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Edward Chris Dittmer

1918 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Edward Chris Dittmer Obituary

Edward Chris Dittmer, Senior Master Sergeant, U.S.A.F., Ret., 96, left this world the same way he lived his life, with grace and humor. He passed away on Jan. 2, 2015, at the Aristocrat in Alamogordo.

Dittmer was born on Sept. 24, 1918, in Luverne, Minn., to Christian Edward Dittmer and Estella Mae (Sherman) Dittmer.

Survivors include two sons, Edward C. (Carolyn) Dittmer Jr. of Tularosa and Chris E. (Lourdes) Dittmer of Davie, Fla.; four daughters, Jacqueline (Robert) Stratton of Kansasville, Wisc., Christine (Peter) Seyl of Bellingham, Wash., Marianne Nichols of La Luz, Carol Sue (Dan) Gums of Burlington, Wisc.; thirteen grandchildren; twenty-two great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife and the mother of his children, Marian Violet (Angell); wives, Lola (Kyle) and Juanelle (Parker); four sisters and one brother.

As a child, Dittmer worked with his dad delivering ice and later, at an ice rink where he tightened skates for those who needed it. In 1935, he began working in the Civilian Conservation Corps. After enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1944, he was stationed in Skagway, Alaska, during WWII. Dittmer was a veteran of World War II, as well as the Korean and Viet Nam Wars. He flew medevac missions, rescuing wounded soldiers from the jungles of South Viet Nam. He was awarded numerous awards and medals during his military career.
A resident of Alamogordo since 1956, Dittmer was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base, working in the Space Biology Department. From weightlessness experiments to testing G-force on the Daisy Sled, Dittmer was well prepared to aid in the Man High Project and was responsible for the training of the Astrochimps, Ham and Enos. While in his 80s, Dittmer spoke in elementary school classrooms about his experiences and was interviewed by reporters, authors and filmmakers. He also volunteered at the New Mexico Museum of Space History when he was able. In 2001, Dittmer was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame for his work with the Astrochimps. Dittmer was a member of Tularosa Masonic Lodge #49, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, the Scottish Rite and the American Legion.
He was a man of integrity and honor. He worked hard, gave generously to family and those in need and remained spirited and mentally sharp all of his days.

The graveside services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, 2014, at Monte Vista Cemetery with Pastor Chuck Moon officiating.
Pallbearers include grandsons, Chase Christenson, Roy Nichols, Roy Nichols Jr., Ben Gums, Edmund Coca and Samuel Coca.

Should friends desire, memorial donations may be made to the Salvation Army, 1900 E. 1st Street, Alamogordo.
The Dittmer family would like to thank the staff of the Aristocrat Assisted Living Center, Alamogordo Home Health Care and Hospice for their loving care.

The Dittmer family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Hamilton-O'Dell Funeral Home to direct the funeral services.
To sign the online register book, please visit
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Jan. 6 to Feb. 5, 2015
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