2007 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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Role models who give us Reasons to Believe in the power of education

Marvin Diehl

Wyandotte High School, 1954Marvin Diehl

Marvin Diehl has left his mark on Kansas City, Kansas, both literally and figuratively. Examples of his craftsmanship, ingrained with his compassion, can be seen in many neighborhoods throughout the city.

The combination contractor/engineer has spent his life on community projects to help families and to beautify the city. From laying brick sidewalks to building porches, each project has been a labor of love.

The gazebo, benches and planters at Holy Family Park are his handiwork, as well as the old-fashioned lights. He is responsible for similar work at St. John's Park, and at the Strawberry Hill World War II Garden. He has worked for the Unified Government, the Board of Community Housing, and for residents in need on a volunteer basis.

"It's time to give back to the community that helped raise me. That's why I do it," he said.

Though carpentry and remodeling are his passion, it is not how Diehl spent his career. He worked for 35 years as a network services supervisor/telephone equipment engineer for Southwestern Bell. Then he spent 11 years as a contract engineer for Sprint before retiring. All the while, he kept his hands in building and remodeling projects. In fact, he has built a total of 10 houses in KCK over the years.

Growing up in a family of eight children, Diehl said he learned at an early age that if you want something, you have to work for it. And though he is thankful for his career in the telephone industry, his true passion has always been carpentry work. He was introduced to these skills during his woodworking and metal working classes at Wyandotte High School.

He wants today's students to learn as much as they can, and to become responsible individuals.

"One of the hardest things in life is taking on responsibility," he said. "But it's one of the best things you can do."