Trinity Mourns the Loss of John William Dietrich

From Carolyn Dietrich:

Sid & Trinity UMC family,
I regret to inform you of the unexpected death of John Dietrich, former TUMC member (1950s-1966). Attached is the obituary. The memorial is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 27th, in Kerrville @ Kerrville UMC.

From Sid:

Carolyn grew up at Trinity in the 60’s and was here until her family moved away when she was a teenager.  Her family always held a special place in their hearts for Trinity.  Carolyn later came out as a lesbian, and once again became a part of Trinity when she was in grad school at UT.  In July of 2000, Trinity was featured in a Time magazine article about holy unions.  Carolyn was featured along with the woman who taught her Sunday School when Carolyn was a little girl – Jane Wise.  After Carolyn got her PhD, she moved to Las Cruces, where she now teaches.  Her parents were retired and living in Kerrville.  Carolyn sent this obituary of her father to Trinity because of the strong ties her family continues to have with our congregation.


John William Dietrich, Ph.D., was born to BeulahShearer and Gilbert Julius Dietrich on April 26, 1925, in Beaumont, Texas. On September 9, 2012, after 87+ years of a life well lived, John with Hazel, his bride of 62+ years, lying next to him, took his final breath.

On March 19, 1950, John married Hazel Minnich, his Grand Isle Cajun sweetheart. Together they created a family of 4 girls, affectionately numbered: #1 Christine Ann in 1951, #2 Donna Lynn in 1953, #3 Bonnie Lou in 1956 and #4 Carolyn Sue in 1961.

John always quipped, “I went to Lamar University when it was a Junior College, Rice University when it was The Institute and the University of Texas (at Austin) when it was the only one.” In addition, to his Bachelor (1947) and Master/Doctoral (1965) degrees, he attended the U.S. Naval Reserve Midshipman’s School at Notre Dame University (1945).

John Dietrich’s multifarious career spanned newspaper boy to Naval Ensign (active duty, 1943‐45) and Naval Reserve 2nd Lieutenant (reserve duty, 1945‐1966) to Texas A & M researcher for impact studies of offshore drilling on the Louisiana oyster industry to staff member at the Bureau of Economic Geology, the University of Texas (1953‐1965) to scientist with the NASA space program (1966‐1991). The pinnacle of John’s career was his contributions to the Apollo space program where he, ultimately, became the Curator of Lunar Samples.

Volunteerism was a strong component of John’s character. Pre‐retirement, John & Hazel volunteered with Houston International Seaman’s Center, Deer Park United Methodist Church groups and Harris County Girl Scouts as canoe instructors & coordinators. In their Kerrville retirement, he was involved in Trailblazers, Us Too, NARFE, Judging for the Odyssey of the Mind, Fredericksburg Rockhounds, Kerrville First United Methodist Church and the Dietert Senior Center Exercise Group.

He is survived by his wife, Hazel; daughters: Christine Cragg (Larry), Donna Klaiber (Chuck), Bonnie Dietrich and Carolyn Dietrich (De Kruyf); grandchildren: John Klaiber, Sarah Dequine (Dustin), Dave Klaiber (Heather) and Cheryl Lilley (Bob); greatgrandchildren: Bennet Dequine, Hunter & Shane Lilley, and Jake & Katie Klaiber; and “adopted” daughters Kay Morgan (Greg), Jan Agosta and Emeigh Poindexter. John Dietrich’s memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 27th, 1:00pm in the Hillside Contemporary Service Room at Kerrville First United Methodist Church (321 Thompson Drive).

The family kindly asks that in lieu of flowers or plants, please make a memorial gift to the Dietert Senior Center (, the Fredericksburg Rockhounds’ scholarship program (110 North Milam, PMB 197, Fredericksburg, TX 78624) OR to the charity of your choice. 

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