Willda Idell Crone Diefenbaugh was born Sept. 2, 1923, at home in Brown County, Mary, Nebraska. She was the seventh of 12 children born to Evan and Minnie Marie (Blumenthal) Crone.
Willda grew up on the ranch 17 miles north of Brewster and attended Brown County Country School #34, that her Dad built. She attended three years of high school in Brewster and graduated from Dunning High School.
Willda and Junior Neale Diefenbaugh were married June 28, 1944, at the Custer County Courthouse in Broken Bow. To this union were born four children: Michael, Joan, Yvonne, and Debra.
The Diefenbaugh family owned and operated the Phillips 66 Service Station and tank wagon business in Merna for more than 30 years. Willda also worked at the Merna Cooperative Credit Association for several years.
Willda loved children, sewing, mending, quilting, baking bread, canning, gathering and stacking wood and reading. Over the years she was active in a number of organizations and volunteer activities. She was baptized in 1950, and was a long time member of the Church of Christ in Broken Bow, taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.
She was a member of the Disabled American Veteran Auxiliary and a lifetime member of the American Legion Auxiliary. Willda enjoyed spending time with her family and was ready and willing to help others in any way.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Evan and Minnie Crone; husband, Junior; siblings, Claire Andersen, Ruth Henderson, Orvan Crone, Nola Wilson, Tad Crone, Wilma Hawthorne and great-grandson Brett Foster.
Survivors are her children and their families, Mike and Judy Diefenbaugh of Merna, Misti Diefenbaugh of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Michelle and Marv Lane, Kayla and Wyatt of Arcadia, Kristi and Scott Thines and Kaya of Idaho Falls, Kyle and Kristy Diefenbaugh, Baylee, Kaydee and Brody of Loomis; Joan and Jim Foster of Merna, Joshua and Jennifer Foster, Ty, Bryce, and Lainey of Edmond, Okla, Zachery Foster of Kearney; Yvonne Tucker of Merna, Hayley and Evan Quidachay-Swan of Port Orchard, Wash., Preston and Alicia Tucker, Tahnna Nokes and Miranda Tucker of Broken Bow, Derrick and Megan Tucker of Merna; Deb and Steve Miller of Callaway, Trevor and Heather Pierce and Hazen of Berthoud, Colo., Sean and Sara Pierce, Ally and Rhys of North Platte. She is also survived by siblings, Evelyn McElgunn of Apple Valley, Calif., Floyd and Shirley Crone of Ainsworth, Beryle Banker of Britt, Iowa, Eldan and Loretta Crone of Ft. Morgan, Colo., and Laurel and Kay Crone of Grand Junction, Colo.; sisters-in-law Viola Crone of Blair, Ruth Crone of Callaway; foster children, Mary Lyons and family, Gerry Dill and family, and a multitude of nieces and nephews, and many friends and neighbors.