Barbara Ann Dietrich, 86, of Georgetown passed away Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at home where she had spent 10 days under hospice care and in the presence of loving family and friends. Barbara was a life-long resident of Georgetown; born Feb. 25, 1934, to the late James W. Dunham and Rhea King Dunham.
Barbara married the love of her life, Edward J. W. Dietrich, in December 1952. Some of their favorite pastimes were dancing, hosting family and friends at their home, spending summer days at the beach, enjoying cookouts and homemade ice cream in the backyard, and devoting quality time to raising their children. Barbara was very involved in fully supporting and encouraging their children’s educational and extracurricular endeavors; fostering a lifelong love of reading, chauffeuring them to their many activities, and being involved in the PTA. Barbara and Eddie enjoyed traveling with family in the U.S., as well as a family trip to Europe when their son Steve and his wife Barb were stationed with the U.S. Army in Germany. Barbara and her sister, June, spent several vacations together in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. A highlight of Barbara’s travels in later years was a special trip to France with her son, Jon.
A graduate of Georgetown High School in 1952; Barbara served as class secretary and newspaper editor, and later coordinated elaborate class reunions with her cherished classmates. As an avid writer, Barbara composed many poems, stories, newspaper articles, editorials, commemorative speeches, as well as children’s books for family. She was an active member of a writing group at Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford for several of her later years. Her beautiful poetry will comfort her family for many years to come.
Barbara worked as a legal secretary before having her children. She then worked from home assisting with office duties for her husband’s business, E. J. Dietrich Home Improvements. In 1998 Barbara retired after 10 years with the State of Delaware where she had served as a statewide secretary for the Delaware Foster Grandparent Program.
Barbara was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Georgetown for almost 75 years, and the Georgetown Historical Society for several decades. She was also a prior member of the Advisory Council for the Delaware Foster Grandparent Program.
Barbara is survived by her children, Lt. Col. Steve E. Dietrich (U.S. Army, Ret) (Barbara) of Fredericksburg, Va., Andrea D. Prettyman (Ralph) of Milford and Jon D. Dietrich (Jenika) of New York City, N.Y.; grandchildren, Breanna D. Jonmaire (Kenneth), Keith E. Dietrich, Zachary E. Prettyman and Alyssa R. Prettyman; and great-grandchildren, Bode and Elliette Jonmaire; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, Barbara was preceded by her husband, Edward J. W. Dietrich and her sister, June D. Smith.
The family would like to thank the dedicated staff of Seasons Hospice and Coastal Home Care for the compassionate care they recently provided to Barbara. The family would also like to thank Barbara’s many dear friends for the love and comfort they shared with her over the years. Anyone who knew Barbara will always remember her as a sweet, kind, loving, and classy lady.
Visitation will be held at Grace United Methodist Church, 7 S. King St, Georgetown, Wednesday, Aug. 5, from 11 a.m. to noon, with a funeral service at noon. Burial will be private at Union Cemetery, Georgetown. All in attendance must wear a mask and adhere to social gathering and distancing protocols.
Contributions can be made to the Marvel Carriage Museum, 510 S. Bedford St, Georgetown, DE 19947.
Arrangements in the care of Short Funeral Services, Georgetown. Online condolences may be left at www.shortfuneralservicesandcremation.com