James's Story

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James "Jim" Lee Ditmer, 85, died Aug. 21, in Goshen.
Jim passed through heaven's gates peacefully from his home in Goshen, surrounded by his wife of nearly 64 years, Joanne (Jay) Ditmer, and his daughters.
He is survived by his wife, Joanne; daughters, Jane (Randy) Hogue of Mishawaka, Judi DeLay of Arcanum, Ohio, Jean (Robert) Bjorkland of Mishawaka, and Jill (Mo) Vincic of Elkhart; eight grandchildren, Lori (Mark) Rogers, Matthew (Angela) Bjorkland, James (Julie) Hogue, Christopher Bjorkland, Jonathan (Kristin) Hogue, Lindsay (Michael) Yoder, Ashley (Shaun) Hoskins and Katie Vincic; and 12 great-grandchildren, Connor, Alaina, Cohen, Eli, Carter, Natalie, Adelyn, Kamryn, Sophia, Zoey, Heyden and Noel. He is also survived by three brothers, Robert, Edwin and Donald (Connie) Ditmer; and three sisters, Esther Bunch, Marilee (Jack) Todd and Carol Hensley Bradfield; and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his father, Walter, and mother, Mary (Hunt) Ditmer of Laura, Ohio.
Jim was born on his family's farm in Ludlow Falls, Ohio, July 27, 1932. There he enjoyed farm life until his graduation from West Milton-Union High School in 1950. He attended Bethel College in Mishawaka, briefly, traveled westward and worked in sugar beet fields in Wyoming until enlisting in the Armed Services Army Division where he served in Korea.
He married Joanne Jay in 1953, settled down first in Piqua, Ohio, and then in Kettering, Ohio, employed by NCR until 1972. He then moved his family to Strongsville, Ohio, employed by A.A. Brolin of Cleveland, Ohio, until his move to Goshen as a caretaker of the Prairie Street Missionary Church Camp in 1988.
After his retirement, he couldn't just sit around and stayed busy working in various jobs, such as with Sears, in the van industry and a duck farm, just to name a few.
Jim was a lifelong member of the Missionary Church who served in various capacities as Sunday school superintendent, trustee, board member, youth director and deacon in congregations in Potsdam, Piqua, Dayton and Strongsville in Ohio and Bethel and Liberty in Indiana.
He loved people and serving the Lord wherever needed. Even while stationed in the military, he would seek out Youth for Christ rallies in whatever city he was near.
Jim determined early in life to be a fun guy to be around and he will be remembered fondly for his ornery humor. He added a spark of fun wherever he was. He loved the Lord, his wife, daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, dogs (he had many dog friends), gardening, traveling (especially train trips), John Phillip Sousa marches, old classical hymns, church camp, hike outs and family gatherings.
Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, at Rieth-Rohrer-Ehret Funeral Home, Goshen, and one hour prior to the 10:30 a.m. service, Saturday, Aug. 26, at Liberty Community Church, 2004 Bashor Road, Goshen.
Burial will follow at Olive (East) Cemetery. Pastor Terry Powell and Pastor David Boys will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Prairie Camp, 3301 Benham Ave., Elkhart, IN 46517 or Ludlow Falls Camp, 2500 OH-48, Ludlow Falls, OH 45339.
Online condolences may be shared at www.rrefh.com.
Published on August 22, 2017
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