Cover photo for Rodney Dietrich's Obituary
Rodney Dietrich Profile Photo
1932 Rodney 2018

Rodney Dietrich

September 19, 1932 — December 7, 2018

Rodney R. Dietrich, age 86, born September 19, 1932 in Fargo, ND, to parents Frank and Dorothy Dietrich (Turnquist).  Rod was a Jamestown HS graduate, attended Jamestown College and worked at Beck’s Clothing store.  It was there that he discovered his love for retailing and, more importantly, his greatest love, Doreen Maag, whom he married on September 13, 1953.  The couple resided in Grand Forks where Rod graduated from UND.  Rod served 3 years in the Army and upon discharge, joined the JC Penny Management Training Program in Anniston, AL.  In 1960 Rod was offered an opportunity to manage Pink’s, a ladies clothing store in New Ulm, MN.  He and Tom Ehlers went on to open a chain of department stores throughout MN and IA.  They continued in business together for 39 years.

Rod was also active in many other enterprises.  He worked for 10 years as a Financial Planner for American Express and was a partner in Windings Inc.  He was involved in the ownership of several Super 8 motels, and built US Post Offices.  He eventually built 20+ post offices throughout the Central and Western United States.

Rod was active in New Ulm where he lived for 53 years. He was past President of the Retail Division of the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce, past Co-President of the United Way, a member of the Jaycees, the New Ulm Country Club, and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church where he served on many boards and as church President. 

Rod cherished time spent with his family, golfing with his buddies, and traveling with his wife and special friends, Louie and Eileen Gottwalt.  He especially loved spending summers at his Crosslake home and winters in Ft. Myers.

Rod is survived by Doreen his wife of 65 years, his children Laurie Dietrich (Joe Frank) , Leslie Van Keulen (Jeff), Garth Dietrich (Cammie), Leah Dietrich (Dan Ecklund); grandchildren Jennifer and Jessica Van Keulen, Andrew and Grant Dietrich, and Allison and Lauren Ecklund; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation Friday, January 4th from 5-7 P.M. at St. Peter Funeral Home. Further visitation Saturday morning, January 5th at 10am at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, MN followed by 11am service. Memorials in memory of Rod may be made to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church or charity of your choice.
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