Richard (Rich) Perry Ditty, 82, of Delano, Minn., passed away Friday March 6, 2015 at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, MN.
Mass of Christian burial was held Wednesday March 11, 2015 at 11:30AM at St Peter’s Church in Delano. Visitation was Tuesday, from 4:00PM to 8:00PM at St. Peter Church. Visitation continued Wednesday from 10:30-11:30 a.m. prior to Mass at church.
Richard was born Feb. 5, 1933, to Perry and Cecilia (Kiedrowski) Ditty in Delano.
He was preceded in death by his wife Donna (Demarais), son Perry, parents Perry and Cecilia, grandson Paul (Gilmer), and brother Paul Ditty.
Richard is survived by children Rhonda (Greg) Gilmer, Penny (David) Sinkel, Jodi (Tom) Fautsch, Shelly (Herb) Koch, Pat (Joe) Motzko, Rick (Ruth) Ditty and Mike (Mary) Ditty; 23 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren; siblings Therese (Gerald) Borrell, Mary Grengs, Carol (Richard) Hemberger, Nancy (Jim) Stevens, Tom (Barbara) Ditty, Catherine (George) Kraemer; and sister-in-law Ardella Ditty.
Rich and his wife Donna owned Ditty Plumbing and Heating, and have contributed to the Delano Community in many ways. As an outstanding Delano High School athlete, he received All Conference Honors in baseball, football, and basketball. He also was named to the All-State Minnesota Central football team and Region 5 basketball and baseball teams. As a member of the Delano Athletic Club for more than 30 years, he helped raise funds to support youth baseball and girls softball, as well as town-team baseball. He coached Little League Baseball and St. Peter’s grade school basketball team. He also served as secretary and treasurer of the Athletic Club for 10 years. He was a player for the Delano A’s for 26 Seasons and manager for more than 20 years in which the team made the State Tournament 5 times and was runner – up in 1971. He served as a baseball league officer and regional commissioner, which led to his induction into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, and the North Star Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996. He was the primary caretaker of Delano Municipal stadium during his time with the A’s. He also was the chairman for the 1984 State Tournament held in Delano and Maple Lake.
Rich Served in the United States Army from June 11, 1953 to May 20, 1955. After his service as Private First Class, he was honorably discharged from active duty. He was a member of the Delano American Legion, Delano Area Chamber of Commerce and the Delano Knights of Columbus. He served on the Delano Fourth of July Committee for more than 20 years. He also served two terms on the Delano School Board and served on the Delano Power Commission. He was named Citizen of the Year in 1995
He was a member of the Delano Fire Department for 39 years and served as Assistant Fire Chief and Secretary. He worked around the clock during the floods of 1952, 1957 and 1965 keeping pumps running, supervising sandbagging, helping with Municipal Power Plant survival and servicing many calls for people in the flood area.
He was an active member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Delano. He and his wife Donna have raised their 8 children in Delano before moving to Walker, Minnesota to enjoy their retirement. They both loved Walker very much. There, they were members of the church of St. Agnes. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He loved taking the grandkids out in the “Eliminator” for a boat ride and some fishing. He will be truly missed and remembered for all the lives he touched.