Remembering Michael D. Diehl, the Type of Dad Who Wasn’t Afraid of Wintertime Backyard Grilling

Michael Diehl stands in the snow next to a snowman with his two children, a boy and a girl.
Michael D. Diehl playing in the snow with his children. Courtesy of Voices of September 11th, The 9/11 Living Memorial Project.

Michael D. Diehl was a devoted father and husband. Despite his high-stress job in finance, he always made time for the manifold sporting events and music recitals of his two children. He made sure to carve out time to unwind with an annual vacation with his wife, Loisanne, to the Caribbean.

But Diehl was most known for seeking peace in his backyard in Brick, N.J., in front of the grill. On Sundays, he could be counted on to be parked on the deck, grilling food for family and friends, even in the winter.

“He was called ‘the Grill Master,’” Loisanne recounted in a StoryCorps interview recorded for the 9/11 Memorial Museum. “Every Sunday he would prepare a barbecue for, like, four or five o’clock in the afternoon. He would sit out there with a glass of wine, and his feet up on the deck. And even in bad weather, he would shovel a path through the snow. So he barbecued all winter long. That’s how much liked barbecuing.”

Diehl had worked at Fiduciary Trust for 19 years. During the Feb. 26, 1993, bombing at the World Trade Center, he and three co-workers carried a pregnant woman down 95 stories to safety, according to his wife.

On 9/11, he was due for a promotion to senior vice president for custody at Fiduciary Trust and had been saving the news to surprise his wife. On September 11, he was at work on the South Tower’s 90th floor. He was 48 years old.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff 

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