Joanne  Ditmer

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Joanne Jay Ditmer, 86, died peacefully June 7, in her residence at Hubbard Hill Estates, Elkhart, after a long illness.
She is survived by four daughters, Jane (Randy) Hogue, Mishawaka, Judi DeLay, Arcanum, Ohio, Jean (Robert) Bjorkland, Mishawaka, and Jill (Mo) Vincic, 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 (Ben) Byler; and 14 great-grandchildren, Connor, Alaina, Cohen, Eli, Carter, Natalie, Adelyn, Kamryn, Sophia, Zoey, Heyden, Liam, Noel and Mae. She is also survived by one sister, Connie (Roland) Fair.
She was preceded in death by her husband of nearly 64 years, James Lee Ditmer; parents, Forest and Dora Jay; and 10 siblings, Paul Jay, Gertrude Furlong, Kenny Jay, Miriam Harry, Isabel Covault, Ned Jay, Lowell Jay, Betty Zirkle, Gladys Jay and Robert Jay.
Joanne was born at home in Pleasant Hill, Ohio, Jan. 3, 1933, and was the next to youngest child of 12. The family lived in several residences in the Pleasant Hill and Fletcher area during her childhood years.
She was very active in plays, the yearbook staff and a cheerleader during high school. She lost her mother to cancer when she was 14 and her older sisters took turns caring for her and her younger sister, Connie.
While staying with one of her sisters she met her future husband Jim and they were married in 1953 at Potsdam Missionary Church, Potsdam, Ohio. Their first home was an apartment in Piqua, Ohio, and they purchased a home in Kettering, Ohio, where they lived for 17 years. They moved to Strongsville, Ohio in 1972 and to the Wakarusa, Indiana area in 1988 when James became caretaker of Prairie Camp until his retirement in 2001. They resided in the Willows Retirement Community until James' death in 2017 and Joanne became a resident of Hubbard Hill Estates.
Joanne worked as a secretary in various organizations, insurance companies and Bashor Home, but loved being a homemaker the most. She was a member of the Missionary Church, was very active in teaching and was an accomplished pianist and organist in congregations in Piqua, Dayton, and Strongsville, Ohio, and Bethel and Liberty, Indiana. Playing the piano and organ gave her much joy and her home was filled with music, mostly hymns and fun sing-along songs.
She loved Jesus, gardening, blue birds, kitties, babies, sewing, knitting, crossword puzzles and playing games. She dearly loved her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and was very protective of them. Family gatherings were important. Her most repeated saying was, Come see me!
Visitation will be 5-7 p.m., Friday, June 14, at Rieth-Rohrer-Ehret Funeral Home, 311 S. Main St., Goshen. Also, one hour prior to the 4 p.m. funeral service on Sunday, June 16, at Hubbard Hill Estates, 28070 C.R. 24 West, Elkhart. Chaplain Dave Severence will officiate. No services on Saturday.
Private family burial will be at Olive (East) Cemetery. Memorial donations may be directed to Prairie Camp, 3301 Benham Ave., Elkhart, IN 46517 or Hubbard Hill Estates, 28070 C.R. 24 West, Elkhart, IN 46517.
Online condolences may be shared at www.rrefh.com
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Published on June 10, 2019
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