GUNNISON—Allen and Diane Dyreng say they are proud to call Gunnison home, and are honored to be recognized as Gunnison City Fourth of July grand marshals by a community that has provided their family with rich experiences and opportunities for service.
“Living in Gunnison, raising our family, and serving in the church and community has brought us much joy,” Allen said.
Allen and Diane were both raised in Gunnison Valley, where they watched their parents serve the community selflessly their entire lives. Their examples set the pattern for Allen and Diane.
Their parents, Paul and Delma Dyreng, and Jack and MaryLois Madsen, were delighted when the two started dating. The families had been friends for many years, but Allen, being several years older than Diane, didn’t start paying attention to her until after returning from missionary service in New York.
They were married in June of 1974 before heading off to Utah State University. Their parents, who had been childhood friends, were thrilled about the marriage and enjoyed combined family vacations, parties, celebrations and special family moments as they shared children and grandchildren.
Diane says she earned her PHT (Putting Hubby Through) degree while Allen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agri cultural economics. The couple returned home to join Allen’s father and brothers as they expanded the Dyreng family dairy farm.
During this period, Diane opened a dance school. She served as the Miss Gunnison chairman, Jaycette president, co-director of the Nutcracker and on the state board for the Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHI).
She was also a 4-H leader and instructor, Sanpete County Dairy Princess committee member, and according to her children, the best list maker for Saturday jobs and timekeeper of piano practicing.
Diane has enjoyed serving in various ward and stake callings, including in the primary, Young Women and Relief Society, as well as being a Manti Temple ordinance worker. She enjoyed many years of working as the secretary at the LDS seminary and 21 years as the financial secretary at the Gunnison Valley Middle School.
While Diane was primarily focused on raising their children, Allen devoted most of his time to the farm, but found time to give back to the community.
He served as Jaycee president, a state DHI board member and on the Gunnison City Council. He currently enjoys his service in the Lion’s Club, as president of the Gunnison Irrigation Company and on the board of Sanpete Community Training.
Allen has also devoted years of service in the church as a scout leader, bishop, and member of the High Council the Gunnison and Snow College LDS stakes, as well as a Manti Temple ordinance worker.
At different times, both Allen and Diane have been the recipients of the Jaycee Distinguished Service Award. Allen also received the Utah Young Farmer and Rancher award. But they say their greatest accomplishment and reward is their children and grandchildren.
“Our family is the joy of our lives,” Diane said. “We work together, we vacation together, we just love to be together. Our children and grandchildren are our greatest treasure.”
Their children are Kristyn (Thomas) Bore, Jennie (Alan) Cox, Kera (Adam) Peterson, Jake (Natalie) Dyreng, Travis (Meagan) Dyreng. They have 17 precious grandchildren.
Through their service in the Jaycees and Lion’s Club, the Dyrengs have always enjoyed helping with July Fourth festivities.
“I think we’ve missed only one July Fourth celebration in 47 years,” Allen said. “My father and father-in-law used to flip hamburgers every July Fourth, and eventually that spatula was passed on to me. Now, I enjoy my sons and grandsons, who stop by to help me get the grills ready and flip a few burgers.”
That spirit of community service and patriotism has continued through the generations. “Even our grandchildren who live outside of the valley look forward to coming home to help make snow cones, spin cotton candy, work at the dime toss or pass out carnival prizes,” Diane said.
“Raising our family in Gunnison, where we have experienced the best of everything— the people, the environment, the traditions—has enriched our lives.