LCDR Bernard Wesley Diggs Jr. was born on April 1, 1928 in Mathews County, Va. He died peacefully on Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. Dad was predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Mary Campbell Diggs; his mother and father, Bernard Wesley Diggs and Pattie Spence Diggs, and two sisters, Mary Virginia Burroughs and Gloria Mason Diggs. He is survived by his children, Robin Diggs Campbell (Vince) of Chesapeake, Steven Wesley Diggs of Virginia Beach, and Ann Diggs Rivenbark (Henry) of Chesapeake. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Carrie (Bryan), Leslie (Aaron), Zachary (Shannon), Haylie and Emory, and eight great-grandchildren, Hunter, Autianna, Ava, Jackson, Maxwell, Zoe, Ember and Ash.
Dad served honorably in the United States Navy from 1946 until his retirement in 1976. After basic training in Bainbridge, Md., he was assigned to the USS Valley Forge homeported in San Diego. Other ship assignments included the USS Kenneth Whiting, USS Bennington and the USS Dixie. In 1959 Dad attended basic Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training in Indian Head, Md. Following his basic EOD training, he was assigned to the U.S. Navy EOD Tech Center, Stump Neck Annex in Indian Head. From 1964 until 1968 he was assigned as an instructor at NAVSCOLEOD and served in the Underwater Ordnance and Diving division. After a stint in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, he returned to the EOD Tech Center and served as Executive Officer. In 1974 he was transferred to EOD Group Two.
Dad’s time in the Navy took our family to several different duty stations. Mom and Dad took every opportunity to help us explore the wonders of our great country when we transferred from one location to another.
After his retirement from the Navy, Dad went to work on a tugboat with Lone Star Tarmac Industries as Mate-Relief Captain. He completed his captain’s license requirements in 1977 and continued working for Lone Star Tarmac as a Captain of his own tug until he retired in 1993.
Dad made significant contributions to the Naval Explosive Ordnance Association (NEODA) by assisting with many of the duties required of a newly formed organization. He planned the first reunion in 1984 and published the first Disposaleer, a newsletter for active duty and retired EOD people. He was proud of his service to our country and shared this sentiment with fellow EOD people throughout his life and through The Disposaleer.
While we are grateful to have had Dad with us so long, there are no words to describe how much we will miss him.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m. on Dec. 3, 2022 at Hollomon-Brown–Great Neck Chapel–1264 N. Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach, followed by a burial at Princess Anne Memorial Park Cemetery.
“When we lose someone we love we must learn not to live without them, but to live with the love they left behind.”