Funeral service for Floyd D. Ditto, 88, were conducted by Pastor Roger Claxton on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Audubon. Interment was in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Audubon. The honorary casket bearers were Darold Tessman, Duane Tessman, Dick Knudsen, Don Sorensen, Darrell Jensen and Laverne (Bub) Deist. The casket bearers were Steven B. Hansen, Bill McGuire, Ken Burns, Kim Krauel, David Jensen, and Dale Tessman. The Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon was in charge of the arrangements.
Floyd Dale Ditto, the son of Allen and Kathryn (Dutler) Ditto, was born July 20, 1927, on his parents' farm in Guthrie County, and died Jan. 10, 2016, at the Kennybrook Village in Grimes, at the age of 88 years, 5 months, and 20 days.
Floyd was baptized and confirmed at the Lone Star Church in Guthrie County. He attended rural school through the eighth grade and then worked on the family farm. At the age of 14 he bought a guitar and taught himself to play. In 1951 he joined the Tilton Shows in northern Iowa which was referred to as Circle Stock. In 1958 he joined the Bisbee Shows, then the Toby Shows and later the Shaffner Shows. All these shows were performed in a large tent which set up in September, closed near Christmas then reopened in the spring. The shows traveled to smaller communities to educate and entertain the local people. In the fall of 1961, he joined the International Lectures selling Lyceum Programs, as well as performing in the school assemblies as the Folk Singer Balladeer, where he played the guitar and sang folk songs. It was during this time at a dance in Coon Rapids, where he was playing guitar in a band when he met his future wife Doris.
On April 23, 1962, he was united in marriage to Doris Jean Powell at the Nazarene Church in Independence, Kan. Two daughters: Dalena and Denise were born to this union. Doris began performing with Floyd as The Ditto Duo, singing popular-folk-country+western music, giving school programs on the History of Folk Music throughout Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio and Texas. They also participated in the "Old Four Eyes" pageant in Medora, N.D. In December of 1964, Floyd purchased his father's farm which has since received the honor of being a Century Farm, and now been in the Ditto family for 119 years. In the early 1970's they returned to the Audubon area and operated the farm. Floyd also was a hail adjuster with Square Deal for over 33 years (1973-2006). He sold life insurance for several years, and was a crop/multi-peril claims adjuster from 1977 through 1980, then sold crop/multi-peril insurance from 1980 through 2011. Doris died in March 2014 and Floyd continued living on the farm.
Floyd was a member of the Lone Star Church in Guthrie County until it closed, and then became a member in 1977 of the First Presbyterian Church in Audubon where he had served as a Deacon and an Elder. In 1990 he became a member of the Veritas Lodge No. 392 in Audubon. He was honored to be the Melville Township Clerk of Audubon County from 1984 through 2014 then retired after 30 years of service. Floyd was also a lifetime member of the National Society for the Preservation of Tent, Folk and Repertoire Theatre.
Floyd's greatest loves were his family, close friends, farm life and music. He was proud to be called Papa by his grandson and enjoyed teaching Landon to shoot his iconic 1921 Winchester pump .22 rifle. Floyd adored his many lifelong relationships with friends, had a keen memory, and was thrilled to share funny and interesting stories of the past. He was a careful steward of his farm land and cherished his classic John Deere 630 and Model 60 tractors; a Sunday drive to check out the crops was a frequent delight. He enjoyed listening to music just as much as performing for an audience. Anyone who knew him would say he had a strong work ethic, was as honest as they come, had a good sense of humor and genuine smile, always had a twinkle in his eyes, and took pleasure in the small things in life.
Floyd was preceded in death by his wife Doris Ditto; his parents Allen and Kathryn Ditto; his sisters Hazel Ditto, Gladys and husband Vivian Cretsinger; his brothers Wilbur (Bill) Ditto, and Glen E. Ditto; his niece Velma and husband Robert Hagman; his nephew Vaughn Bowman; his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Harris Powell, Marvin Powell, Ferne Gorrie, Charles Powell, Marilou Miller and an infant Mary Jane Powell.
Survivors include his daughters: Dalena Ditto and her son Landon both of Branson, Mo.; Denise and husband Chris Vernon of Des Moines; his step-grandson Alex Vernon of Houston, Texas; his sister Wilma and husband Warren Bowman of Audubon; his brother-in-law and sisters-in-law Lorraine Ditto of Manning; Paul and wife Rita Powell of Weeping Water, Neb.; Dola Freeman of Branson, Mo.; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
The family prefers memorials to Audubon Fire Department, the Mason Lodge Veritas Lodge No. 392, or the First Presbyterian Church in Audubon.
Kessler Funeral Home
515 S Division St
Audubon, IA 50025
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Jan. 22 to Jan. 29, 2016