William Dennis Dittrich (Denny), 73, of Mansfield Center, passed away surrounded by his loved ones on May 14th after a courageous battle with ALS. Born on June 2, 1944 in Willimantic, CT, he was the son of the late William E. and Juliette (Tardif) Dittrich.
Dennis grew up and attended schools in Mansfield, graduating from E.O. Smith High School in 1962. He proudly served 4 years in the United States Air Force before marrying the love of his life, Helen C. Gilbert, in May of 1970. He is survived by Helen, his sister Linda Hogan and husband Bill, his sister Deborah Dittrich Dalton, his Aunt Annette Whitmore, his children Mark, Patricia Braithwaite and husband Bill, and John and wife Crissie. He leaves six beloved grandchildren, Emma, Grace, and Matthew Dittrich, and Julia, William, and Jonathan Braithwaite. He also leaves behind a large extended family whom he treasured.
Denny joined the South Coventry Volunteer Fire Association (CVFA) at the age of 19, and would go on to serve in every position in the department including chief, volunteering for over 50 years. Other contributions to public safety included his membership on the Board of Directors of the Tolland County Mutual Aid Fire Service, as well as being a founding member of the Tolland County Dive Team. Denny cherished his time with the fire service, and created many life-long friendships.
After his time in the Air Force, Denny worked for 33 years as an engineer for United Technologies’ Research Center (UTRC). After retirement from UTRC, Denny continued to run DD Design, a successful consulting business, for over 15 years.
Denny loved spending time with his family and friends. Many summers were spent at the family’s cottage on Quaddick Lake, enjoying boating, waterskiing, and cookouts. He was always at home behind the wheel of his red pick-up truck, towing trailers, and coming to the rescue whenever the need arose. His commitment to family, volunteerism and the community knew no bounds.
Relatives and friends are welcome to join the family from 4 to 7 PM on Friday, May 18, 2018 at the Coventry Pietras Funeral Home, 2665 Boston Tpke. Coventry, CT 06238. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at St. Mary’s Church, 1600 Main St. Coventry, CT 06238. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Coventry.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Disabled American Veterans of Connecticut (DAV). For online condolences please visit: www.pietrasfuneralhome.com