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Diane Erbe

Diane Erbe Wilma “Diane” Bayer Briggs Erbe, 88, died May 28, 2018, at Meadowlark Hills in Manhattan. She was the fifth of six children born to Henry and Wilma Burtis Bayer. Diane grew up on the family Stagg Hill farm, attended Theodore Roosevelt and Manhattan Junior/Senior High schools, and was active in the Be-Busy 4-H club. She attended Bethany College in Lindsborg KS for two years, studying art and music.

In 1950 she married Arch Briggs and they lived with five children in the Lake Elbo community near Manhattan for 25 years. Her children appreciated her free-range parenting combined with country and lake living. After her children started school, she returned to school herself to become a legal secretary. She worked in the Riley County Probate and District courts, retiring as Clerk of the District Court for Riley County.

After a divorce, she married Larry Erbe in 1977. They lived at Lake Elbo until 1987 when they moved to their cattle farm near Westmoreland. In 2006 they moved to Meadowlark Hills. They were married for 31 years.

Diane enjoyed her involvement in the Green Valley School fund raisers, Lake Elbo activities, HDU, PEO, and several churches. Her hobbies included singing in choirs, sharing her artistic talents, and sewing. An ideal weekend would find her mowing the large farmyard and working in her flowerbeds.

She is preceded in death by husbands Arch Briggs and Larry Erbe, her parents Henry and Wilma Bayer, her sister Winifred Jean and husband Frank Miller, her sister Margaret and husband Dale Grimm, her brother Warren and wife Jo Ann Bayer, and her brothers-in-law Morris and wife Marie Briggs, Jack Briggs, and Bill Compton.

She is survived by her brother Burke and wife Margery Bayer, brother Max and wife Sue Bayer, her sister-in-law Nadine Compton; five children, Kim (Richard) Smith, Mike (Kandy) Briggs, Russ (Ilene) Briggs, Pat (Georgia) Briggs, and Kelly (Rhonda) Briggs; 14 grandchildren; and 9 great grandchildren (and counting).

Diane approached her journey through life, especially through her dementia years, with a pleasant attitude and sense of humor, knowing no strangers, and easing her challenges with a few musical lines.

Funeral services will be held Monday, July 9, 2018 at 10:00 a.m., at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Chapel in Manhattan.

Visitation with the family will be held on Sunday, July 8, 2018 from 5-6:30pm at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Meadowlark Memory Program. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.
Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at

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