Karen Diedrich

Obituary of Karen Perry Diedrich

Karen Perry Diedrich passed peacefully at the age of 57, surrounded by family at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Hospice in Wilmington, NC on Tuesday, February 6, 2024.  Her profound love for music kept her fun-loving spirit rocking into her final days.

Born April 7, 1966 in Joliet IL, she was the youngest child of the late Peter G. and LeEtta (nee Rakoski) Perry.  A loving wife and mother, Karen married her beloved husband James Arthur Diedrich on October 27, 1989 and raised two devoted children, Sarah Virginia Diedrich and Grant Arthur Diedrich. 

Karen was truly one-of-a-kind with a vibrant personality who brought love and laughter everywhere she travelled.  She attended St. Raymond Grade School, St. Francis Academy, Joliet Central and Judson School in Paradise Valley, AZ where she became a seasoned equestrian which led to years of her caring for her horse Tobin. Karen was a competitive diving instructor at the Oakwood swim club and also worked at the Joliet tennis club.  She grew up helping her father and siblings run the Plainfield Fishing Resort, where her love for deep sea fishing and the outdoors originated. In addition to her adoration of horses and sporting events, she had an affection for dogs like no other. It was only natural for those worlds to collide with her dedication to field and performance dog shows.  In February 1988, Karen and her vizsla, CH Dallerry’s Hunter JH won Winner’s Dog at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Karen’s friends and family will remember her as an impeccable hostess −always welcoming others with an open door throughout her homes in Joliet, Morris and Shorewood, IL and more recently in Leland, NC.  She is credited with delivering decades of unforgettable events, including hosting annual Wigilia, a Polish Christmas Eve celebration and keeping the century-old tradition of pierogi-making alive within the Perry-Rakoski family.  Karen loved to travel and immerse herself in culture and art. She was a craftsman, painter and designer −always making curated treasures and exquisite home furnishings. She volunteered her artistic talents to organizations and charities such as the Visitation and Aid Society where she handmade topiaries for auction, she designed custom apparel and merchandise for fundraising at her children’s sporting clubs, Joliet Jets Swim Team, Joliet Jaguar Hockey and Minooka Volleyball. Karen’s designs have graced many other programs throughout Will and Grundy Counties.

She is survived by her two children, Sarah Virginia Diedrich of Crystal Lake, IL and Grant (Jessica Watts) Diedrich of Wilmington, NC; her cherished sisters and brothers-in-law, Gregory and Susan Peyla, Jeffery and Ellen Anderson; sisters-in-law Jennifer (David) Krominga and Caryn (Ed) Fals; brothers-in-law Thomas A. Diedrich, and Robert P. Diedrich; thirteen beloved nieces and nephews: Scott (Sarah) Anderson, Melissa (Jason Dienema) Perry, Elizabeth Anderson, Seth Peyla, Bradley (Breanna) Perry, Danny (Molly Jones) Perry, Claire Anderson, Julie (Abid) Malik, Rebekah (Justin) Garza, Terrence McPeters, Jerry McPeters, Leah McPeters, Megan (John) Mutz; her treasured aunt and uncles Kathleen Ochs, Leroy J. (Joleen Scroggins) Rakoski and Ron Helmer; eight precious cousins Tom (Laura) Ochs, Karleen Ochs, Lisa (James) Battistoni, Michael Ochs, Kristen (Michael) Liyeos, Emily (Joseph) Boeh, Jim Schell, Todd (Robin) Schell; and numerous other family and dear friends.

She is preceded by her husband James A. Diedrich; her parents; her brother David L. Perry; her mother and father-in law Arthur M. and Norma (nee Fumagalli) Diedrich, two sisters-in-law Anita L. Peters and Susan Diedrich; her aunts Barbara Rakoski and Sally Helmer; her uncle Thomas Ochs; her cousin Michael “Moose” Schell; and four adoring vizslas. 

Celebration of life will be held Saturday, March 16, 2024, beginning with an 11:30 am funeral mass at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet, IL.  Interment will be private.  In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name to the American Kennel Club Humane Fund would be appreciated.

For more information, please call (815) 741-5500, or visit her Memorial Tribute at www.fredcdames.com


Mass of Christian Burial

11:30 am
Saturday, March 16, 2024
Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus
604 N. Raynor Avenue
Joliet, Illinois, United States

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name to the American Kennel Club Humane Fund would be appreciated. AKChumanefund.org/giving