Josef Dietrich came to Canada with $28 in his pocket


Josef Karl Dietrich
Josef Karl Dietrich
Josef Karl Dietrich

When I worked in the PR department for Litton Systems Canada I often had to take military leaders on plant tours. They wanted to see the company's expertise in making navigation systems for commercial aircraft, war planes and cruise missiles.

With a background in Journalism and zero understanding of anything to do with precision engineering, I soon memorized a mostly-true patter that I could deliver while walking backwards down the production lines.

Of course, when dealing with people who actually knew something of what they were looking at, I was hopelessly over my head.  No one knew this more than the men and women who spent their working lives at LSL (what we called Litton Systems Canada). Some let me drown, others, like Joe Dietrich always threw me a lifeline - he was always willing to address our guests and explain in detail while Litton was the best. He did in English or in German 
and he was always the hit of the tour.

Josef's life-story is one that other European born employees of Litton told. He came to Canada with only $28 in his pocket. Although poor when arrived, he applied his Austrian technical training to find a job and a career at LSL.  He spent his whole Canadian working career with the firm.

I am sorry to hear that Josef Karl Dietrich passed away on November 24th. This is his obituary from the Morris Funeral Chapel in Bowmanville, Ontario.

Josef Karl Dietrich
February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014

JOSEF KARL DIETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.   Born in Vienna, Austria, he worked as an apprentice and learned the tool and die trade at a very early age. When opportunities presented themselves in Canada, he emigrated in 1954. Married by this time, his wife Maria and two young daughters followed several months later.   He proudly reminded everyone, that he arrived in Canada with $28.00 in his pocket speaking no English. He worked construction and painting jobs until a permanent job opportunity presented itself and here, his early training served him well. He ended up working for Litton Systems  of Canada until his retirement.   Joe was never happier than when he was outdoors. Skiing without chairlifts in his younger years, water skiing, gardening, chopping wood…anything that took him outside with nature. His early years in Canada were spent camping with his family, buying a home and gardening,  but the joy of his life was his cottage in Haliburton, which he built with the help of a friend and the support of his wife. He instilled his love of nature in his daughters.   He was a good husband and father always willing to fix anything that needed doing. In the end Maria, his wife of 71 years became his lifeline as Alzheimers slowly took his memories. In the last year, his daughter Renate took on that role when Maria became too ill to look after him.   He will be missed by both his daughters, grandchildren and great grand children who were very lucky to have known him. He left this world one week after Maria left us.   He is survived by his daughters Renate Donovan and Angelika Hunt; granddaughters Jocelyne Saumier Carr and Samantha Lacroix; grandson Sean Donovan; great grandchildren Ella and Emily Donovan; Aiden, Connor and Dylan Lacroix; Steven and Jeremie Saumier.   This coming spring, a celebration of life will be held for family and close friends to honour both Maria and Josef’s lives. Forever together, as always. 
ETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.   Born in Vienna, Austria, he worked as an apprentice and learned the tool and die trade at a very early age. When opportunities presented themselves in Canada, he emigrated in 1954. Married by this time, his wife Maria and two young daughters followed several months later.   He proudly reminded everyone, that he arrived in Canada with $28.00 in his pocket speaking no English. He worked construction and painting jobs until a permanent job opportunity presented itself and here, his early training served him well. He ended up working for Litton Systems  of Canada until his retirement.   Joe was never happier than when he was outdoors. Skiing without chairlifts in his younger years, water skiing, gardening, chopping wood…anything that took him outside with nature. His early years in Canada were spent camping with his family, buying a home and gardening,  but the joy of his life was his cottage in Haliburton, which he built with the help of a friend and the support of his wife. He instilled his love of nature in his daughters.   He was a good husband and father always willing to fix anything that needed doing. In the end Maria, his wife of 71 years became his lifeline as Alzheimers slowly took his memories. In the last year, his daughter Renate took on that role when Maria became too ill to look after him.   He will be missed by both his daughters, grandchildren and great grand children who were very lucky to have known him. He left this world one week after Maria left us.   He is survived by his daughters Renate Donovan and Angelika Hunt; granddaughters Jocelyne Saumier Carr and Samantha Lacroix; grandson Sean Donovan; great grandchildren Ella and Emily Donovan; Aiden, Connor and Dylan Lacroix; Steven and Jeremie Saumier.   This coming spring, a celebration of life will be held for family and close friends to honour both Maria and Josef’s lives. Forever together, as always. Memorial donations may be made to The Alzheimers Society - www.alzheimer.ca/pklnh  
- See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/josef-karl-dietrich/#sthash.PsL1tpYO.dpuf
JOSEF KARL DIETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanvill - See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/josef-karl-dietrich/#comment-115972
OSEF KARL DIETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.   Born in Vienna, Austria, he worked as an apprentice and learned the tool and die trade at a very early age. When opportunities presented themselves in Canada, he emigrated in 1954. Married by this time, his wife Maria and two young daughters followed several months later.   He proudly reminded everyone, that he arrived in Canada with $28.00 in his pocket speaking no English. He worked construction and painting jobs until a permanent job opportunity presented itself and here, his early training served him well. He ended up working for Litton Systems  of Canada until his retirement.   Joe was never happier than when he was outdoors. Skiing without chairlifts in his younger years, water skiing, gardening, chopping wood…anything that took him outside with nature. His early years in Canada were spent camping with his family, buying a home and gardening,  but the joy of his life was his cottage in Haliburton, which he built with the help of a friend and the support of his wife. He instilled his love of nature in his daughters.   He was a good husband and father always willing to fix anything that needed doing. In the end Maria, his wife of 71 years became his lifeline as Alzheimers slowly took his memories. In the last year, his daughter Renate took on that role when Maria became too ill to look after him.   He will be missed by both his daughters, grandchildren and great grand children who were very lucky to have known him. He left this world one week after Maria left us.   He is survived by his daughters Renate Donovan and Angelika Hunt; granddaughters Jocelyne Saumier Carr and Samantha Lacroix; grandson Sean Donovan; great grandchildren Ella and Emily Donovan; Aiden, Connor and Dylan Lacroix; Steven and Jeremie Saumier.   This coming spring, a celebration of life will be held for family and close friends to honour both Maria and Josef’s lives. Forever together, as always. Memorial donations may be made to The Alzheimers Society - www.alzheimer.ca/pklnh  
- See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/josef-karl-dietrich/#sthash.krN3TM5W.dpuf
Josef Karl Dietrich
February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014 - See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/josef-karl-dietrich/#sthash.krN3TM5W.dpuf
JOSEF KARL DIETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.   Born in Vienna, Austria, he worked as an apprentice and learned the tool and die trade at a very early age. When opportunities presented themselves in Canada, he emigrated in 1954. Married by this time, his wife Maria and two young daughters followed several months later.   He proudly reminded everyone, that he arrived in Canada with $28.00 in his pocket speaking no English. He worked construction and painting jobs until a permanent job opportunity presented itself and here, his early training served him well. He ended up working for Litton Systems  of Canada until his retirement.   Joe was never happier than when he was outdoors. Skiing without chairlifts in his younger years, water skiing, gardening, chopping wood…anything that took him outside with nature. His early years in Canada were spent camping with his family, buying a home and gardening,  but the joy of his life was his cottage in Haliburton, which he built with the help of a friend and the support of his wife. He instilled his love of nature in his daughters.   He was a good husband and father always willing to fix anything that needed doing. In the end Maria, his wife of 71 years became his lifeline as Alzheimers slowly took his memories. In the last year, his daughter Renate took on that role when Maria became too ill to look after him.   He will be missed by both his daughters, grandchildren and great grand children who were very lucky to have known him. He left this world one week after Maria left us.   He is survived by his daughters Renate Donovan and Angelika Hunt; granddaughters Jocelyne Saumier Carr and Samantha Lacroix; grandson Sean Donovan; great grandchildren Ella and Emily Donovan; Aiden, Connor and Dylan Lacroix; Steven and Jeremie Saumier.   This coming spring, a celebration of life will be held for family and close friends to honour both Maria and Josef’s lives. Forever together, as always. - See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/josef-karl-dietrich/#sthash.krN3TM5W.dpuf
JOSEF KARL DIETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.   Born in Vienna, Austria, he worked as an apprentice and learned the tool and die trade at a very early age. When opportunities presented themselves in Canada, he emigrated in 1954. Married by this time, his wife Maria and two young daughters followed several months later.   He proudly reminded everyone, that he arrived in Canada with $28.00 in his pocket speaking no English. He worked construction and painting jobs until a permanent job opportunity presented itself and here, his early training served him well. He ended up working for Litton Systems  of Canada until his retirement.   Joe was never happier than when he was outdoors. Skiing without chairlifts in his younger years, water skiing, gardening, chopping wood…anything that took him outside with nature. His early years in Canada were spent camping with his family, buying a home and gardening,  but the joy of his life was his cottage in Haliburton, which he built with the help of a friend and the support of his wife. He instilled his love of nature in his daughters.   He was a good husband and father always willing to fix anything that needed doing. In the end Maria, his wife of 71 years became his lifeline as Alzheimers slowly took his memories. In the last year, his daughter Renate took on that role when Maria became too ill to look after him.   He will be missed by both his daughters, grandchildren and great grand children who were very lucky to have known him. He left this world one week after Maria left us.   He is survived by his daughters Renate Donovan and Angelika Hunt; granddaughters Jocelyne Saumier Carr and Samantha Lacroix; grandson Sean Donovan; great grandchildren Ella and Emily Donovan; Aiden, Connor and Dylan Lacroix; Steven and Jeremie Saumier.   This coming spring, a celebration of life will be held for family and close friends to honour both Maria and Josef’s lives. Forever together, as always. - See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/services/#sthash.Ec4tkxEW.dpuf
Josef Karl Dietrich 1921 - 2014
JOSEF KARL DIETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.   Born in Vienna, Austria, he worked as an apprentice and learned the tool and die trade at a very early age. When opportunities presented themselves in Canada, he emigrated in 1954. Married by this time, his wife Maria and two young daughters followed several months later.   He proudly reminded everyone, that he arrived in Canada with $28.00 in his pocket speaking no English. He worked construction and painting jobs until a permanent job opportunity presented itself and here, his early training served him well. He ended up working for Litton Systems  of Canada until his retirement.   Joe was never happier than when he was outdoors. Skiing without chairlifts in his younger years, water skiing, gardening, chopping wood…anything that took him outside with nature. His early years in Canada were spent camping with his family, buying a home and gardening,  but the joy of his life was his cottage in Haliburton, which he built with the help of a friend and the support of his wife. He instilled his love of nature in his daughters.   He was a good husband and father always willing to fix anything that needed doing. In the end Maria, his wife of 71 years became his lifeline as Alzheimers slowly took his memories. In the last year, his daughter Renate took on that role when Maria became too ill to look after him.   He will be missed by both his daughters, grandchildren and great grand children who were very lucky to have known him. He left this world one week after Maria left us.   He is survived by his daughters Renate Donovan and Angelika Hunt; granddaughters Jocelyne Saumier Carr and Samantha Lacroix; grandson Sean Donovan; great grandchildren Ella and Emily Donovan; Aiden, Connor and Dylan Lacroix; Steven and Jeremie Saumier.   This coming spring, a celebration of life will be held for family and close friends to honour both Maria and Josef’s lives. Forever together, as always. Memorial donations may be made to The Alzheimers Society -
- See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/services/#sthash.Ec4tkxEW.dpuf
Josef Karl Dietrich 1921 - 2014
JOSEF KARL DIETRICH February 15, 1921 - November 25, 2014   Josef Karl Dietrich, “Joe” passed away from complications of Alzheimers and pneumonia on November 25, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.   Born in Vienna, Austria, he worked as an apprentice and learned the tool and die trade at a very early age. When opportunities presented themselves in Canada, he emigrated in 1954. Married by this time, his wife Maria and two young daughters followed several months later.   He proudly reminded everyone, that he arrived in Canada with $28.00 in his pocket speaking no English. He worked construction and painting jobs until a permanent job opportunity presented itself and here, his early training served him well. He ended up working for Litton Systems  of Canada until his retirement.   Joe was never happier than when he was outdoors. Skiing without chairlifts in his younger years, water skiing, gardening, chopping wood…anything that took him outside with nature. His early years in Canada were spent camping with his family, buying a home and gardening,  but the joy of his life was his cottage in Haliburton, which he built with the help of a friend and the support of his wife. He instilled his love of nature in his daughters.   He was a good husband and father always willing to fix anything that needed doing. In the end Maria, his wife of 71 years became his lifeline as Alzheimers slowly took his memories. In the last year, his daughter Renate took on that role when Maria became too ill to look after him.   He will be missed by both his daughters, grandchildren and great grand children who were very lucky to have known him. He left this world one week after Maria left us.   He is survived by his daughters Renate Donovan and Angelika Hunt; granddaughters Jocelyne Saumier Carr and Samantha Lacroix; grandson Sean Donovan; great grandchildren Ella and Emily Donovan; Aiden, Connor and Dylan Lacroix; Steven and Jeremie Saumier.   This coming spring, a celebration of life will be held for family and close friends to honour both Maria and Josef’s lives. Forever together, as always. Memorial donations may be made to The Alzheimers Society -
- See more at: http://morrisfuneralchapel.ca/services/#sthash.Ec4tkxEW.dpuf

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