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August 3, 1945 - October 18, 2021
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Wolfgang Diem, 76, of Alto, New Mexico, passed away on October 18, 2021 at Monument Health in Rapid City, SD.
With looming dark skies behind, Wolfgang twisted the throttle to get ahead of the black sky he could see in the mirror. With Delfina on the back of the motorcycle encouraging him to ride faster, they streaked across the Montana landscape outrunning the booming thunderstorm.
The adventure and courage of Wolfgang was unparalleled by many. An immigrant apprenticed learned chef, he came to the US in 1967 to work for a hotel in Davis, CA. He laughingly said of the ad that lured him there, the only two palm trees in Davis were the ones planted out front of the hotel. Working his way toward LA, he made friends in the chef community there. He worked a few different private golf clubs and higher end restaurants, even taking a turn owning one. He found his way to the Bel Air Country Club, where he worked as a souz chef before becoming the head executive chef in 1986.
To say he was comfortable in the kitchen does not give the full breadth of his knowledge in the kitchen. From dicing, chopping, and the sorcery of removing the pods from a pomegranate to pith-lessly peeling an orange: the magic he performed with a knife, cutting board, stove and pan was effortless. He truly loved to cook, and always had a ready appetite for anything anyone would take the time to prepare for him—be it a bachelor scrambled eggs and Raman, to seared scallops and risotto. He was quick with a pointer for cutting, or how using a different seasoning might pep up a recipe.
Self-taught in so many things, Wolfgang was a home DIYer decades before box stores were prolific. Slump stone walls, hanging ceilings, in-ground sprinkler systems, there really was not much he would not try on his own. Tasks and skills he passed on to his son.
While working as a line cook at Davre’s, he met his partner in love, life, and all things, Delfina in 1972. Running from the kitchen to the office to try and catch her eye, “Do you need help? Can I help you?” After a little encouragement from her, he finally asked her out on a date to a hockey game. Six months later, with a five-year-old at her side, they married in Los Angeles. Their lives came together with an atomic synergy. Driving them both to succeed in all their endeavors. They supported each other and fought for each other giving their everything to each other for nearly 50 years. From buying their first home, to opening business adventures. They constantly strove to make their lives better.
Their adventures would take them to so many places. No adventure too far, they traveled the world together. By car and RV they traveled a few western states. But the adventures really got going when Wolfgang convinced Delfina they could see more by motorcycle. All packed up in a tank bag and a couple of saddle bags, their adventures by motorcycle would mortify most. The experiences included most of the western states, including Alaska, which they of course road to via the ALCAN Highway. They lived a life together with all their cards on the table, with no regrets.
Wolfgang’s strong hands were always there supporting his family. Whipping up a quick snack, cooking dinner for friends and family, remodeling a beauty salon, or helping his son with his home in Lead. Wolfgang was a man of character, poise and a wonderful belly aching laugh that was contagious.
Wolfgang will be missed by his younger brother Klaus, his family in Germany, his son Tony, and his beautiful, cherished wife, Delfina.