Dr. Lawrence J. Dieterman, age 84, of Winona, died on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, at his home.
Lawrence John Dieterman was born on October 8, 1933, in Kalamazoo, Mich., to William and Anna (Belco) Dieterman. He graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School, earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Kalamazoo College in 1955 and his PhD in chemistry from the University of Oklahoma in 1962. He began his teaching career in 1963 and taught organic chemistry, biochemistry and physical chemistry for 36 years at St. Mary’s University, Winona. After retiring in 1999 from St. Mary’s, he taught part-time at Viterbo University, La Crosse, Wis., and Winona State University, Winona, Minn.
Larry’s passion was teaching. He turned down offers to conduct research for private industry early in his career because he felt he could make more of a difference teaching. He loved the small Catholic university of St. Mary’s College that offered him the flexibility to be present for his students as well as his family. During summers in the 1970s and ‘80s, Larry also conducted grant-funded research projects on the ecology of the Mississippi River.
Larry understood and valued hard work. During his high school years he worked summers on his Uncle Mart and Aunt Ida’s celery farm in Comstock, Mich. While attending college, he worked during the summers for the Kalamazoo City Water Department digging trenches and laying pipe. His first professional job out of college was with DuPont Chemical Co. in Houston, Texas. In 1957 he was accepted into the graduate program at the University of Oklahoma. While attending graduate school, he was a teaching assistant and a research assistant. The research assistant position took him from Normal, Okla., to a research project at Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago, Ill. While in Chicago, he met his wife to be, Shirley A. Molock. and they were married on June 18, 1960, at St. Stanislaus Church in Winona, Minn. After completing his research project at Argonne, the two moved back to Norman, Okla., so Larry could complete his graduate degree. Larry and Shirley were married for 57 years and they were blessed with four children. Shirley passed away on June 25, 2017.
Larry was a devoted member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church where he was involved in many different organizations and activities including scouting and Chapel of Adoration. Larry also volunteered for Meals on Wheels. He loved long walks all over town … always with a smile on his face and a spring in his step.
Larry is survived by his four children, Dan (Eve Marie), Lake City, Minn., Scott (Danielle), Winona, Constance (Gregg Luebke) Damgaard, Plainview, Minn., and Doug (Terrie), Winona; 10 grandchildren, Zach (Jennie) Dieterman, Kelsey (Alex) Martin, Lucian (fiancée, Nishaat Shaik) Dieterman, Tyler (Heather) Dieterman, Kristen Dieterman, Cody (Brittney Marques) Damgaard, Felicia (Dylan Troyer) Dieterman, Wren Dieterman, Abree Dieterman and Nadia Dieterman; one great-grandson, Owen Troyer; sister-in-law, Marilyn Stigler, Waukesha, Wis.; former son-in-law, Pete Damgaard; and other relatives.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister and brother-in-law, Marlene (Ted) Loomis; and brother-in-law, Tony Stigler.
His Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Winona, Minn., with Rev. James Berning officiating. Interment will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery at a later date.
Visitation will be from 5:30 p.m to 8 p.m. on Friday, September 21, 2018, at Fawcett Junker Funeral Home, Winona, with vigil prayers at 5 p.m. Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday in the Visitation Commons of St. Mary’s Church.
Honorary pallbearers will be Larry’s grandchildren.
Services entrusted to Fawcett Junker Funeral Home and Crematory, Winona, Minn., and Fountain City, Wis. Words of sympathy or remembrance may be left at www.fawcett-junkerfuneralhome.com.