Elizabeth Dietrich

Elizabeth Ann Dietrich (Thielen)

Tuesday, September 25th, 1923 - Saturday, November 2nd, 2019
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Elizabeth Ann Theresa (Thielen) Dietrich went to meet her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on November 2, 2019, at her home surrounded by family. She was 96 years old. Elizabeth Ann was born September 25, 1923, daughter to Fred and Hattie Thielen, and sister to Robert Fredrick and Mary Josephine. She was born in Chanute, Kansas and attended 1st grade in a one room school house. In 1930, the family moved to Ottawa, Kansas. Elizabeth met and married Paul J. Dietrich at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ottawa, June 2, 1947. Elizabeth and Paul moved to Kansas City, Mo and were blessed with six children. She was the stay at home mom and only worked later in life following the passing of her husband, Paul in 1970. Elizabeth and her sister, Mary Jo, were inseparable and spent many hours playing cards when they weren’t traveling or visiting the local casino. She loved to travel and mapped out her adventures. She used to say she was six inches short of traveling around the world. One of her most memorable trips was to Rome where Pope John Paul II touched her hand. Elizabeth loved to write and completed her 1st book, My Rosary, The Decades of My Life 1923 – 2003, which exemplifies how important family was to her. She was working on completing her next book about the next ten years.
She was a spiritual woman of strong faith and unwavering belief. While at St. Michael’s church, Elizabeth was a member of the choir, Altar Society and Eucharist minister. From then on, she would continue to participate and/or lead many organizations such as Our Lady of Fatima Choir, DCCW, NCCW, World Apostolate of Fatima, Tabernacle Society, Secular Franciscans, and Consecrated Widows. Elizabeth had a long and blessed life. She loved to tell others the way to a long life is to “always tell the truth and love Jesus more today than yesterday.” Elizabeth enjoyed being employed until the last few months of her life calling her “phone family” to request donations for various charities. She was very proud of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was ready to be reunited with family that was taken
too soon: first born girl, Mary Elizabeth (1952), husband, Paul, (1921-1970), youngest son, Thomas James (1955-1974). Other family members preceding her include her parents, Fred and Hattie Thielen; brother, Robert Thielen, and sister, Mary Jo Kelley. Elizabeth leaves behind four children: David P, Dietrich, Modesto, CA, Donald Joseph (wife, Jan), St. Louis, MO, Julia A Arnold, (husband, Paul), Independence, MO, Paula S Swafford, (husband, Allen) Independence, MO: seven grandchildren; Kelly (Gini) Dietrich, Katie Dietrich, Jessica (Tim) Faber, Martha Dietrich, Steven Swafford, Sarah Noble, Jeffrey Swafford: seven great grandchildren; Scott, Ava, Carson, Aiden, Addison, Paige, and Sammy, along with many nieces and nephews, extended family and friends.
A visitation will be held Saturday, Nov 16 at 10:00 am followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 am, at St. Mark’s Catholic Church, 3736 Lee’s Summit Road, Independence, MO.
Contributions may be made in Elizabeth’s memory to: Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Eucharist, 2100 North Noland Road, Independence, MO 64050.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, November 16th, 2019 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    Saturday, November 16th, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
    St. Mark's Catholic Church
    3736 South Lees Summit Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, November 16th, 2019 | 11:00am
    Saturday, November 16th, 2019 11:00am
    St. Mark's Catholic Church
    3736 South Lees Summit Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Father James Taranto
  • Interment


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Private Condolence

Heidi Horsley

Posted at 05:39pm
I hadn't heard from Elizabeth in quite a while regarding donations. So I looked up obituaries on line and saw hers. I am so very sad. I loved this little lady. I never had the pleasure of meeting her in person. But we spoke for years over the telephone when she called for Hope House donations. She would tell be all about her wonderful family and I would share stories about mine and what was going on in my life. I referred her to a couple friends and they also grew fond of her. She was always so happy and cheery. We had talked about meeting sometime, but unfortunately that never came to pass. I live here in Lees Summit. What is really cool is the picture that is posted here. Now I get to see how cute she was! I remember she had a daughter that lived across the street from her. If I had known about her passing I would have certainly attended the visitation in Independence, but of course there was no way of knowing what happened. I am sure she is now basking in the glory of the Lord in heaven. So to her family - daughters, etc. please know what joy she put in my life every time we spoke. Loved her so much!

Heidi Horsley

Kathy Biagioli

Posted at 01:15pm
I met and befriended Elizabeth in 2003 at St. Mark's Catholic Church. When she learned of my involvement with Hope House, she invited me to speak to the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

I had the honor and privilege of enjoying Elizabeth's company and that of the beautiful women of the DCCW over the next few years.

Elizabeth was a joy to be with. Full of love and energy and devotion. She was an inspiration.

Elizabeth called me one day and told me about a dream she had to fill shoeboxes with toiletries and small gifts to be given to the women at Hope House. That dream became reality. The first year, the boxes could be packed into my car and one other. The following year, a van was required; in subsequent years, several vans were required. More shelters became beneficiaries.

What a gift knowing Elizabeth has been, to my life and so many others.

I include an excerpt from The Catholic Key:

The idea came to her in the middle of the night five years ago. Elizabeth Dietrich, then-province director of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, had been searching for a charitable cause all Catholic women in the diocese could get behind.

It struck her that when women and children fled domestic violence they often had only 15 minutes to get out, taking nothing but the clothes on their backs. How could she, and the DCCW, help? Dietrich suggested the group donate to a "shoebox shower" during Lent for those victims of domestic violence by filling a shoebox with small items for a mother or child including toiletries, small toys or first aid items. The shoeboxes would be donated to local shelters for battered women and children.

Word spread, and the idea caught fire throughout the DCCW, schools, parishes, businesses and other organizations. That first year, more than 500 boxes and bags filled to bursting with personal care items, toys, clothing and goodies were delivered to the Catholic Chancery for distribution to Hope House, Newhouse and Rose Brooks Center.
The shoebox showers grew bigger each year.

Dietrich, a member of the DCCW Board of Directors and editor of the newsletter, was invited to give a presentation, highlighting the shoebox shower and other projects, at the 2006 convention of the National Council of Catholic Women. The Lenten project of the Kansas City-St. Joseph DCCW was picked up by local DCCW chapters nationwide.

During Lent 2008, more than 2000 shoeboxes, clear plastic storage boxes and bags were distributed to Kansas City area shelters.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for all you gave in your life well-lived.

--Kathy Biagioli

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