November 10, 2017
This week, Silver Oaks lost a founding member, mentor, faithful colleague and best friend. Dan Diederich passed away on Weds., November 8th – a very sad day for all of us here at Silver Oaks.
Dan was the head of the Silver Oaks Art Department from 1983 until this March. For 34 years, he was the smiling face who ruled the roost (from the best view in the building, it was said) with humor, hard work and humility. He shepherded more than a few designers here over the years, but he was more than “just” a boss. He was a true friend – as one of our designers said – “I always thought of Dan as my friend first, and my boss, second.”
As a skilled and experienced designer, Dan was known as “Mr. Eyeballs” by his team, because he could spot a design element that could be improved from a mile away. He made projects and people better.
Dan was small in stature, but big in heart. He never took himself too seriously – as is evident in the art department. Funny, Photoshopped images (think Cupid and Leprechaun) including a “life sized” – albeit short — image of Dan adorn the walls and desks. He referred to our current design team as “his guys.” And they did consider themselves a family.
Always the charmer, Dan shared with us his corny jokes, clever stories, and many words of encouragement. A regular in the lunchroom (with his reused brown bag, sandwich, and for many years, a cookie from his mom), Dan talked travel, politics, history and family. He frequently updated us on his nieces and nephews, and then his great-nieces and nephews. Among his other loves — fast cars (both toy and real), great craft beer, a good cigar and a perfect day on the Rock River.
Dan was truly one of the good guys. To say he will be missed is an understatement. Here’s to you, Dan. See you on the other side.
Arrangements for Dan can be found here: http://www.esterdahl.com/notices/DanielDan-Diederich