Eugene George Ditter passed away peacefully in his sleep Saturday, July 18, 2020, at Lake Winona Manor in Winona.
He was born Sept. 9, 1936, son of George and Esther (Blanck) Ditter, at their home in Graham’s Corners of rural Saint Cloud, Wis.
He attended Glenbeulah High School and Moraine Park Technical College of Fond du Lac, where he studied industrial arts and machining.
On Jan. 24, 1956, he proudly joined and served the U.S. Army as a communications squad leader. He was one of only a few men who survived a plane crash in the Mekong River in Korea, and was honorably discharged Nov. 13, 1957.
On Jan. 22, 1955, he married Marilyn K. Gahagan and they had four children. On Sept. 25, 1965, he married Judith M. Karls and they had two children. On Sept. 2, 1988, he married Candy (Lillian) Hornberger.
He worked various jobs, but was primarily a master machinist most of his working career. He retired at the age of 67, from Fastenal in Winona.
After retirement he volunteered serving senior citizens and the disabled. He had a lifelong interest in helping the disadvantaged. He enjoyed making other people happy and always had a great sense of humor. His philosophy was “If you meet someone without a smile, give them one of your own,” or when strangers would tell him to have a good day he would reply, “And you have a better one!” He loved the outdoors, exploring nature and the countryside with his wife, Candy, fishing, football and spending time with his family. Also important to him was his Catholic faith and he had served as an altar boy as a child.
He is survived by his wife and best friend, Candy (Lillian) Ditter, Winona; brothers, Don (Bernie) Ditter, Glenbeulah, Wis., and Ken (Grace) Ditter, Armstrong, Wis.; sisters, Eileen Starnitcky, Glenbeulah and Ginny (Mark) Petrie, St. Cloud; sisters-in law, Susan Hornberger, Versailles, Mo., and Carrie (Bob) Doran, Kingdom, Mo.; sons, Steven (Cindy) Ditter, Sheboygan Falls, Wis., and Mike (Jackie) Ditter, Grand Rapids, Mich.; daughters, Lori Ditter, Hartford, Wis., and Tammy Ditter, Fond du Lac, Wis.; uncle and aunt-in-law, Allen and Rosie Fowler, Fall Leaf, Kan.; nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Esther (Blanck) Ditter; mother and father-in-law, Orval and Evelyn Gulley; sisters, Carol (Frank) Buek, Kathy (John) Cary and Mary (Dale) Borgen; brothers-in-law, Wayne (Eileen) Starnitcky, Bob (Ginny) Sippel, Bill and David (Susan) Hornberger; sister-in-law, Edna Wustefeld; son, Tom Ditter; daughter, Marjean (Andy) Boots; son-in-law, Andy Boots; and a grandson, Anthony Ditter.
Cremation has already taken place and the family will hold a private celebration of his life at a later date.
A very special thank you to the staff and personnel of Lake Winona Manor, who took exceptional care of Gene during his extensive residency, always treating him as if he was a member of their own family.
Services entrusted to Fawcett Junker Funeral Home & Crematory, Winona and Fountain City, Wis. Words of sympathy and remembrance can be given at www.fawcett-junkerfuneralhome.com.
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