Phyllis M. Dietrich

phyllis dietrich
Phyllis M. Dietrich, age 89 of Elma, IA passed away on Friday, November 21, 2014 at Mercy Medical Center in New Hampton, IA. Phyllis Mary Burke Freidhof Dietrich was born on April 9, 1925, in Cedar Rapids, IA to William Owen and Alice Caroline (Bilek) Burke. The family moved back to the Elma area in 1926 where Phyllis’ father began farming. Phyllis was raised as the second oldest in a family of 12. There was never a dull moment in that household! She was very proud of the fact that five of her brothers served their country in the military. The family was very close knit and thoroughly enjoyed each other company. She graduated from Immaculate Conception in Elma in 1947 and then attended teacher training in Cedar Falls at Iowa State Normal School. She taught country school in Mitchell and Howard County. On her birthday, April 9, 1947, she married Vincent G. Freidhof at Immaculate Conception in Elma. To this union there were five children born: George, Ron, Kenneth (deceased), Nancy and Kathy. Vincent passed away on July 21, 1979. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were her life. She was proud of their many accomplishments and always encouraged them. She loved them all dearly and often gave this advice: “Family is the most important thing in life. Material things don’t matter.” She worked for 22 years at Sara Lee in New Hampton where she made many lasting friendships. On August 29, 1986, at Our Lady of Lourdes, she married Francis A. Dietrich. She welcomed his children into her life and made a home for Francis for 28 years. Francis and Phyllis lived on the farm by Alta Vista until they retired to Elma. She is survived by her husband Francis: her four children: George (Julie) of Elma, Ron (Cynthia) of Bettendorf, Nancy (Roger Paulus) of Elma, and Kathy (Lynn Cody) of LaCrosse, WI. Three step-children: Jean (Bill) Irvin, Roger Dietrich (Jessica Reveland) and Lois (Rick) Burke. Eight grandchildren: Brad (Tammy) Freidhof, Jeff Freidhof, Melissa (John) Freidhof-Rodgers, Kelli (Nate) Koschmann, Rylan Freidhof, Courtney Worple, Marcy (David) Rochford, and Shawna (Mark) Abbas . Four step-grandchildren: Gavin Markee, Emily Markee, Jake Burke, and Katlyn Burke. Great-Grandchildren: Carter and Olivia Freidhof; Sylvia Freidhof-Cruz and Kirin Freidhof-Rodgers; Max and Lucy Koschmann; Ceana, Jaylen, Layla, and Lexus Britton and Savannah Williams; Rylie and Addie Rochford, and Kaden Abbas. Siblings: Norb (Theresa) Burke, Don (Fran) Burke, Jim (Judy) Burke, Murielly (Don) McAllister and Shirley Mihm. Preceded in death by her first husband, Vincent; her son Kenneth; her parents, her siblings: William, Aleatha, Allen, John, Glendon and an infant brother Joseph.

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Memories Timeline


  1. To all my Family,
    Mom wouldn’t want us to be sad for too long. She would like us to remember the good times we had together. Love, as ever and always, Kathy.

    With much love mom from your youngest daughter Katherine Geralyn

  2. I will miss our phone chats everyday to see how you and Francis were doing.Or the daysI stopped to help solve all of lifes problems.We went through so much together.You were the greatest mom in the world.I miss and love you so much.Till we meet again.I think you referred to me as your spoiled daughter.ha ha Nancy

  3. Nancy & Family, Our prayes are with you during this sad time. We can find comfort in knowing they are with those loved ones who have gone before. Also they will wait for us until we are reunited again. Love & God Bless, Deb & Don Morrison and Family

  4. She was a very caring individual I lost a son this spring and Phyllis gave the words to help.. “All the money in the world will not make it better, but remember that he gave you wealth in knowing him and a treasure of memories that no one can take away from a mother. To Phyllis family and her faith were things that were the most important in her life. Love to all of you from the Hilton Family

  5. To all of Aunt Phyllis’ family, keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as you celebrate her wonderful life. She absolutely loved her family and life. I had a great visit with her and Francis in July! Forever will remember her loving spirit, her smile and her beauty. The skies are a bit brighter with her twinkling from above, reunited with many! Peace of Christ be with you all!

  6. George and Julie and then rest of the family, you are in my prayers and thoughts at tis time. Memories will help.

  7. My deepest sympathies to Francis, and to all the children and grandchildren of Aunt Phyllis. What a gentle, and kind lady she was all her life. I will certainly miss seeing her whenever I come home for a visit. She was a wonderful example to all of us. I will keep you all in my prayers as you go through this sad time. But what a blessing to have Phyllis with us so long and for her to be active and enjoying life right up to the end. God Bless you all. Sr. Margaret Friedhoff

  8. Our hearts go out to you…….

    May the thought of others caring
    and the sympathy they feel
    Be a source of consolation
    that is very deep and real,
    And may your happy memories
    bring help and comfort too;
    Throughout this time of sorrow
    that’s so difficult for you.
    In Faith,
    Diane and Reecee Kovarik

  9. Our sincere sympathies to the entire family. Phyllis was a very kind lady and always greeted you with a smile. May your memories be a comfort. We’ll keep you in our prayers.

  10. Please accept our sincere condolences for the loss of your loved one. Jesus promises that we will be able to see our loved ones again at John 5:28,29 which talks about the resurrection hope. What a wonderful hope that will be! May this bible thought bring you comfort at this difficult time.

  11. So sorry to hear of Phyllis’ passing. She was a wonderful lady who always had a smile on her face.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
    Gary and Mary Burke

  12. To the family of Phyllis:
    This picture says it all, she was an inspiration and my old neighbor..
    Please know you are all in our prayers.
    Donna Bodensteiner

  13. You have our deepest sympathy for the loss of your mother. We remember her from our years at Sara Lee. She was a lovely woman who always had a smile on her face and was a dedicated, hardworking employee. May she rest in peace!
    Joe and Sharon Haskovec

  14. I remember a time when our neighbor Jimmy Smith brought his horse over to our place. I was looking at the horse’s beautiful eyes. Mom asked if I wanted a ride. How do you think I can get up on his back? (I’m not tall). Mom said, “I’ll give you a boost.” Well she over shot, and I ended up on my belly across the horse, and looking under I saw mom on the ground in deep laughter. I can only imagine how humorous this looks, mom, but help me sit up. All the blood is rushing to my head!!
    She also passed on to me the ability to read upside down.

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