Cover photo for Frederick J. Dietsch's Obituary
Frederick J. Dietsch Profile Photo
1939 Frederick 2024

Frederick J. Dietsch

March 8, 1939 — June 4, 2024

Fayetteville

Frederick Joseph Dietsch, 85, of Fayetteville, PA, proud veteran of the U.S. Air Force, died on June 4, 2024 at home in the care of his loving wife and children. The only son of Anton and Anna (Uhing) Dietsch, Fred was born on March 8, 1939 in Fordyce, NE, the second of four children. After his father’s tragic death at the age of 9, Fred, his three sisters and mom lived with his Uncle Johnny on a farm near Bow Valley, NE. He graduated high school from St. Joseph’s Technical School, “Techny”, near Chicago, IL, a Roman Catholic seminary operated by the Society of the Divine Word missionary order.

 

In 1958, Fred enlisted in the USAF. He was commissioned as an officer in 1960 as a navigator. During his service, he accrued over 11,000 flight hours circumnavigating the globe as a flight navigator on the C-141 Starlifter, C-118 Liftmaster and C-133A Cargomaster. While stationed at Da Nang AB in Vietnam in 1971 to 1972, he served as a navigator on an AC-119 Gunship. He attained the rank of Major and commendations included The Air Force Commendation Medal, The Distinguished Flying Cross, The Air Medal, and The Meritorious Service Medal. Upon his retirement from service in 1980, he attended The Citadel in Charleston, SC, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering. Fred spent the next 20 years as an engineer for Northrop Grumman f/k/a Denro, Inc., in Gaithersburg, MD.   

 

Fred met the love of his life, Kathleen Kelley, when he was stationed in Dover, DE. They married in 1965 and lived in Dover, DE; Ramstein, Germany; and Charleston, SC, before settling to raise their six children in Gaithersburg, MD. Fred was a skilled handyman who selflessly volunteered his time and expertise to family, friends and community. In retirement, he volunteered for VFW Post 1599 in Chambersburg, PA as a member of the Honor Guard. He was a faithful member of the Knights of Columbus at St. Ignatius Loyola Church, honored as Knight of the Year in 2014. He will be lovingly remembered for his honesty, integrity, laughter, his love of cars and planes, all things mechanical, and his devotion to family, friends and the Catholic faith.

 

Fred is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Kathy; his loving children Colleen (Tracy) Cornatzer, Kelley (Steve) Smith, Ryan Dietsch, Mary (Chris) Patella, Michael Dietsch, and Andrew (Morgan) Dietsch; his sisters, Donna Sudbeck and Doris Heine; his grandchildren, Meghan, Rebecca, Rowan, Garrott, Brennen, Julia, Spicer, Declan, Mirin, Christopher, Agnes, and Sterling; and his great-grandchildren Kayden, Ayvery, Grant and Charlotte. Fred was predeceased by his parents and his sister Shirley Schwartz.  

 

Visitation will be held at the Thomas L. Geisel Funeral Home, 333 Falling Spring Road, Chambersburg, PA 17202, on Sunday, June 9, 2024 from 6:00-8:00 pm. A Vigil for the Deceased will be prayed at 7:30 pm officiated by Deacon Stephen Huete. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in memory of Fred at 11:00 am on Monday, June 10, 2024 at St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church, 1095 Church Rd, Orrtanna, PA 17353 with Rev. Kenneth Smith, celebrant and Rev. Dominic M. DiBiccaro, con-celebrant. Interment will immediately follow in the adjoining church cemetery where military honors will be provided by the VFW Post 1599 Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Cross Catholic Outreach or Chambersburg VFW Post 1599. Condolences and memories may be shared at geiselfuneralhome.com.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

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Sunday, June 9, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Visitation

Monday, June 10, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church

1095 Church Road, Orrtanna, PA 17353

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Mass

Monday, June 10, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church

1095 Church Road, Orrtanna, PA 17353

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