John Ditzler, 89, of Candler, North Carolina passed away on March 26, 2021. He and his wife of seventy years moved to Candler on June 20, 2018 after living most of their married life in Huntington, Indiana, moving there in 1954.
John was born in Goshen, Indiana on November 23, 1931 to parents Edward Ditzler and Mary Margaret "Peg" (Steele) Ditzler. After living in Huntington, Lafayette and Valparaiso, he grew up in Chicago, Illinois, moving there in 1943. He finished grade school and graduated from South Shore High School in January, 1950. He met his future wife, Patricia Rodney, there and they were married at St. Bride's Catholic Church on February 3, 1951. They were happily married for 70 years.
John was drafted into the Army July 23, 1952, and after basic infantry training at Fort Riley, Kansas, was sent overseas to serve in the Medical Co 351st Infantry Reg in Trieste, Italy on the Yugoslavia border at the southern end of the Iron Curtain. After a year he was sent back to Fort Riley and Honorably Discharged in June, 1954. They decided to leave Chicago and moved to Huntington, Indiana where they raised six children: Diane Close, Alexandria, Indiana; Mary Margaret "Peg" Dunn, Candler, North Carolina; James (Gina) Ditzler, Huntington, Indiana; Leigh Anne (Troy) King, Lafayette, Indiana; Andrew Ditzler (David Brodeur), Atlanta, Georgia; and the late Jennifer Ditzler (Heath White), Asheville, North Carolina; 12 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.
John worked for US Steel in Chicago, then Ditzler-Kelley Lumber, Memcor and Our Sunday Visitor/Noll Printing in Huntington from where he retired after 29 years as Production Control Manager.
John enjoyed being a part-time farmer, having a large garden, raising chickens, pigs, and beef cattle. He also enjoyed farming soybeans and corn on his 26-acre plot.
His hobby was building scale model airplanes covering World War I to the Korean War. He has 109 models on display at the Huntington airport.
Patricia and John loved traveling the country, camping in their motor home and fifth-wheel trailer. They wintered for 22 years in the Rio Grande Valley in Mission, Texas and took numerous ocean and river cruises. They traveled to all 50 states and 29 foreign countries.
John was a member of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Candler, North Carolina, and SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Huntington, Indiana.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, April 9, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and A Memorial Mass will follow at 11:00 a.m. at SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 860 Cherry St., Huntington, IN with Father Tony Steinacker presiding.
In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to John and Patricia Ditzler Community Fund in care of McElhaney-Hart Funeral Home, 715 N. Jefferson Street, Huntington, IN, 46750.
A private family burial will be held at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Huntington, IN.
McElhaney- Hart Funeral Home, 715 N. Jefferson St., Huntington, IN is entrusted with the arrangements. On line condolences may be sent to: www.mcelhaneyhartfuneralhome.com
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John and Patricia Ditzler Community Fund c/o McElhaney-Hart Funeral Home
715 N. Jefferson Street, Huntington IN 46750