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71, of Chandler, AZ. passed away in the early hours of April 12, 2014. He was born September 20, 1942 to Werner and Hedwig Maass in Heinrichswalde, Germany during the war torn days of WWII. His siblings and parents traveled from the Eastern sector of the country to what became known as Western Germany when he was a toddler. As a teenager, his family immigrated to Morton, Washington in 1956 - making the journey on a ship through rough ocean waters. He did not know English when he came to the US and told interesting stories about his integration into this culture. He learned English by watching television and reading comic books. In 1957, the family moved to Tacoma, WA. where he attended Lincoln High School. He joined the USAF after graduating from High School and was stationed at the air base adjacent to the Portland airport in Oregon. In 1964, he married Kathleen, his high school sweetheart and wife of 49 years. For most of his adult life he lived in Oregon. After the military, Dit became a machinist and worked in numerous jobs before settling in his career at Nabisco. He was a Maintenance Machinist and later a manager in that field of work. Over the years he enjoyed bowling, his motorcycles, motor homes, and making many wonderful friends in those social groups. He always maintained a beautiful yard and spotless vehicles, enjoyed reading books, took great pride in his military experience and his German culture. Above all, he loved his family and the time he spent with them. He is survived by his wife Kathy, daughter Brenda (Rick) Krebs, grandsons Derek and Chris, son Eric (Sherie) Maass, granddaughters Kim (Jason) Buslach, and Desirae. Great-grandchildren Addison and Tyler, brother Will, sisters Irmie, Brunie and Patty and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and 3 siblings. Internment is through cremation and a service is tentatively planned for June 21, 2014 in Washington State.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Apr. 19 to Apr. 20, 2014