Alva Review-Courier -



December 9, 2020

Mary Alice (Landis) Diel was born July 27, 1937, to William and Mabel Roark and passed away on November 30, 2020, at the Attica Long Term Care facility in Attica, Kansas.

Mary was the youngest of five children. She grew up on a farm west of Kiowa until her childhood home burned and her parents built a house in Kiowa, Kansas. She attended grade school and high school in Kiowa. During her teen years, she spent many summers as a lifeguard at the city pool. After high school graduation she attended college at Emporia State University, earning a degree in Elementary Education.

On May 31, 1959, she married Paul Diel. Three children were born to this union: Jon, Brent and Dena. The family lived on a farm south of Kiowa where Mary hauled many lunches and suppers to the field and cattle round-ups. After teaching first grade for a few years in Kiowa, and while her children were still young, Mary went back to college for her master’s degree at Northwestern State University. She spoke of going to bed early and getting up in the middle of the night to study! She later taught special reading to children struggling to learn to read.

On July 27, 1989, Paul passed away from cancer. Mary filled her later years with traveling. She enjoyed going to Australia and Africa. She had an extended vacation when she went to France right before 9-11 and was detained there for an extra week. She always brought the grandkids home an ornament for the Christmas tree to remember all of the new places she visited.

She is preceded in death by her parents, William and Mabel Landis; her husband, Paul Diel; her young son, Jon Diel; siblings Donald Landis, Eugene Landis and Dorothy Sternberger.

Mary is survived by her son Brent Diel and wife Leysa; daughter Dena Koblitz and husband Bob; grandchildren Brook Keast, Blake Koblitz, Blair Dyer, Kelsey Rao and Brena Diel; great-grandchildren Kyden Keast, Kasen Keast and Emma Dyer; and brother William Landis.

Graveside services for Mary were held Thursday, December 3, 2020, at 2 p.m. at the Apostolic Cemetery near Burlington, Oklahoma. Arrangements were by Lanman Funeral Home Inc. of Kiowa. Online condolences may be made at

Memorials can be made to Kiowa District Hospital or South Barber Elementary School in care of the funeral home.


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