William Kase Diehl Jr.

December 9, 2022

William Kase Diehl Jr –

October 4, 1944 - December 9, 2022 

Charlotte, North Carolina - William K. Diehl Jr., 78, of Charlotte, NC, passed away peacefully Friday, December 9, 2022. 

Born October 4, 1944 in Norfolk, Va., he was the son of the late William K. Diehl Sr. and Dorothy Virginia Hebert Diehl. 

Bill Diehl graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1966 and the University of Virginia Law School in 1969. He came to Charlotte and began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Mecklenburg County.

In 1969, he joined the law firm of Herbert, James, and Williams law firm while working part time as an assistant district attorney in Mecklenburg Country. The firm became James, McElroy and Diehl where he practiced until retirement in 2016. During his 46 years practicing law, Bill became one of the preeminent lawyers in North Carolina and the country.

Known for hard work, attention to detail and meticulous preparation, it was as a trial attorney where he built his reputation and career.

With his long red hair, stout build and flamboyant style, Bill passionately represented his clients including a virtual who’s who of well-known Charlotteans including Bruton Smith, Rick Hendrick, George Shinn, Ric Flair, Michael Jordan, Dell Curry and many, many others including the Bhagwan Shree Raineesh.

His passion for law was equaled by his passion for entertainment, the arts, sports, and sailing.

He was a fixture in Charlotte’s social scene, attending every Carolina Panthers and Charlotte Hornets game for decades, never missing a new play or show, restaurant opening or other cultural events.

He was also an incredible family man and is survived by his son William (Bill) K. Diehl III (JoBrent), daughter, Catherine (Caki) Virginia Diehl, grandson William (Kase) K. Diehl IV, granddaughter Laney Diehl, and his former wife Catherine Lane Diehl.

He was the oldest of six siblings scattered across the country. JoAnne Diehl, Fred Diehl (Debbie), Jim Diehl (Elaine), Bette Jane Ruppert (Jake), and Danny Diehl.

Bill was an avid sailor and loved spending time along the Carolina coast; first in Ocean Isle, NC and eventually in Charleston, SC.

A memorial to celebrate Bill’s life will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, January 28, 2023 in the Belk Chapel of Queens University. A reception will follow.

Memorials may be sent to Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, PO Box 470408, Charlotte, NC 28247 or to KinderMourn, 1320 Harding Place, Charlotte, NC 28204.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC; 28204 (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

 Link to memorial service     


Share your memories & condolences


  • John Breeden

    I first met Bill with a gathering of UNC graduates at a social weekend affectionately known as “Rat Hole”. As an outsider having graduated from USC he and the others, inexplicably, accepted my wife, Sylvia, and me into the fold. I will be forever grateful. That began a friendship with Bill, Mike and Jackie Cooke, Sammy and Bonnie Thompson and the others that has lasted already through some lifetimes and will last for mine. As a fellow lawyer, I admired his brilliance, his wit, and his generosity. He was unique! I miss him. Bill, I’m a part of you, you’re a part of me….

  • Tom bush

    The real Bill Diehl was generous to a fault. Generous to those he knew and generous to those he did not know.
    Bill was quick on his feet with perfectly timed humor. After trying a case with him on the other side, in frustration I said "stop bragging about how powerful you are." "Join me at 5:30 am in the church homeless kitchen and be a servant". Months went by and I thought I had offended him. Then one Saturday at 5:30 am the security guard at the church said: " there is a man in a Mercedes in the parking lot. The man said his name is "Satan", and he was orderd to be here." Bill became a faithful servant of the homeless for 4 years at 5:30 am on Saturdays.
    It used to be divorces were done in open court. 20 lawyers would be in the courtroom. The hearing for each divorce was normally one or two minutes.
    There were only two questions asked of the client. "have you lived in NC for 6 months preceding the filing of the complaint?" The second one : "have you and your spouse been separated for a period of time of at least one year?"Another great lawyer named Nelson Casstevens in a packed courtroom, said to Bill "quit babbling, there are 20 other lawyers waiting for their case to be called." Bill, with no hesitation said, "for somebody who takes 45 minutes to stumble through an absolute divorce, you have no standing."
    I first met Bill in brand new "Super Teeter" at Morrocroft in 1988. I introduced myself to him. He said " I know who you are. You are the only Republican on East Blvd." He congradulated me on a $450,000 verdict in a sponge med mal case. He ask me how I did it. I told him "it's easy. You just take an $800,000 case and screw it up." He roared with a freeing, spontaneous, warm, laugh. That began a friendship where at times I studied at his knee on how to try a case; how to get paid for my time. Other times I marveled at his brilliance and his burden for those who were not sucessful at life, who were without hope, and out of nowhere they would receive a check from Bill.

  • Mary Rose

    So sorry for the loss of your brother Jim. My thoughts and prayers are with you. May he Rest In Peace!
    Mary Rose

  • Judge David Cayer

    Bill was a brilliant lawyer and generous friend.

  • mike cooke

    Long time friend---since UNC in the 60s .A great character--larger than life-with a generous, true heart. I consider "the red whale" a lifetime friend. mc

  • Libby Veeck

    We were lucky to have Bill as a neighbor for several years. He was a unique and entertaining individual. Our prayers go out to his family.

  • Jesse Price

    I am so sorry for your loss of a brother and friend.

  • Sherry Hebert Ragland

    Billy was my cousin. I never really knew him, as he was older. But he was one of Aunt Dorothy's sons. I love all of them. You will be missed.

  • Donnie Johnston

    Did not know Billy but I know his dad was so proud of him. My condolences to all the family
    Donnie Johnston

  • Charles moore

    My sincere condolences to the family.

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