Phyllis M. Dietrich
April 9, 1925 ~ November 21, 2014
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.