Thelma M. Dietrich August 19, 1911 - August 15, 2016
Thelma Matilda Dietrich was born August 19, 1911, in a house on Second Street in Davisville (now the town of Davis), California. She was raised with her three brothers on the Solano County land that her family acquired after the Civil War. She died on August 15, 2016, at her home in Davis a few days before turning 105.
Thelma was honored as valedictorian of her Dixon High School class when she graduated in 1929, then attended Sacramento Junior College for one year. She spent all her working life in Davis beginning work as a bookkeeper at a butcher shop and the Ford dealership. In 1942 she began a career at the College of Agriculture in Davis (now the University of California at Davis) where she worked in the departments of Plant Pathology, Agricultural Economics, Truck Crops, and Vegetable Crops, retiring in 1973 at the age of 62. Her life on the land began in the days of "everything by hand or mule" and stretched into the era of machinery and computational electronics.
A "rock hound" as well as a farmer and gardener, Thelma explored California with other UC colleagues, belonged to the Davis Bachelor Girls library club, Eastern Star, the Tremont Mite Society, Audubon Society, and the California Horticultural Society. She visited the Panama Exposition, NY World's Fair, Tiananmen Square, the Caribbean Islands, Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Tahiti, Bali, Australia, Kenya, Morocco, and when on the Alution Islands she watched the birds fly and the native Aleut play baseball on the Fourth of July. She also volunteered for many years at the UC Arboretum.
Thelma was an avid painter, card player, flower arranger, and weather monitor. She enjoyed "getting out-of-the-house" to be with her groups on trips, and will be remembered for her respect of privacy and good judgment.
Thelma Dietrich is the daughter of Charles Dietrich and Charlotte Becker Dietrich, and the granddaughter of German immigrants who were among the Davis area's original settlers.
Preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Carl, William, and Ernest Dietrich, and nephew Richard Dietrich, Thelma is survived by her five nephews. The family would like to extend a special thank you to caregivers Edee Hayes, Judy Plank, Kim Jergensen, and Lizzie Rogers . In lieu of flowers, donation may be made to the Hattie Weber Museum, 445 C St., Davis, CA 95616 in memory of Thelma Dietrich.
Graveside services will begin at 11 a.m. Monday, August 22, 2016, at the Tremont Church Cemetery, 7890 Tremont Road in Dixon under the direction of Smith's Davis Funeral Chapel.
Monday, August 22, 2016
7890 Tremont Road
Dixon, CA 95620