Michael Albert Dieterich, age 67, died unexpectedly the morning of April 19, 2022. He was born in Painesville, Ohio, November 23, 1954, the first child of Robert Francis (1922-2007) and Zora Mae Herroon Dieterich (1933-1988). Raised in Cleveland, Mike took great pride in his city roots and his many experiences of the Grovewood neighborhood and the local St. Jerome’s Parish community; including most notably, youth baseball, bowling ball pranks, and the Pink Panther theme at St. Joseph High School (℅ 1973), as well as his parents’ legendary Christmas’ parties. Inspired by family vacations, his clandestine attempt to get to Woodstock at age fourteen, and his time as an exchange student in Peru, Michael developed a life-long passion for travel, geography, and history, which was nourished as he served the nation in the United States Air Force for twenty years; visiting numerous states and countries serving primarily as a fireman and earning numerous medals and citations before retiring as a technical sergeant. Following his service, he remained attached to his passions by working for many years in communications, dispatch, and security at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach airport while always planning his next trip, confident that it would be paid for by his winning lottery tickets from that week. His greatest adventure was always his family. Michael proudly married Yvonne Crino August 7, 1976 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Euclid, Ohio, and together they raised two sons, Joshua (b. 1980) and Adam (b. 1982), instilling in them the great virtues of working for peace and love that was fostered in their own lives as members of the “hippie generation” along with the great virtues of hard work and discipline of their midwestern roots, and strengthened by the military life. Modeling these realities, Michael always made every effort to be at every game or concert despite the hectic schedule of a fireman. Those virtues and efforts bore great fruit in their sons’ choosing their wonderful wives, Missy (Joshua) and Sarah (Adam), and in their 10 grandchildren, Luke, Amanda, JohnPaul, Nathanael, Abigail, Christina, Anthony, Nickolas, Regina-Lynne, and Richard, all of whom Mike promised to teach how to properly hold a sign to protest the injustices of the world. In addition to family and travel, Michael had a deep love for golf, Cleveland sports teams, cultural history, and his three moderately-spoiled cavalier king spaniels; Lenny, Mac, and George.
Along with his wife, children, and grandchildren, Michael is survived by his siblings, Cynthia, Mark, and Lori, their spouses, children, and grandchildren; his siblings-in-law, Suzanne, Richard, and John; their spouses, children, and grandchildren; and numerous cousins from his large extended family.
A time of visitation will be held at Davis-Watkins Funeral Home, 113 Racetrack Road NE, Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32547, Sunday, April 24, 2022 from 3:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M. The Mass of Christian burial, with military honors, will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 110 St. Mary Avenue Southwest, Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32548 at 10:30 A.M., Monday, April 25, 2022. A burial will occur in Ohio at a later date.
Per Michael’s wishes, dress should be as casual as possible. Though perhaps not in church, tie-dye instead of coat & tie is much preferred at the other events celebrating his life. It was also always his wish that in lieu of flowers, any memorial contributions may be made in his honor to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.