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Howard D. Dietrich

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HANOVER Howard Daniel Dietrich, 86, departed this life on Tuesday, October 23, 2012, at the Brethren Home Community, New Oxford, where he had recently taken up residence for support during his battle with brain cancer. He was born in Hanover, on August 23, 1926, to Earl and Etta (Szwoyer) Dietrich. He was a loving son, brother, husband, and uncle. In early adulthood, he graduated from McCann School of Business in Reading, where he also instructed. He was a talented musician who played the trumpet in two Reading-based bands, which performed throughout the region. During WWII, he served in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Naples, Italy, where he served as a code translator. Thereafter followed a 40-year career with the Hanover Shoe Company as production manager and master scheduler for six factories. He retired in 1993. He was a long time member of the VFW Post 2506, Hanover, the BPOElks #763, Hanover, and the Harold H. Bair American Legion Post 14, Hanover, where he was a member for over 65 years. A faithful parishioner of Lohr's Memorial United Methodist Church for 56 years, he served on every committee within the church, and as chairman of many over his tenure there. He also sang in the choir and was a member of the bell choir. He was an avid volunteer, providing many years of service to the Hanover Red Cross, and was a supporter of numerous charities. Mr. Dietrich was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Sara Barnhart Dietrich, who died June 3, 2009. Over the decades, the two were rarely apart, and their happy marriage was a model of devotion. He is survived by his sister, Bertha Dietrich Meckley of Hanover; two nieces, Jan Meckley Fritz of Hanover and Beth Meckley Line of York; great-niece, Elizabeth Line of Manhattan, N.Y.; great-nephew, Dr. Christian Line and his wife, Sarah, of Annville; and great-great-nieces, Leah and Charlotte Line. His loss is also mourned by a great number of loyal friends and extended family members. A memorial service to celebrate the life of Howard Dietrich will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the sanctuary of the former Lohr's Memorial United Methodist Church (now part of First United Methodist Church), 200 Middle St., Hanover, with the Rev. Gregory A. Rapp officiating. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at the church. After the service, family and friends will process to Mt. Olivet Cemetery for the interment, where full military honors will be provided by the Hanover Allied Veterans Honor Guard. Donations in Mr. Dietrich's memory may be made to the 1926 Club of Hanover General Hospital, of which he was a member, c/o 300 Highland Ave., Hanover, PA 17331. To share memories of Howard D. Dietrich, please visit
Published in Evening Sun on Oct. 25, 2012
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