Eloise Dielman

Remembering Dorothy Eloise Dielman (Reynolds)
April 3, 1940 – September 7, 2015

Scroll down this page to view a photo tribute spanning the life of my mother, Dorothy Eloise Dielman, beginning with the facebook post I wrote the day she passed away. Mouse over the thumbnail images below to reveal captions, or click on an image to view the slideshow.

Thank you so much for all of your kind words. Please feel free to leave your comments following the photos.

My beautiful and kind mother, Dorothy Eloise Dielman, passed away at home yesterday afternoon with her beloved dog Ozzie snuggled on her lap and her husband, daughter and son holding her hands. The one person who has been by my side since the moment I was born is now gone. She had amazing positivity and will to live, and after being diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer survived for six full years of brutal chemotherapy. Her body may have failed, but thankfully she was lucid and smiling right up to the end, and was able to make calls to family members and lifelong friends to say goodbye.

For those who did not know my mother, she was a great teacher and mentor, and affected countless lives in positive ways. She taught English at colleges and high schools and was a favorite of many students. Even those who never had her as a teacher. That is because she genuinely cared for everyone, and was the kind of person to whom people gravitated to get help with their troubles, both academic and personal. Mom had ex-students who graduated in 1985 visiting as recently as Saturday.

My mom taught me compassion, and how to care for others. She has been crucial in support of the boys and me during the divorce, and I have spoken with her once or twice a day since it started two years ago. She was so relieved that it is finally over. I can’t imagine how we will all survive without her sweet, reassuring presence. You’ve always had my back when I was down or in trouble, and were my greatest cheerleader in all of my endeavors. Thanks for giving us six years to prepare for this moment. I am happy you no longer have to struggle to get a breath. I love you, mom.

The photo above is a shot of mom that I love taken in 2004, before cancer, that shows up on my phone when she calls me.

Nels Dielman, September 8, 2015.

The early years growing up on the farm.

Eloise was born in a former log school house on Green Peter Mountain east of Sweet Home, OR, delivered by her mother’s aunt. Until age 18 Eloise lived in a two-story log house further down the mountain on the north bank of the Middle Santiam River. Shortly after graduation from high school the family farm and house were covered by Foster Dam.


Grade school at Sunnyside, a two-room country school house.

Eloise attended her first eight years of schooling at the two-room Sunnyside School up Quartzville Road from her home. The precocious Eloise taught herself to read before she entered first grade. Her teachers allowed her to work a couple years ahead of her classmates. Eloise was valedictorian of her eighth grade class, having gotten straight A’s for eight years.


Teen age years through graduation in 1958.

During her teens Eloise earned money in the summer picking strawberries, working in a bean canning factory, and in the box office of the Sweet Home movie theater. As she had in grade school, Eloise played flute in the high school band, and played piano for a local dance band. Having earned straight A’s through four years of high school, Eloise was selected co-valedictorian of the graduating class of 1958.


Young woman raising a family and living in Germany for a year.

Eloise attended Eastern Oregon College of Education (now Eastern University) in La Grande, where she met her husband, Gary Dielman. At Eastern they started a family with birth of daughter Katrina in 1960. Eloise interrupted her studies to follow Gary to graduate school at the University of Iowa and then to Germany for a year at the University of Tübingen (1962-63). In 1963 son Nels was born in Iowa City, Iowa. In 1968 Gary got a job in the Modern Language Dept. at Purdue University, where Eloise earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.


Teacher “Mrs. Dielman” at Baker High School

In 1972 the Dielmans moved to Gary’s home town, Baker City, Oregon, where Eloise was immediately hired to fill in as a math teacher. The next year she joined the faculty of the English Dept. and taught at Baker High School for twenty-four years, with one year off on sabbatical to earn a PhD in American Literature at the University of Oregon. In 1989 Eloise discovered a fire was in the ceiling above her English classroom and spread the alert that led to the evacuation of the school. After retiring from BHS in 1995, Eloise taught at Eastern Oregon University, served at the same time as Chair of the Board of Directors of Blue Mountain Community College and Chair of Baker City’s 5J School District Board of Directors.


Recent years. Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother.

The Dielman clan grew bigger, starting thirty-one years ago with the birth of Katrina’s daughter, Anya. Then came Nels’ sons, Lars (14) and Miles (11). Most recent is Anya’s daughter, Naomi, age 15 months. In 2003 Eloise was chosen Legacy Woman of the Year for her many contributions to the community. Up until just two weeks before her death, she was still leading a group of women writers, as she had done for over twenty years.


Goodbye, Mom.

Thank you for loving Eloise. Please take a moment to share your recollections.

Additional links to large images: Newspaper Tribute, Facebook Comments, Facebook Reposts, Facebook Likes.


  1. Nels, I have and will continue to hold your mom in the highest regard. I will always remember her smile and voice. She was amazing and mattered a great deal to me. Thank you for the beautiful tribute you wrote here and seeing the photo made my whole morning. Wishing your family peace and healing.

  2. Ohh, the world and especially Baker city has lost an exceptional and caring person. She was a patient and excellent teacher and contributed so much to the students young and old. I send my sharing of the loss of her to her family and the community A major loss

  3. So sorry for your loss. Your mom reached out to me when I felt very alone. It meant everything to me. I was much braver after that. I think of her often, such a wonderful person!

  4. She was truly a great woman. I’m so sorry she is gone. I will never forget her and I’m blessed to have known her.

  5. She was an amazing teacher and always full of smiles and heart. Sorry for your family as well as the world’s loss. She will always be remembered. RIP

  6. Mrs. Dielman is much of the reason that I teach English today.

  7. One of my very favorite teachers! Such a wonderful lady.

  8. A role model for all young teachers

  9. she was a truly beautiful woman……inside and out……see you in heaven someday Mrs Dielman….sorry for your loss Dielman family…

  10. Sorry for your loss. She was an outstanding teacher and a great person too. She will be greatly missed.

  11. Sorry for your loss. She was a wonderful teacher and person.

  12. I am so sorry. Mrs. Dielman’s encouragement and support was life changing for me. My condolences to the entire family.

  13. Such a wonderful woman and teacher. I have wondered about her over the years. She is one of the fond memories from Baker High. She helped me get to and through college.

  14. We love your mom! She was very thoughtful and kind. We both appreciated her as a teacher and John enjoyed working with her on the school board.

  15. She was a fabulous teacher. She had a great sense of humor, was warm, gentle, kind, encouraging and open-minded. I’ve thought a lot about her through the years.

  16. I remember your Mom well. Such a calm and confident presence. What a nice life she had, with purposeful giving. I have good memories of her guidance. So glad she is at peace.

  17. Your mom was an inspiration to me, I remember having her as a teacher and loved her class. Very sorry for your loss.

  18. So sorry, give my regards to the family, I met Gary when we entered jr. high together, and Eloise since college, real true friends.

  19. She was an amazing lady and teacher! I loved being her student and friend!

  20. Eloise was truly a remarkable woman, so kind and giving of herself. She will be sorely missed by those of us whose lives she touched, and there were so many.

  21. My heart hurt reading this. She was by far, one of the BEST! RIP Mrs. Dielman.

  22. Like many others I agree she was a great teacher, our Dr. Dielman. She was my favorite of all in fact. But more so she was a great person. I didn’t see her often but when I did she was always as kind, caring, and interested in me and my family as when I was a student. I am better for having known her and whoever she is with now, they are better off as well.

  23. She was one of the two most influential teachers I had at BHS (Mr. Folkman being the other). I vividly recall turning in a essay, that I had rushed through, and likely had written the night before . I remember Mrs. Dielman calling me up to her desk and politely saying, “Dan, you can do better than this. Why don’t you put some effort into it, and turn this in next week.” After I redid the essay, her note said, “Much better work. Don’t settle for being average” Many teachers are good, few are great. Mrs. Dielman was great.

  24. She was so patient and kind. Thinking of your family.

  25. What a sweet and special lady! So sorry for the great loss! She was Loved by all!

  26. One of my favorite English teachers. Loved this woman. She will be missed.

  27. She was one of the best teachers I ever had. Loved her laugh and smile. God bless her and her family. Rest in Peace.

  28. I am so sorry to hear about your Mom, I have been going to write her a note for weeks & time got away from me (another lesson learned by your Mom, don’t put off today, you might not have tomorrow). I had your Mom as an English teacher in high school & a Creative Writing college course I took, she was my all time favorite teacher. She had a gift to teach even to those of us who were not so willing to learn. Your Mom also helped me with my struggle of the diagnosis of Lupus in the 90’s, she taught me it wasn’t a death sentence & I would learn to deal with the health issues before me, & she was true to her word. I just felt the need to let you & your family know your Mom was also my hero. May you all find comfort in knowing she was loved by so many & she left a remarkable presence in all who were blessed to have known her. Rest in Peace teacher & friend.

  29. Mrs. Dielman inspired me to be the teacher I am today. I only hope I can be as wonderful as she was and can leave my students with such wonderful memories as she has left her students with. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  30. She was my favorite teacher of all time. She is why I became a teacher.

  31. So sorry to hear this. She was my favorite teacher in high school. Thoughts and prayers to your family

  32. So sorry for your loss she was a wonderful woman and teacher!

  33. Truly a huge loss for the community and the family.

  34. What a beautiful person. The earth lost part of its sunshine with her passing. Your family is in my thought!

  35. I’m so sorry to learn of her passing. She was a joy to get to know as was Ozzie.

  36. I am so very sorry for your loss; she was one in a million! I love this picture of her!

  37. Also so grateful she is at peace now! Thinking of your Dad too; my love to him. we were in school together.

  38. Mrs. Dielman was one of my favorite teachers and mentors. She supported so many of us, and made a lasting impression on those who knew her. My heartfelt condolences go out to the Dielman family. You were blessed to have her be such a big part of your lives.

  39. I had her as a teacher and she was wonderful; I truly learned a lot. God bless.

  40. So very sorry…she was definitely my Favorite teacher of all time, her sweet words follow me daily!

  41. Thank you for sharing this, Linda. Mrs. Dielman’s kindness and wisdom will have a ripple effect that will never end.

  42. She taught me that it was okay to cry when I lost my mom to cancer my Jr Year at BHS. May you and your family have the peace she helped me find.

  43. Beautiful and kind indeed. I will miss getting her Christmas card note this year. Loved her. Sorry to hear she’s gone.

  44. Eloise Dielman was the best teacher I ever had. I liked her classes so much I took an extra English class, Creative Writing, my senior year when I could’ve taken a free period. She took a genuine interest in every student, and brought out the best in us. She will be sorely missed.

  45. I’m so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful piece your wrote about your mom. You and your family were very lucky she sounds like such a sweet and supportive women. My thoughts and prayers for you all.

  46. Condolences to you, Nels and his family. She was a wonderful woman, I remember her teaching at UofO while I was there, and having dinner parties for all the Baker kids.

  47. We have lost a great lady but heaven has gained an amazing angel. She was truly a special lady that I respected more than most.

  48. Nels and family, please accept my condolences and prayers on your behalf. Mrs. Dielman was not just an excellent teacher, she was an excellent person and role model for young people who were trying to figure out who they were and what they wanted to do and be in life. All the best my friend.

  49. Mrs. Dielman was my favorite teacher! So positive and kind, I still remember several lessons from her class and am happy to be finally teaching L.A.. It was in her class that I first thought about teaching. My prayers are with her family. God Bless- K

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