Juneau resident Kathleen Elizabeth Dietrick died on Jan. 19, 2009, in her home at Harlequin Point. She died peacefully, overlooking the water and mountains with her family by her side, they said.
Born May 14, 1945, in Franklin, Ohio, she graduated from Springboro High School in 1963. She received a Bachelor of Science degree at Ohio State University and Master of Science at the University of Tennessee.
In 1968, she began her career at the Ohio Department of Health, where she met Larry Dietrick. Being an adventurer, she traveled to King Salmon in 1975 to join her future husband in exploring Katmai and traveling the states. They were married that fall in her parent's backyard in her hometown, Franklin, Ohio. The following spring, they traveled the Alaska Highway to Fairbanks to build a log home and start a family.
In Fairbanks, she continued to work in the public health field and had two sons, Matthew, in 1978, and Andrew, in 1980.
She and her family moved to Juneau in 1987. In 2004, she was recognized for her outstanding work in special education.
She was a special person who touched all who knew her, her family said.
"She lived in the moment and loved life and people," they said. "Her smile could melt a glacier and her spirit uplifted all who met her."
She loved the outdoors and nature and spent most of her time with family and friends in a lifetime of boating, rafting, camping, hiking and outdoor adventures in Alaska.
Sunshine, margaritas, bonfires and the Ohio State Buckeyes were dear to her heart. She shared her love of the Buckeyes with her two sisters, Nancy and Karen, with whom she was very close.
Her favorite hobbies were flowers and music. Her flowers received many hours of attention in the summer and were always a highlight of the neighborhood, her family said. At Resurrection Lutheran Church, she was a longtime member of the bell and vocal choirs.
"She loved friends, neighbors and celebrations, and her pride and joy were her two sons," her family said. "She will forever be missed by those who knew and loved her."
She was preceded in death by her parents, Nelson and Dorothy Scholl; father-in-law, Vincent Dietrick; and brothers-in-law, John Hatton and James Shives.
She is survived by her husband of 33 years, Larry Dietrick; sons, Matthew and Andrew Dietrick, of Girdwood; sisters, Nancy Scholl and husband, Bill Busher, of Ester, and Karen Hatton, of Franklin, Ohio; and mother-in-law, Virginia Dietrick, of Shreveport, La.
A service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Juneau. The church also will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday to receive flowers. A memoriam for charitable donations will be announced at kathydietrick.blogspot.com.