Miriam Joy Dittler died at The Villa at the Lake on January 17, 2018, at the age of 100. She was born in Baltic, Michigan, on December 25, 1917, to Emil August Peterson and Wilhelmiina (Luoma) Peterson. She was very proud of her Finnish heritage and her given Finnish name, which was Mirjam Ilona. She came to Conneaut with her parents and two older sisters when she was three years old and lived in Conneaut her entire life. She graduated from Conneaut High School in 1935.
Joy married Adelbert Harry “Tubby” Dittler on September 7, 1935, and they were the parents of five daughters. She and Tubby both enjoyed playing golf and camping.
Throughout the years, Joy worked at the Betty Lee Restaurant, Printcraft, Dovercrest Mills and Chestnut Elementary School, where she was the school secretary for ten years. She was a blood bank volunteer, a Girl Scout leader, and she worked at the polls. She has been a member of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church since its inception, and she spent many years teaching Sunday school there. She was a member of Rose Chapter22, Order of the Eastern Star.
Joy is survived by her daughters, Laura Gustafson, Elizabeth (Carl) Zappitelli, Mary Jane (Terry) Greenfield, Susan (James) Robison, and Judith Wilson, 20 grandchildren, 59 great grandchildren, 8 great great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, Tubby Dittler, who passed away in 1996, and by her parents, 3 sisters (Vivian Bascom, Sylvia Evans, Helvi Marttila), 3 brothers (Ernest Peterson, Elmer Peterson and George Peterson), son-in-law, Donald Carlton Gustafson, son-in-law, Harry Rockwell, and a grandson, Donald Carlton Gustafson.
Joy was a kind, soft-spoken woman who was known for her determination, grit and loyalty. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends.
The family wishes to extend its sincere gratitude to the staff of The Villa at the Lake and to the team from Hospice of the Western Reserve for the kindness and support shown to Joy and her family.
A gathering of family and friends will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 12, 2018. A Memorial Service will follow at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Patrick Van De Motter of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church officiating.
Burial will follow at the Greenlawn Memory Gardens.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Western Reserve, 1166 Lake Avenue, Ashtabula, Ohio 44004; or to the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Abiding Memorial Fund, 876 Grove Street, Conneaut, Ohio 44030.
Hospice of the Western Reserve
1166 Lake Avenue, Ashtabula OH 44004
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Abiding Memorial Fund
876 Grove Street, Conneaut OH 44030