Allan John Dieter
March 20, 1931 – August 15, 2021
Allan John Dieter, a pastor, husband, father, and civil rights activist died Sunday, August 15th in Houston, Texas at the age of 90. He was born on March 20th, 1931 to Harry and Lucinda Dieter, in Eureka, South Dakota, and was the first person in his family to be born in a hospital.
He received degrees from Wartburg College, where he sang with the choir, played in the band, and was the photographer for the school paper, and Wartburg Seminary, after which he was ordained by the American Lutheran Church.
He met his future wife Donna Moe while serving as Campus Pastor at San Jose State College in California and they married in 1963. A year later, he was called to Houston, Texas to be Campus Minister at the University of Houston, Texas State University (TSU), and Rice University.
During his time as Campus Minister, Allan became involved in the civil rights movement, joining civil rights marchers in their journey from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery, Alabama to help the fight for equality. He also supported the students during the 1967 TSU riot in Houston. These two events laid the foundation for his lifelong passion for civil rights and equality.
After leaving the ministry, Allan worked as a County Commissioner's aide under Tom Bass, after which he became Director of Communications for Harris County, leading to his position as the Manager of Communications for UT MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Allan attended Christ the King Lutheran Church for over 40 years. In the late 80s, Allan was a leader on the Christ the King AIDS Care team, the first such program in Houston, providing hospice care to many patients in their time of need.
Mr. Dieter is survived by his wife of 58 years, Donna, and three sons Greg and wife Kristine, Jeff and wife Margaret, and Chris and wife Griselda; three grandchildren and extended family members.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 25th, 10 o’clock am at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 2353 Rice Blvd, Houston, TX, 77005. If you are unable to join us, there will be a Livestream of the service – See the details on the church website, (https://ctkelc.org) under Church News & Events.
Please share a fond memory about Allan on the Neptune Society site https://obituaries.neptunesociety.com/obituaries/houston-tx/allan-dieter-10312356
In lieu of flowers, consider donating in Allan’s memory to the ACLU, Wartburg College, or Christ the King Lutheran Church.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Allan John Dieter
September 25, 2021
So, Allan, you unknowingly, and by grace and providence of God, did me a great favor in the civil rights movement in 1968, a long 43 years before we met at Christ The King Lutheran Church.
Then, in 2018, you and Donna graciously hosted a House Church.
It was inspiring and was enjoyable fellowship.
So, Allan, dear friend, this is for you:
On August 15, 2021, the time of your departure to the Church Triumphant was at hand.
You, Allan, fought the good fight.
You have finished your course.
You have kept the faith.
Henceforth, there is laid up for you a crown of righteousness
Which the Lord, the righteous judge, has given you on August 15, 2021.
Rest in blessed peace, brother.
And to all in the Dieter family, I express my sincere condolences.
September 24, 2021
My Dear Allan,
We’ve known each other for many years, since 1963 when I was a Junior at San Jose State College and you were the Lutheran Campus Pastor. We grew to have many wonderful times together, not only at college, but also with the Moe family as you and Donna were engaged.
Our families would get together as often as possible. We usually celebrated the Christmas holidays together in Houston. We had wonderful and exciting times celebrating Christmas with our young children: Greg, Jeff and Chris, Alisa and Shannon, John-Michael and Justin. You had so much fun assembling new gift toys on Christmas Eve, and watching the kids play on them the next day. There were always delicious meals and treats, fun excursions to Galveston, and interesting/challenging conversations. Your home was so loving and festive!
Other favorite times together included going to “our” rustic mountain cabins in Boulder, Colorado. The two cabins were separated by the Boulder Creek, where we played and waded. You helped build a sweat lodge on the Creek; we fit right into the “hippie” culture. I remember you taking the boys hiking up in the mountains and exploring caves. Building fires for hot dogs and s’mores, pitching tents, and pumping water were also favorite activities.
You have been an important part of my life, Allan, and I will miss you, your laugh and sense of humor, our interesting conversations, your beautiful gardens, and the care you provided your family.
May you rest in peace, my dear Brother-in-law.
Love always, Sharon
September 16, 2021
In the Wednesday evening classes I gave at Christ the King, Allan was the most encouraging, supportive class member, though I know he knew far more about the Bible and theology than I did! His wonderful smile always lifted my spirits. I shall always remember him as one of the truest, finest Christians I have ever known.
September 15, 2021
I knew Allan from CTK Lutheran and liked him very much and did not know about his life outside of church. I appreciated his insight and wisdom in conversations and knew he was open minded on many issues. Thanks for his life and hope the family is doing well.
September 15, 2021
I've know Allan forever---60 years, since I was 11 y/o. He's been a special friend--and I will always miss him. We used to have great conversations about religion and spirituality and approaches to Life.....
When Donna & Allan came to visit, he was always up for doing projects--he liked to stay busy. Once when Donna & Allan visited us, Allan fixed John-Michael's music box while JM sat in the high chair (2 y/o) and watched. Allan told him just what he was doing, and JM was fascinated!
We visited the Dieters at Christmas time many times over the years--from when they left California in 1964 (I was in high school) until 2008 (when our kids were grown)--44 years! We had such great times there. Lots of laughter, good talks, special meals, and extended family being together! Allan and Donna always made us feel very welcome.
And so Allan, you've lived an amazing life. You've touched so many people's lives with your wisdom, your practical ideas, and your humor. You'll always be remembered with much Love.
Love Always-- Priscilla
Debbi Jo Dieter
September 14, 2021
Also, on that same trip, the family reunion in TX, Allan began to talk about studying the creeds and how they were not necessarily everything we needed them to be. He opened up to me a world beyond the theology that I had been brought up with. As we know, Allan did that for a lot of us. He had lots of questions, and a gentle ability to probe beyond what we had accepted as true. I am so thankful he opened that door for me, as I have gained much in my own walking and discovering.
The photo was at the family talent show. I have NO IDEA what story he was telling, but it was a good one, I'm sure!
September 14, 2021
So many fun memories, but here's a couple that come from our family reunion at the old girl scout camp in Texas.
First, I remember being to shocked when he said to me, point blank, "Oh, I don't like playing board games." Or, maybe games in general. But, I couldn't believe he could be so honest. In my world, even if you didn't like games, you would pretend to, because it's something we are supposed to do. Right?