It is with great sadness that the family of Harry R. Van Diepen announces his passing on Monday, October 14, 2019, at the age of 71 years. Harry will be lovingly remembered by his
son Richard Van Diepen, step-son Jerry Lomprey, granddaughter Sabrina Lomprey; and his
cousin Walt Gordon (Theresa). Harry will also be lovingly remembered by Walt Gordon’s family, Brandy and Tony Orozco, Dan and Bess Schubert, and Michael and Natalie Schubert. Harry was pre-deceased by his best friend and love of his life of 36 years, JoAnne Van Diepen.
Harry Robert Van Diepen, son of the late Selma and Gary Van Diepen, came into this world in Glendale, California on May 24,1948. He was a typical fifties kid, not like Richie Cunningham in Happy Days, more like the Fonz without a motorcycle. He wooed the ladies with his selfconfidence and musical abilities reminiscent of the Beach Boys and his personal favorite, The Righteous Brothers; that was, till he met JoAnne Marie Lomprey. The two were opposites, she was sweet and naive, he was direct and to the point. They did have one thing in common: a passion for life. JoAnne’s sweet, compassionate, concern for everyone compensated for Harry’s cynical, no nonsense personality. His focus to provide the best for his family (son, Richard, stepson Jerry Lomprey, sister-in-law Marie and cousin Walt and Theresa Gordon) could come across as distant; but, JoAnne knew better. She understood that under that controlled exterior was a man who deeply cared for those he loved. JoAnne’s gregarious personality was the perfect balance for Harry’s cynical view on life. Together they created the perfect team, beauty and the cynic. Harry married the love of his life, JoAnne Marie Lomprey on September 13, 1981.
Harry’s shrewd understanding of people helped him transition from rock’n roll musician to
owning his own mainframe computer installation company. Eventually, he established a labor
ready service with more than six offices in two states. Not bad for a kid from Burbank who
never received his high school diploma. The high school drop out managed people with
advanced degrees and worked with large corporations with ease. His ability to read people and the gift of gab (some call it B.S.) inherited from his father, Gary, gave him a leg up when it came to business.
Harry and JoAnne surrounded themselves with smart, intelligent, fun loving people: Ric and
Robyn Folino, Brian Folino, Bruce Redmann, Marci, Poppy, and Carl to name a few. Harry and JoAnne lived on the Ocotillo golf course at one time and most of the Ocotillo clubhouse staff knew Harry by name, in fact when Harry walked into the Ocotillo club house he was greeted with “Harry!” similar to the greeting Norm received from the patrons of TV’s Cheers. That was the case at every place he frequented. He was bigger than life but he was controlled in how he expressed his feelings. He wasn’t gushy in the way he showed affection, just matter of fact.“You’re ok kid” was as gushy as he got. However, there was one thing that rivaled his affection for JoAnne: GOLF! He took the sport very seriously, sometimes it bordered on obsession. Golf wasn’t something you joked about, unless he was playing with the Cuz. In fact, he created a short lived tradition called “Manly Golf,” that celebrated his love of the game and family. Comrade and Glenlivet replaced birdies and pars as the goal of the two day contest.
There were other loves in his life: dogs (Hannah, Coco and Barnaby), baseball (the Dodgers of course), polo and Hawaii; but none came close to JoAnne. However, later in life a close second arrived in the form of their granddaughter Sabrina Lomprey. Harry had a soft spot for Sabrina, and the fact that she worked her way through college made a huge impression on him and he was very proud of Sabrina when she graduated from ASU.
Harry loved his family, but had a difficult time showing emotions, that was JoAnne’s role. When she passed in 2018 he became more expressive, barely: but, those of us that knew him could tell. The last couple of years were tough. Helping JoAnne during her fight with cancer, her passing, his cancer and and the isolation of being a widower had its toll. The man who always took care of his friends and family was dependent on others. Like all cancer victims, he fought hard to beat the disease, that’s why his passing was such a relief.
October 14, 2019 at 2:15 p.m. the ground didn’t shake, traffic didn’t stop, people didn’t turn to
the heavens; but, a thousand miles away I heard a whisper that said “I love you Cuz.”