Neil Edward Dietrich | Bemidji Pioneer
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Neil Edward Dietrich

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Neil Edward Dietrich, 87, of Kelliher, MN, died on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at Sanford Medical Center in Bemidji, Minnesota.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, July 25, 2014 at 11:00 A.M. at Blackduck Evangelical Free Church with Pastor Dwight Warden officiating. Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 24 from 5-8 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. prayer service in the Cease Funeral Home Chapel in Blackduck. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery in Kelliher, Minnesota. Full military honors provided by Kelliher VFW Post# 7052 and the Patriot Guard Riders. Active pallbearers will be Neils grandsons; Gabe Dietrich, Levi Dietrich, Dusty Dietrich, Cody Dietrich, Joe Dietrich and Luke Wallin.

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He was born on March 22, 1927 in Redby, Minnesota to Joseph (Eddie) and Berenice (Workman) Dietrich. He grew up in Redby and graduated from Red Lake High School in 1945. He entered the US Navy in May of 1945. He was discharged in August 1946 after serving with the Sea Bees during World War II. During his military service, he spent time in Guam and was a student pilot. He married Juanita Patch on July 15, 1953. They had 4 children together. In the summer of 1958, the family moved to Cormant. They were later divorced. He worked for MNDOT for 35 years, retiring from the highway department in 1986. He enjoyed dancing, reading, trapshooting, bowling and snowmobiling. He received numerous trap shoot and bowling trophies. He was a life member of the Blackduck American Legion Post #372 and the NRA. He was a member of the VFW Post # 7052 in Kelliher, the North Beltrami Sportsmans Club in Kelliher and was involved with firearm training. Neils smile was well-known as was his love for his family. He accepted the Lord as his personal savior in the Fall of 1977. He had been a resident of Cornerstone Residence in Kelliher since the Fall of 2010.

He is survived by his children, Ayleen (Lyle) Wallin of Blackduck, Craig (Norma) Dietrich of Northome, Dan (Lori) Dietrich of Blackduck and Gail (Pat) Troxler of Leonardville, KS; 12 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandchildren; a sister, Lois (Curly) Brandt of Emory, Texas; longtime friend, Katie Krueth; 2 nieces, Nila Dowlearn and Eileen (Denny) Skillingstad; and 4 nephews, David Brandt, Ralph, Roger and Ray Patch.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Eddie and Berenice Dietrich; 2 infant brothers; 2 great-grandsons, Jacob (Jake) and Zechariah (Zech) Risland on April 6, 2012 and 1 great-nephew, Drew Skillingstad in March 1993.

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