A valued member of the community and advocate for victims of domestic violence has passed away.

Lucille Diebolt, age 70, one of the original members of LACASA, died last Saturday at her home. Known to friends as Lucy, Diebolt was called "a hero without a cape" by LACASA Board of Directors Chair David Morse. A victim of domestic abuse herself, she was one of the first to volunteer with non-profit organization when they began operations 38 years ago. LACASA President and CEO Bobette Schrandt spoke of the impact she made, saying that she “truly helped guide and shape services at the Center. She became choked up at Diebolt’s memory, saying she will be greatly missed, and that there is a big hole in her heart for Lucy.

Schrandt said that Diebolt was very public with her story and a hero for leaving her situation during the most lethal and dangerous time in the relationship. Lucy helped on the phones, was a public speaker and presenter, a volunteer coordinator, and an active member of the Board of Directors. Diebolt took women and children into her home to shelter and protect then, as well. Most recently she played a critical role in the startup and daily operations of the LACASA Collection resale boutique in Howell.

She is survived by 3 children, 2 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild.

Visitation will take place this Friday afternoon from 2 to 4pm, and from 6 to 8pm, at MacDonald’s Funeral Home in Howell. Funeral Services will be Saturday morning at 11am. Memorial contributions can be sent to LACASA at P.O. Box 72, Howell, MI 48844. (MK)