Frederick R. Dietz
Frederick R.


Frederick R. Dietz, a great bear of a man, who loved deeply and learned constantly, who kept his family entertained whether he tried to or didn't, and who helped children across the world by treating clubfoot, died on Sunday, August 12th, at home with his family. He was 67.

Fred said that he had lived "the good life," a vibrant float around the galaxy. In the end, he got pancreatic cancer. It was important to Fred that his friends know he was sorry he didn't have time to say goodbye to each person he loved, but that by the end he had "finished it the way he started" without regrets, and that he had come to terms with his death. He wanted to say, simply, "It's been a pleasure."

Fred was born in Akron, Ohio, the second of four siblings, though he often told his children that he came from the planet "Zorgopt." He graduated from Harvard University and Columbia Medical School and came to Iowa City in 1977 for an Orthopedics Residency. Fred said Iowa was his first choice for training and his last choice for weather, but he was always proud to work at the University of Iowa among exceptional colleagues and within an exemplary Orthopedics program.

Fred loved friends, tennis rackets, deep water, big waves, and the son of two journalists he loved words. He often led dinner conversations around grammar, or revisited age-old family debates like the one about the difference between "a pitch" and "a pass" at the table. Fred always said he was willing to be wrong about one or two things in his lifetime, but truly he was wrong less often than his family would have liked.

Fred's favorite sound was that of the people he loved playing in the yard. Of his two sons, Alex and Andrew, Fred said they were "the reason every day was worth it." One of Fred's great pleasures was playing with Alex's son and Fred's first grandchild, Thomas. Alex and Andrew are grateful to have had such a great dad, and friend, in Fred. Fred's two step daughters, Sarah and Liza, are forever grateful that he decided to take on raising teenage girls. All four kids will miss him terribly.

This year Fred celebrated his 18th Anniversary with Meg, who he sometimes described as "Lauren Bacall" and sometimes as "me love, me pride, me darlin'," sometimes as "your mother" and other times just "sweets." Fred liked to say that his two years of retirement were like going back to school again, "except that the only classes were gym, band, and lunch." He loved spending his days playing tennis, piano, guitar, and trombone, floating on the pond, playing in his shop, and working in the yard with Meg.

Fred always said he was lucky to know some of the best people on the planet and also to call those people his friends. He cherished the friends whom he had known for decades: the friends in medicine and tennis and music, and the friends he made while teaching the Ponsetti method and treating clubfoot deformities across America, and in the UK, Switzerland, Australia, Laos, Bangladesh, and beyond. Fred's work lives after him in the footsteps of hundreds of thousands of children and adults who are living lives unhampered by pain while running, jumping, dancing, and covering more ground every day.

Members of Fred's family include, Meg (Lande) Dietz; his sons, Alex (Alicia Oberle) Dietz of Lakewood, Colo., and Andrew Dietz of Wellington, NZ; and his step daughters, Sarah Minor of Cleveland, Ohio, and Liza Minor of Boulder, Colo. In addition, his family include his mother, Margaret Dietz of Akron, Ohio; his brother, Hank (Juanita) Dietz of Graham, N.C.; his sister, Susan (Eric) Pardee of Cleveland, Ohio; and eight nieces and nephews. Fred lost his father, Dick and his younger brother, John too early.

Please join us for a Celebration of Fred's Life at The Unitarian Universalist Society in Coralville, Iowa, on Saturday, August 25th, 2018. The event will begin at 1 p.m., followed by a reception. All are welcome.

If you'd like to honor Fred, in lieu of flowers, please pour a Manhattan and drink it with someone you love.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Akron Beacon Journal from Aug. 19 to Aug. 22, 2018.
Celebration of Life
The Unitarian Universalist Society
, Coralville, IA
Sponsored by Akron Beacon Journal.
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39 Entries
Remembering Freddy is like remembering childhood. His Smile and character was like a sunny day in summer. He will always be rememered by myself and all the leibtag family as golden star in our lives.
Reena Leibtag/Shindman
August 11, 2020
Dr. Dietz saved my life. A month before my 6th birthday, I ended up with bacterial meningitis. I barely made it out alive but this man and other doctors and nurses didnt give up on me. He ended up being my primary care doctor for many years after that. He was hands down the best doctor Ive ever had. And he was so good with kids. One of my favorite memories was when he came in my room to check on me before he left for vacation. He came in with his doctor coat and scrubs but was wearing Hawaiian shorts lol. I was really hoping to find him and reconnect with him to show him that Ive made it to 27 almost. Very sad to hear of his passing. He definitely made an impact on many lives. Hope him and my mom had a chance to talk up there ❤
Destiny Bell
February 15, 2020
Im so sorry to hear about Dr Dietz. He was my daughters doctor for 20 years. He was the first doctor we saw when she was airlifted to IC. He was such a wonderful gentle man. I had wanted to get ahold of him to let him know our sweet daughter Hannah Jacobs passed away today at the age of 32. I know theyll meet up in Heaven. Im so sorry for your loss.
Joan Jacobs
December 13, 2019
Betty Neave-Aguero
October 2, 2018
I was a patient his From the 1982 until 2005-2006. I just recently googled his name to see if he was still in office. It makes me sad to hear of his passing he was a great guy and dr. To his family ur in my thoughts and prayers.
Mackenzie Wanatee
September 19, 2018
Fred was one of the good people of all time; he had a handle on life and did not have an evil hair on his head. It breaks my heart I will not be able to play tennis with him again, or have a stimulating discussion with him, or just brunch with a friend. Farewell Fred, we miss you!
Michael Voigt
September 19, 2018
"It's been a pleasure," Fred messages in his obituary.
Indeed, it has been, but not long enough.
Jim Larew
August 24, 2018
To Freddy, Hank, Susie, Margaret and Dick and Johnny,

Growing up on Morley, the Dietz and Pinsky families were close. Although I was a bit older than the Dietz kids, I knew they were all special: bright, curious, good humor, friendly and even then spiritual. It was devastating when Dick and Johnny died, and I am sure all that the family has given in so many ways reflects on that loss. My colleagues at U. Iowa have told me how important Freddy was to the University and the patients. Truly a life lost too soon, and truly a life that contributed so much. Freddy, as I read the other messages, I know your legacy will live on forever. Freddy, my best wishes to your family, especially the ones I know the most: Margaret, Hank and Susie.
Bill Pinsky
August 23, 2018
spending two days reading about this extraordinary man, am still at a lack for words...probably to have had the opportunity to meet him would have meant either a club foot or some other medical scenario, so reading simply has to be enough.
a human being to affect and help so many is a gift to the world, not to mention being from Zorgopt. surely, family and friends feel unbelievably blessed; love lasts forever, and his works will live on and on. thank you for sharing his beautiful story, it makes me feel blessed too!
valerie becker
August 21, 2018
This stunning news keeps squeezing my heart and I didn't even know Fred well. We played in the hospital jazz band together and it was always a delight when he arrived with his spirit. Reading his obituary and these guest comments, I marvel to know that he was just as great a guy as he appeared. Makes me want to be a better person. Thanks, Fred. Ooh, there it is again. My deepest sympathies to his family and close friends whose lives are forever changed by his absence. May his beautiful spirit take seed in our hearts in a new way.

Just look at that smile! What a great obit picture.
Carolyn Johnson
August 21, 2018
My deepest condolences on Fred's passing. I was truly shocked and saddened by the news. I played trombone alongside Fred in the hospital band for the past 4 years and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I will cherish the memories of making great music alongside Fred.
Doug Whiteside
August 21, 2018
Dr. Dietz improved the lives of so many children. I'm lifting him and his family in prayers of gratitude for his life of service.
Sharon Hill, PT
Sharon Hill
August 20, 2018
He was a beautiful and inspiring soul.
Ginger Leonard
August 20, 2018
Fred, I was devastated to receive the news of your passing. You were a wonderful physician, father, confidant, and friend. You were a one of a kind person who will forever hold a special place in my heart. May Meg and the kids find true comfort in the warmth of your memory. RIP Dear Friend.
Jan Launspach
August 20, 2018
Freddy was my cousin. He was ten years older than I am. Because we lived very far apart, I only met him one time. I was maybe 8 or 9 years old and our family was visiting my grandparents in Cleveland. The Dietzs came from Akron to visit. I was young and that was a long time ago, but I still remember it to this day. In spite of our age difference Freddy was so much fun and so engaged. When I found out he went into orthopedic medicine specializing in pediatrics it just seemed like a perfect fit based on the little bit of time I spent with him. After reading all of the memories posted here, I am feeling a sense of regret for not attempting to hook back up with him. He was obviously so very special. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. May all of your wonderful memories bring you peace and comfort in this time of sorrow.
John Whitehead
August 20, 2018
Freddy Dietz lived across the street (Moreley Ave.) from my family. He and his brother Hank were older than most of the neighborhood kids we played with. I remember Freddy and Hank as being kind to us younger kids. Freddy was always cheerful and happy to play catch on a slow summer afternoon. I lost track of the Dietz family when our family moved to Doylestown in the mid-1960's. Not at all surprised at how well things turned out for Freddy both academically and professionally. He was a class individual at ten years old and he never changed.
Marty Haney
August 19, 2018
What a wonderful soul. Your place is in heaven. God decided to put the wonderful soul's there.No words for the loss .where ever you are,we can just say-Miss you.
Dilruba Jahan
August 18, 2018
Dilruba Jahan
August 18, 2018
I met him twice during his visit to Bangladesh. He accepted my invitation on my little daughter"s birthday party. His presence was graceful .what a gentle spirit. Then I talked about by bone related problems-he gave me some medicine's name and showed some exercises. I was waiting for his another visit but the thunderbolt-like news hit me-he is no more.He possed really a magnetic image which was everlasting.why people those are the angel like leave the world so swiftly? Rest in peace Dear.
Dilruba Jahan
August 18, 2018
Fred, I am deeply saddened with your loss. You were my friend, my senior tennis doubles teammate, and my patient. My own father passed into heaven at age 54 with the same diagnosis when I was 17 years of age. I was hoping that I would become more talented playing the french horn and that we could play in concerts together.

Viktor Frankl once said, "everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." In other words, in the face of this tragedy, you demonstrated a very positive attitude, continued to give a full effort, and treated everyone with love and kindness. The world is a better place because you were born!
Ken Goins
August 16, 2018
I'm so sad and so sorry .... You were always a gentleman and a scholar. I learned much from you.
Always a "doctor" first, who just happened to be a darn good surgeon when you needed to be....., all who you taught so well surely learned that lesson.
Jim Nepola
August 16, 2018
One of a kind. RIP Fred...
John Adams
August 16, 2018
Fred(or Freddy as I used to call him) was the big brother of my best Freind Johnny who died many years ago in a terrible car accident with Freds Father.Fred was always so nice to me as a little girl and that is how a will always remember him. I wil always remeber his constant smile and his love for tennis. I have not seen Fred since I was 15 and that was almost 45 years ago but his happy face will stay in my memory forever.
My deepest condolences to the entire family - I have the fondast memories of all the Deitzes
Reena Leibtag/Shindman
August 16, 2018
So sorry to hear this. Dr Dietz was a wonderful Dr. I enjoyed filling in on the peds team. God took a great person. Prayers and Hugs to the family.
Donna Nevins-Amundson
August 15, 2018
I am so very sorry to hear of Fred's passing. We worked in the same department and often stopped to talk in the hallway about family, tennis, and his pond. He was a gentle soul and I will miss him. We celebrated him with a drink tonight. Please know my family will be praying for yours. Mary Greve
Mary Greve
August 15, 2018
You will be so dearly and forever missed Dr. Dietz!! I will never ever forget the day you gave me the 10 minute lecture on why you hated "water proof casts" because they breed skin infections when you saw me wearing a water proof cast coming down the hallway when I broke my wrist in July of 2015! I will also forever miss the clinic days of getting to see you test out your pencil aparatus you made to get your Kids to crawl down my hallway! You were Truly the BEST of the best! ❤
R.I.P Dr. Dietz
Kim Grantham
August 15, 2018
I remember Fred from our youth, when he played Little League on a WABL team my dad coached. His hey, batter, batter was classic! Heartfelt sympathy to Margaret and the Dietz family from the Michael family.
Jill Michael Forster
August 15, 2018
I was so sad to hear of Dr. Deitz's passing. He treated our daughter from the age of 12 to 18 for foot/ankle issues. He did two surgeries on her and we could not have been happier to have him for her caregiver. The second was tougher and he was always there whenever we called from the hospital (even on vacation) to be there for her. He went out of his way to make sure she got the care she needed. I believe he helped carve her path of education as much as we talked with him. One of our last visits with him I remember we talked about pedicures and he tells us he went with his wife to get a pedicure, slips off his shoe and sock to show us the color of nail polish he chose!! Oh my did we laugh about that! I will forever remember him, his smile, laugh and compassion. My prayers to your family and thank you for sharing him with all of us over the years! He truly was a wonderful man.
Amy Overton
August 15, 2018
My thoughts and prayers with the Dietz family. My son was an oncology Peds patient at the U of Iowa 15 + yrs ago. We were seen by Dr Dietz for feet issues. At the time I didn't realize he was married to my classmate Meg. What a small world. He was a wonderful and caring doctor. I'm sorry for your loss.
Kae Cordwell Rudolph
August 15, 2018
Keith went to school with Fred in junior high and high school, and I went to high school with him as well. We both have many fond memories of Fred but remember most of all his kindness, intelligence, and talent in tennis. How wonderful he used those skills and characteristics to share with others who had disabilities to help them with any obstacles. You will be missed and honored for who you were then Fred, and later in life. We will be sending prayers for your family to find Peace in the days ahead. Fondly, Keith and Colleen Nielsen (Buchtel Class of 1969 & 1970)
August 15, 2018
All those special qualities in Fred were evident even in elementary school, at Rankin, where we first met.
May his memory be eternal.
Jim Rodgers
August 15, 2018
Dr Dietz was one of a kind. The best of the best. His approach and humor was refreshing. The impact he had on children and families will be one of his many legacies. He will be missed. Tracey Page, ChildServe
August 15, 2018
My son was your patient when he was little (six casts in six weeks) and I had the utter privilege of working around you. My son and I shall miss you. Hearing your laughter down the hallways was always a treat, and seeing you walk around with a smile on your face was a privilege. This is a huge loss for so many, and my heart mourns with them. You are in a bigger, better place and I hope your laughter makes heaven smile, too. God bless you, and everyone who loves you still. The love never ends, does it? It's a forever thing.
Diana Johannes
August 15, 2018
Diana Johannes
August 15, 2018
Fred was a dear man, and I will always remember the funny times we shared on those long train and bus trips across Bangladesh with 'Walk for Life' clubfoot. We really laughed, and also shared stories and knowledge, learning together and teaching too. Fred was a good man, sentimental, kind, and a good doctor. My prayers and thoughts are with his family, and I will toast him with his prescribed manhattan on Saturday.
Vale Fred, I am grateful that our paths crossed.
Angela Evans
August 15, 2018
All my love to the Dietz family. Fred was loved by us all. I am so sorry. Love, Rebecca Moskovitz Ramnytz
Rebecca Ramnytz
August 15, 2018
My condolences to the family. My cup is raised to a life well lived. To the man who gave back to the less fortunate and spread love and good will around the world. Rest in peace my fellow Griffin.
Anthony Richardson
August 14, 2018
Very kind person.Wonderful demeanor always. Used to watch him hit the tennis against a wall, when he had no tennis partner that day. I am sorry for your children and of course Fred's wife. I am sorry - Peter Conte Buchtel High graduate with him 1969
Peter Conte
August 14, 2018
Brother, you were too young. Miss you. Hank
Hank Dietz
August 14, 2018
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