TBDBITL Alumni Club

The Best Damn Band In The Land - The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni

Howard Willis Ditrick

September 29, 1923 - June 18, 2015

Reverend Howard Willis Ditrick, 91, most recently of Henderson Nevada, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, June 18, 2015, after living a long and full life, serving God in many ways. He was born on September 29, 1923, in Columbus Ohio to Allyn Leo and Errie Loomis Ditrick. Howard was preceded in death by Eleanor, his beloved wife of 57 years, his parents Leo and Errie, and his brothers Wayne Ditrick and Charles Ditrick. He is survived by his daughters, Diane Ditrick (husband Al Chess) of Las Vegas Nevada and Lori Ditrick-Hayes of Longmont Colorado.

With his father being a railroad brakeman, as a young man Howard enjoyed traveling around the country, which included hopping trains and seeing new places. While attending Ohio State University (OSU), he played the 'efer' (E Flat Trumpet) in the OSU Marching Band. He became known to his family and friends as 'Ole Buckeye', as he continued on as an Alumni Member of the OSU Marching Band; and he always had Buckeyes in his pocket, ready to give to everyone he met.

Howard was ordained in Columbus, Ohio, on June 22, 1952, after graduating from the College of the Bible. He later graduated from Lexington Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree.

He was involved in the ministry as a profession for 55 years, during which time he served as a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister in Warren Ohio, Louisville Kentucky, Falls Church Virginia and lastly, Kankakee and Bourbonnais Illinois. Howard retired in 1993 from Central Christian Church. He also served as an Associate Chaplain at Riverside Hospital in Kankakee for many years.

During his 40 years living in Kankakee IL, he served on the Red Cross Board of Directors, was a member of the Fellowship Group of Ministers, and worked with both Triad Senior Volunteer Group and S.A.L.T (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together). He was also a co-facilitator of the Prostate Cancer Survivor Group.

While living in Nevada, he was able to minister to those who engaged with him on a daily basis by just being 'Ole Buckeye'.

There will be a Visitation on Saturday, June 27, 2015 from 9:00 to 11:00 am at Central Christian Church, located at 310 Main Street NW, Bourbonnais, Illinois 60914. Immediately following the visitation, there will be a Celebration of Life, also at Central Christian Church, from 11:00 am 12:00 pm, with a Reception (light refreshments) immediately following at that same location, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. The family has requested that memorial contributions be made to Central Christian Church for Blessings in a Backpack. Howard will be laid to rest next to his wife Eleanor in the Ditrick Family Plot at Sunset Memorial Park in Galloway, Ohio. Burial will be private.

Howard was a member of the marching band from 1941 through 1943. He played efer.