Click Selection

Search News Releases:

News Resources
on the Web

13 March 2007

JSU Alumna Referred to as “World’s Greatest Genealogist"
Devoted Her Life to the Mormon Family History Program

Diane Shutley Dieterle, also known as “World’s Greatest Genealogist,” age 67, died Wednesday, March 7, 2007 in West Jordan, Utah from complications of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. She was born March 16, 1939 in Atlanta, Georgia, to Charles Crosby and Mary Weaver Williams Shutley.

She was a graduate of Decatur High School and from Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama, with a BA in History and English. She was a professional genealogist. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints March 13, 1958 and always said it was the best decision she ever made. She was always active in the church and devoted her entire adult life to the family history program. During her lifetime she amassed 69,000 family names in her computer and had enough temple ordinances done by proxy to fill up the entire 21,000 seat LDS Conference Center. She married John H Dieterle June 6, 1960 in the Salt Lake Temple.

She and her husband never had a “real” vacation, choosing instead to make every trip a genealogical trip. In the last five years she had made four trips back to Europe to bring home genealogical records from Germany, France, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. During her lifetime she published 13 family histories. Her church positions included Assistant Mission Genealogy Advisor (twice), Stake Family History Consultant (three times), Family History Center Director (three times), Ward Family History Consultant (many times), Gospel Doctrine teacher (for about 30 years), Primary President (twice), and a counselor in Relief Society and Young Women presidencies. Her favorite callings were always the teaching callings. She and her husband served two family history missions, first as the Directors of the New York City Family History Center, and later as missionaries at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Her most notable accomplishment was organizing and operating the Genealogical Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia. She designed pedigree charts and family group sheets in both Braille and large print for the blind. She wrote and starred in a six part TV series for the deaf called “Genealogy in Sign.” She also wrote and starred in a 12-part TV series called “Genealogy for Fun” that aired on PBS for 17 years and still runs on occasion in the southern states.

Survived by her husband, Lt. Col. John H Dieterle, West Jordan; their children: Mary Lorraine Dieterle, Lehi; Claire Elizabeth Dieterle, Taylorsville; Benjamin Christian Dieterle, Salt Lake City; Charlotte McKenzie Dieterle Hatch, West Jordan; son-in-law, William Victor Hatch; three grandchildren: Kevin William Hatch, Elizabeth McKenzie Hatch, Caroline Michelle Hatch; brothers: Ronal Shutley, Alpharetta, GA; Crosby (Bing) Shutley, Converse, TX. She was preceded in death by her beloved firstborn, John H Dieterle, Jr., who received one of her kidneys. He died November 9, 1988 in Atlanta, Georgia. The family will receive visitors Saturday, March 10, 2007, 12:00-1:30 p.m. at the Cobble Creek Stake Center, 8150 South Grizzly Way (5410 West), West Jordan, Utah where the funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. Burial will be in the family plot in the Decatur Cemetery, Decatur, Georgia on Monday, March 12, 2007, 2:00 p.m. Arrangements under the direction of McDougal Funeral Home.

From the Salt Lake Tribune (UT) - March 8, 2007

Submit items for news releases by using the request form at