Tuesday, July 15, 2014

#110) In Memoriam - Jerry Deitz

Jerry Deitz, retired Vice President of Engineering, passed away at his home in Los Osos, CA on July 5, 2014. Jerry joined the Shipboard Engineering group at Librascope in 1956 and retired in 1989. Throughout those years, stories about Jerry's countless engineering activities and accomplishments at Librascope were published in dozens of Librazettes.

Jerry last attended the 2012 Librascope Reunion (Blog Post #82), and will certainly be missed at the 2014 Reunion on November 1st.

A Memorial/Celebration of Jerry's life will be held at 1:00 PM on Sunday, August 10, 2014 at the Morro Shores Mobile Home Park's Club House, located at 633 Ramona Avenue, Los Osos, CA 93402. 
Family Contact: Telephone 1-805-528-7136 or e-mail jerryelsie@aol.com.

Please visit the following link for driving information: 

Also, you may wish to sign the Guest Book for Jerry at:

The following obituary was provided by Jerry's loving wife Elsie. 

Jerry Deitz a gentleman in every sense of the word died on July 5, 2014, just shy of his 89th birthday. He left peacefully and quietly in the afternoon, true to his character of never wanting to be a burden to anyone. Jerry was molded by his growing-up years in Brooklyn and enjoyed all the advantages of life in the big city. He liked the adventure of riding in the front subway car where, for just five cents, he was able to spend hours traveling wherever his imagination would take him. Museums, family outings to concerts in the parks, were all a part of his early history, as was his time spent as a volunteer with the fire department. Jerry's mother, Ray, impressed on him the value of education and he listened. He enjoyed learning and excelled in school. City College (now University) provided a splendid, almost free education, for an aspiring electrical engineer. His first choice would have been medicine, but entrance to medical schools was limited for Jews, and so he worked to become a valued contributor where he was able to make his mark. Like many other young men, he enlisted in the army to serve his country during WWII. Underage, and knowing his mother's distaste for the military implanted from an immigrant's experiences, he forged her signature and became a member of the United States Army assuming that it was better to volunteer than be drafted. He was one of the few who served in both the European and Asian campaigns. Jerry served with the 86th Blackhawk Division and continued to be an active part of the organization with involvement in their reunions over the years. The last one took place at Camp San Luis Obispo, where Jerry trained for a period of time and where the seed was planted to return to live in this area, which we did in 1988. A permanent memorial to the Division was dedicated at the time of the last reunion. Jerry and I met on a blind date in 1951 shortly after his return from Japan and Korea as a civilian who taught army personnel technical skills. We decided that getting married was a good idea, and so we tied the knot on April 6, 1952. A honeymoon trip to California made it clear that this would eventually be our permanent home. In 1956, it became reality with Jerry driving across country in five days, followed by our then two-year old daughter Carla and her seven-months' pregnant mother. Armed with a Master's Degree from NYU, Jerry joined the Librascope Corporation in Glendale. Over the years he rose to be the corporation's Senior Vice President of Engineering. Jerry always spoke of his relationships with the 200 or so employees he managed as being the most pleasurable part of his thirty-two year career with the company. His expectations regarding those he supervised were known. He had the ability to leave them alone to achieve these levels and they always strived to reach them. Music nourished his soul and sailing brought pleasure and release from the stress of the workplace, two lifelong passions in Jerry's life. Shortly after our move to Los Osos, we became involved in the Bud Laurent campaign for Supervisor where close bonds with friends were forged. This group went on, over a period of years, to make possible the acquisition of the Elfin Forest. Jerry's next involvement was with the Central Coast Veterans Museum as board member, treasurer and eventually head of the Library of Congress Oral History Project which recorded life experiences of Veterans of all wars. From all of these ongoing involvements, Jerry was often referred to as "Village treasurer". His leadership in volunteer activities spanned almost as long a period of time as his paid career. Jerry's primary concerns were focused on his family's wellbeing. It is with great pleasure that I see in Carla glimpses of his humor and sensitivity to others. Children are not supposed to precede their parents in death. The loss of our son Gary at age 50 was a dark time for us. Bud Laurent said it best: "Anyone who knew Jerry knows the truth that he towered over us in height and character as a kind, considerate and giving person. And, of course, when thinking about Jerry, the phrase is really Elsie and Jerry because they were together in everything. And I can't think of anything they gave themselves to that wasn't in the community's interest and welfare. Los Osos is immeasurably better because of Jerry - and Elsie". Jerry, and all that he was and stood for, will be sorely missed by all his friends and family. A Celebration of Life will be held shortly. Sign his guestbook at sanluisobispo.com/obituaries

Published in the San Luis Obispo Tribune on July 13, 2014