Edward Wilson Diffin, Jr. went to be with the Lord on December 8, 2023, after a prolonged battle with glioblastoma. Ed was born on January 27, 1952, in Philadelphia to Dorothy (nee Temple) and Edward Diffin, the youngest of three children. He was baptized at Westminster Presbyterian Church, where he remained involved throughout his youth. Through the ministry of Westminster, he came to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior when he was a boy. His parents recognized his talent for music at a very young age, and he learned to play many musical instruments and sang with the Philadelphia Boys Choir. He was a member of the Boy Scouts of America and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 16.
After graduating from John Bartram High School in Southwest Philadelphia in 1968, he moved to the cornfields of Upland, Indiana to attend Taylor University, a Christian liberal arts college. A tenor, he sang with the Taylor University Chorale and made some lasting memories on a tour of Europe. Ed also enjoyed sampling the many milkshake flavors at Ivanhoe’s, a local restaurant. He graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor’s degree in political science and a music minor. He went on to receive his J.D. from Temple University School of Law in 1977 and his L.L.M. in taxation from Villanova University School of Law in 1985.
Together with his former wife, Ruth, Ed raised his three children, Edward III, Erin, and Elizabeth, in the Philadelphia suburbs. He passed along to them his love for Philly sports teams, holiday traditions, and Sunday night frozen pizza. He made it a point to attend as many of their sporting events, concerts, and academic activities as possible. Thanks to his perfect pitch, he also could be counted on to call out the correct note if his kids needed help while practicing piano.
Ed was a long-time member of Grace Chapel in Havertown, where he served on the deacon and elder boards and was active in music ministry. He also served as a member of the board at Delaware County Christian School in Newtown Square, which his children all attended from kindergarten to 12th grade.
A member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Ed began his law career working at Provident Mutual in Philadelphia. He served as in-house counsel, advising on the development of life insurance and annuity products and compliance with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and state insurance law and regulations. He later worked for Merrill Lynch, Wilmington Trust/M&T, and Morgan Lewis before retiring in August 2022.
Throughout his life, Ed loved traveling around the country and the world, although he was happiest in Ocean City, New Jersey, with a Kohr Bros. orange-and-vanilla custard in his hand. A music aficionado, he loved listening to the Philadelphia Orchestra, especially outdoors at the Mann Center in Fairmount Park. He was an ardent gardener, taking great pride in keeping his yard beautiful, and a dog lover, especially when it came to his pets, Nicky and Mozart. He remained a passionate fan of the Phillies and Eagles until his last days.
Toward the end of his life, Ed took great comfort in the hymns of his childhood and the words of Scripture he had memorized when he was young. He especially clung to Psalm 121, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence comes my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”
Ed was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Dorothy Diffin. He is survived by his children, Ed (Jeff), Erin Brighty (Jami), and Elizabeth, his beloved “grandboys,” Aidan and Jackson Brighty, his sisters, Doris Bach (Mel) and Phyllis Kennedy, his nieces and nephews, many cousins, and numerous other family and friends.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a visitation at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13, followed by a service at 11:30 a.m. at Donohue Funeral Home, 8401 West Chester Pike, Upper Darby. A burial will be held at Arlington Cemetery immediately following.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Delaware County Christian School in support of the Kenneth H. Tanis Endowment Fund (dccs.org) or the Glioblastoma Foundation (glioblastomafoundation.org).