Edith Allen Ditmars, 82, passed away March 29, 2008, at her home near Washington. A memorial service was held at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 3, 2008, at the Christian Church in Washington. Edith was born on a farm in northern Minnesota on May 9, 1925, the daughter of Frank and Lanah (Laudner) Allen. She was a life long active, creative, member of the Church of the Brethren. She married John Ditmars at Big Lake, Minnesota in 1946, their senior year of college at McPherson College. They were married 61 years. Edith raised four children, and nurtured many more through her life long church work in Christian education. She encouraged creativity by her enthusiasm for learning new things and modeled this by always having a “project” in mind. After her children were grown, Edith worked as a social worker until the age of 70. In her retirement years she endeavored to live a simple life, gardening organically, reusing and recycling whenever possible, baking her own bread and raising beautiful flowers. She helped initiate the beginning of Hospice in Washington County and initiated, supported and coordinated the Washington County Food Bank for 20 years. Edith was able to genuinely accept every person for who they are. She was “non-judgmental”. She understood that people perceive things in different ways and that “there is more than one right way to do things.” She was an encourager at heart and was gifted at bringing out the best in people. She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank K. and Lanah (Laudner) Allen; two brothers, Lyle Allen of Rochester, MN, and Orlo Allen of Douglas, WY; three sisters, Esther Sommer of Batavia, IA, Mary Allen of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Fern Birket of West Orange, NJ. Survivor include her husband, John Ditmars of the home; three daughters, Gwendolyn Miller and husband Fred of Woodbridge, VA, Floy Detwiler and husband, Sam of Wenatchee, WA, Maureen Buzbee and husband Tom of Pauls Valley, OK; one son, Noel Ditmars and wife Diane of Pickrell, NE; Rick Miller, Kathy Miller, Baltimore, Maryland, Brooks Miller and wife Glenda of Alexandria, VA, Harry Kerns of Ocala, Fla., Nora Francine Ditmars of Fairbury, NE, Hannah Aeltje Ditmars of Lincoln, NE, Mary Jane Claassen and husband David of Omaha, NE, Sherrill Ann Buzbee of Pauls Valley, OK, and Thomas Allen Buzbee of Pauls Valley, OK; and two brothers, Robert Allen of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Larry Allen. A memorial fund has been established and contributions will benefit the Food Bank.
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