David Soren Deitrick


Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Longtime Sterling resident David Soren Deitrick died Monday, Jan. 13, 2003, from advanced Parkinson's disease at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. He was 81.

Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Soldotna. Bishop William R. Thomas will officiate at the service. Viewing will be one hour prior to services at the church. Burial will be at Fort Richardson National Cemetery at Fort Richardson.

Mr. Deitrick was born Aug. 21, 1921, in Bancroft, Idaho, to Karen Sorenson and John David Taylor. He graduated from Soda Springs High School in Idaho. He attended Gonzaga College in Spokane, Wash. He began his service with the U.S. Navy in 1939. He served in World War II and the Korean War. He also was a survivor of Pearl Harbor and went around the world with the U.S. fleet twice.

On Sept. 4, 1948, he married June Laird in Nevada City, Calif., after four years of courtship during his service in the Pacific and her enlistment in the U.S. Nurses Cadet Corp. They eventually made their home in California, where he worked for the California Highway Patrol and California Employment Service. They moved to Alaska in 1962, residing in Anchorage. They moved to Sterling in 1964. He had worked for the Alaska Employment Service in Anchorage.

Mr. Deitrick also was the manager of the Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak Island Employment Service. He most recently worked as a compressor plant operator at the Swanson oil field, retiring in 1984.

Mr. Deitrick was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, where he had served a mission to Prince Edward Island in the Canadian Maritimes. He also was a longtime scoutmaster in Anchorage and on the Kenai Peninsula. Mr. Deitrick received citations for his longtime service to the state Manpower Planning Council. He also was on the original hospital board prior to the hospital being built, and he was involved in raising money and finding where to locate it.

"He loved to work with wood, from toys to cabinets. He was a football and wrestling star during high school. His favorite description of himself was, 'I'm just an old sheepherder from Idaho.' He was an excellent cook since childhood, where he learned from the sheep camps he maintained," his family said.

Mr. Deitrick was preceded in death by his sisters, Elva and Dorothy, and brothers, Charles and Ben.

He is survived by his wife, June of Sterling; children, Robin Michael, David R. Deitrick, Holly Deitrick, Heather Deitrick and Dana Wilson; grandchildren, Erik, Gordon, Bryce, Kami, Andrew, Elliot, Conrad, Sean, Megan, Zackery, April, Travis, Savannah, Jesse, Lindsay, Preston, Mason, Samuel, Madison and McKinley; great-grandchildren, Alexander, Tristan, Drewe, Katie, Lance and Thor; and sisters, Barbara Wilson, Myrna Lakey and Marianne Reyers.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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