Bruce F. Dietrich, age 80, passed away unexpectedly on January 9, 2014. After a generous and active life, he leaves behind devoted family, countless friends, and a legacy of service to others.
Bruce was born in Fleetwood, PA on March 2, 1933, the first child of Paul L. Dietrich and Mildred Schollenberger Dietrich. He was a graduate of Fleetwood High School (1951), Franklin and Marshall College (B.S., 1955) and the University of Delaware (Ph.D., 1959).
In 1955, Bruce married his high school sweetheart, Mary Althouse. Bruce and Mary enjoyed 38 years together, full of entertaining, travel, gardening, music, and sharing their time and many talents with others until Mary’s death in 1993.
Rotary Club held a special place in Bruce’s dedication to community service. He was a long-term member of the Lancaster South Rotary Club and was recently honored for his support of Rotary Foundation. In the 1990’s, he was fortunate to travel to Australia on a Rotary exchange trip. More recently, he served the organization in other ways, including as a major donor, and funnel cake chef. Bruce was also a dedicated alumnus of Franklin & Marshall College, having been honored as a member of F & M’s Nevonian Society.
Other community organizations that benefited from Bruce’s time and talents over the years include St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, a municipal rose garden, local chorale groups, American Field Service, and various organizations at Willow Valley Retirement Community. A member of First Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, Bruce also served as a Stephen Minister.
Bruce enjoyed a long career as a research chemist at Armstrong World Industries in Lancaster, PA. He was awarded two patents for his work with floor covering before he retired in 1993.
He is survived by his daughter, Wendy Dietrich Benz, wife of Stephen Benz from Phoenix, AZ; son Stephen Bruce Dietrich, husband of Christy Pennell Dietrich from Lancaster, PA; and three grandchildren, Allison Benz and Dietrich Benz of Phoenix, AZ, and Christofer Dietrich of Lancaster, PA. Also surviving are two sisters, Faye Dietrich Berk of Scottsdale, AZ, and Ann Dietrich Lane of Ligonier, PA.
A Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 11:00 AM at First Presbyterian Church, 140 E. Orange St., Lancaster, PA with Pastor Geoff Kohler officiating. A reception and celebration of Bruce’s life will follow the service at the church. Friends may call at the church on Tuesday morning from 10:00 AM till the time of the service. The internment at Millersville Mennonite Cemetery will be private and held at the convenience of the family following the service on Tuesday.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to Bruce’s memory may be made to the Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center of Lancaster County, 625 Community Way, Lancaster, PA 17603; or to the Rotary Foundation, 14280 Collections Center Dr., Chicago, IL 60693.