TOPSHAM — Kathleen (Kathie) Dianne Dieffenbach, 58, of River Road, died Sept. 26 at her home after a long illness. She was born in Catskill, N.Y., on Jan. 6, 1954, the daughter of Frank and Janet Tompkins.  

She attended Windham-Ashland-Jewett Central School in Windham, N.Y., and graduated from Saint Patrick’s Catholic High School in 1972. Dieffenbach earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Southern Maine, graduating with honors in 1998. In 2006, she earned her master’s degree in integrative learning for the arts from Lesley University.

Dieffenbach was an elementary school art teacher at Bowdoin Central School, and also taught elementary art at West Harpswell School and Williams Cone School. She loved teaching children and would frequently hold special art classes on her own time in addition to normal classroom activity.

Dieffenbach’s love of art was expressed in the many paintings and carvings she created. She also was an avid sailor, and learned about boating from her parents. When she could no longer sail as a result of her illness, she bought a camper and continued to enjoy the outdoors.

She is survived by her husband, Richard Dieffenbach, of Topsham; sons Michael Falciano, Richard Dieffenbach, Jacob Dieffenbach and Andrew Dieffenbach; daughter Nicole Baldovi; and mother Janet Tompkins.

A memorial service was held Sept. 29 at Stetson’s Funeral Home in Brunswick, officiated by the Rev. Sylvia Stocker.

Donations in Dieffenbach’s memory may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick, P.O. Box 129, Brunswick, ME 04011.

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Kathleen Dianne Dieffenbach