after play practice, and lucky for Betty (and Merwin,) they dropped the other friend off first and walked the last 7 blocks together.

Merwin enrolled at Wartburg College after graduation but transferred after one year to Iowa State University where he earned a B.S. in Chemistry with Minors in Mathematics and Physics. Betty and Merwin married on September 9, 1950, and Merwin entered the fall class of the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1950. He graduated M.D. in 1954 and went on to an internship at Middlesex Memorial Hospital in Middletown, Conn. His Navy Service began in August 1955 at Kingsville Naval Air Station until released from active duty in August 1957. He continued to serve in the Naval Reserve until mandatory retirement, at the rank of Captain, on his 60th birthday, with more than 33 years of commissioned service.

Betty and Merwin returned to Waterloo where he began his medical practice spanning over 39 years. As a general physician, there were house calls to make, fractures to set, surgeries to perform, and babies to deliver. It was another time, but when it came time to move his family to Tennessee, in 1976, to assist with establishing a new Medical School at East Tennessee State University, Kingsport, TN…he had delivered almost 2,000 babies and had become a much-beloved family doctor and trusted friend.

As a tenured Associate Professor of East Tennessee State University, he moved to Kinston, NC in 1983 and joined the East Carolina University School of Medicine Family Practice, Greenville, NC, until his retirement.

Merwin was active in politics, while in Black Hawk County Iowa he regularly took Election Day off work. He served as an Iowa 3rd district presidential elector in 1972. In Warren County North Carolina, he served on the Board of Election for 13 years, eight years as chairman.

Having been brought up, and meeting each other at Trinity Lutheran Church, he and Betty believed in bringing their children up in the Christian faith. It was important to be a witness by serving as a Bethel Series teacher, as well as being in the hands of the Great Physician, as the doctor’s prayer states, “I pray to the Great Physician who holds life and death in His hands. Dear God, I am your blade. Sharpen me on one side, dull me on the other, and give me the wisdom to know when to use which.” Having finally retired in the Macon area, Merwin worshipped at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, where he served as Secretary, Vice President, President, and elder. He started each morning reading his Bible and daily devotion in his Portals of Prayer, and ended each evening reciting Martin Luther’s Evening Prayer.

A service to remember and honor Merwin’s life will be led by The Reverend Dr. Creighton Alexander at 3:00 pm on Sunday, July 28, 2024, at Queen Street United Methodist Church, Kinston, with burial to follow at Arlington National Cemetery, where he will be laid to rest with his wife, Betty and his son, David, with full military honors, at a later date. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.

Left to cherish his memory are his children, Mark of Warner Robins, GA; Ann Forman of Prospect Heights, IL; Jane Hanrahan and husband Johnny of Kinston; and Nancy Ramsey of Greenback, TN; three grandchildren, Morgan Brown(Mark); Joshua Ramsey(Kaitlynn) and Suzanne Forman; two great-grandchildren, Madison Lovejoy and Grayson Ramsey. His sister Mary Ann Obenour and husband Jerry; and, brother-in-law Truman Kaiser. Known lovingly as ‘Uncle Doc’ he is also survived by many loved nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Merwin was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Betty; his son David; sister Beverly Kaiser; sister and brother-in-law Janet and Gordy Nieman; brother-in-law Donald Rueckert; brother-in-law Warren Roudebush; daughter-in-law Jenny Dieckmann; son-in-law Marc Forman; and son-in-law Ed Ramsey.

The family wishes to extend their appreciation to those who cared for “Doc” during his declining health; Mike and Lori Ingalls and their staff at Herritage Elite: Tonya, Kevin, Rebecca, Josiah, Tony, Ann, Jasmine, and Donald. His private caregivers: Penny, LaWanda, Glenda, Unique, and Doc’s buddy, Leon. The staff at Duke University Health and UNC Health Lenoir. And we know Dad would want to thank his caring physicians: Dr. Mark Lanasa, Dr. Danielle Brander, Dr. J. Kevin Harrison, Dr. Courtney Mitchell III, Dr. Laddie Crisp, Jr., Dr. Lee Cox, and Dr. Sukrita Kamboj. As a physician running his office for many years, he knew that the care he gave was made possible by the team that supported him. We thank you all for your compassion and respect.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Flowers are welcome and memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 114 Poplar Mount Road, Norlina, NC 27563; The Duke University Alumni & Development Records, Brander Discretionary Gift Fund, Box 90581, Durham, NC 27708-0581; or a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home in La Grange.