Past IRF Chairman Marion C. Dietrich Passes Away

For many, many years, Marion Dietrich helped lead the IRF with a passion to help young, up-an-coming professionals through IRF's Fellowship Program. He was a visionary and through his initiative to start the IRF Future Fund, the Program grew well beyond expectations. His impact on this organization will be felt for many generations to come. IRF extends its heartfelt and sincerest condolences to the Dietrich family. He will be missed but never forgotten.

Marion C. Dietrich of TidePointe passed in peace on Thursday, October 30, 2008, after a long illness. A beloved husband, father, friend, colleague, mentor and church leader, he was 86 years old.

He was born in Billings, Montana and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio where he first met his future bride Kay in the seventh grade. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Yale University in 1943 (class of 1944). As a 1st Lt. Army, Forward Observer, 10th Armored Division, Third Army (Europe), he was awarded two Purple Hearts and three Bronze Stars. After serving his country, he received a Masters of Business Administration degree at Harvard University with High Distinction in 1947.

His business career began at U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh, followed by positions with Ford Motor Company (Detroit, Cincinnati), Kiekhaefer Corporation (Fond du Lac, WI) and Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, Indiana from 1961 to 1983. His extraordinary abilities in marketing and sales ultimately led to the position of Executive Vice President for worldwide marketing. His activities included former Trustee of Columbus, Indiana Regional Hospital; he was founder, chairman and director of the National Marrow Donor Program, Yale Development Board, and vice-president, director and chairman of The International Road Federation. In his second career he was managing general partner, C.I.D. Venture Partners (Indianapolis, IN).

He faithfully served as elder, deacon, trustee and Foundation Board member, First Presbyterian Church, Columbus, IN. His awards and honors include the Sagamore of the Wabash (Governors Award) and Paul Harris Fellow-Rotary International. After relocating to Hilton Head Island with his wife Kay, he served as elder, chairman of the stewardship committee and member of the Planning and Research Committee at First Presbyterian Church; he was also vice-president, treasurer and director of TidePointe.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Katharine (Kay) Lowry Dietrich, his children; Katharine Dietrich Werber, Thousand Oaks, CA, Stephen Lowry Dietrich and his wife Mary of Chandler, AZ, John Marion Dietrich and his wife Beth of Woodinville, WA. and Jane Ellen Dietrich of Columbus OH. He is also survived by five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, a sister-in-law, Marian Lowry of Hendersonville, NC and seven nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister Ruth Dietrich Denny, son-in-law Elliot Werber and his grandson Matthew Marion Werber.

A memorial service was held Monday at 2 PM at First Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church, Special Gift Fund, 540 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926. The Island Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

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