Mary Jill Dietz

Mary Jill Dietz

January 15, 1942 ~ August 8, 2020

Mary Jill Dietz

January 15, 1942 ~ August 8, 2020

Mary “Jill” Dietz passed away on August 8, 2020 at the age of 78 years old in Atwater, California with her loving family at her side.  Jill was the matriarch of our California Dietz Family.  She was known as “Jill” to her family and friends.

Jill was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Earl and Anna Lalley on January 15, 1942.     She graduated from Ursuline High School in 1960. Jill met her future husband when they were 14 years old at a CYO church dance. Jill married Edward Dietz on June 22, 1963 and recently celebrated 57 years of marriage. Jill and Ed enjoyed many adventures together.  Ed served in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years. During their 57 years of marriage, Jill and Ed lived in the following places: Dayton, Ohio; Euclid, Ohio; Waco, Texas; Selma, Alabama; Valdosta, Georgia; Yreka, California;  Sacramento, California; San Bernardino, California; Atwater, California; Taiwan (2X), and Germany. While living in Germany, they joined an international camping club and camped with their children all over Europe including Sweden, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, and France. Jill’s family has many treasured memories of her.  Going out to a restaurant with Jill was an event. She had a talent for not ordering a meal but leaving the restaurant full and with a doggie bag. Jill loved babies and passing on well needed advice to new mothers. “Never pour more than you want to wipe up.” “Never wake a sleeping baby.” Jill had a personal relationship with the sandman which she held over her grandchildren to get them to go to sleep quickly. Jill joined Ed on some of his sailing adventures. She was grateful that as her grandchildren got older they were excited to take her place as a crew member.  One of Jill’s favorite contributions to family get parties were her “jello jigglers.” Being from Ohio originally and enduring cold winters, Jill enjoyed hosting Thanksgiving Dinner outside at her home for many years in California. When she passed the hosting duties on to her son, Jerry and his family, there was an unspoken agreement that they would continue to host Thanksgiving outside as well. Jill was a lifelong devout Catholic and attended St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Atwater, California. Jill treasured the church bulletins her adult children and grandchildren would bring to her. In September 1982, she and Ed began their own business, Attorney Services of Merced, which they continue to run with their oldest son, Ted Dietz. Besides being a wife, mother and business owner, Jill also worked as a dental assistant, office assistant, and cook. Jill even attended college briefly to see what her children were experiencing. Jill declared the birthdays of her children were her “personal holidays” and took the days off each year. Jill and Ed were proud of the fact that all their six children and their spouses are college graduates. One thing her family realized while spending time with her at the end of her life was that we are “all her favorite.” Of course, Eddie was the one person we all agree was her absolute favorite.

Jill is survived by her husband, Edward Dietz; six children: Ted (Maria) Dietz; Gary (Cheryl) Dietz, Rick (Diana) Dietz, Gina (Jessie) Ceja, Jerry (Darcy) Dietz, and Paul (Julieanne) Dietz; twenty grandchildren: Christian (Katrina) Dietz, Elizabeth (Jake) Ward, Spencer Dietz, Erick Dietz, Courtney Dietz, Alexandra Dietz, Johnathan Dietz, Joshua Dietz, Summer Dietz, AJ Dietz, Genevieve Dietz, Katherine Dietz, Skyler Dietz, Gus Dietz, Troy Ceja, Nicholaus Dietz, Jack Ceja, Shellianne Dietz, Zaiden Dietz, and Haizley Dietz; five great-grandchildren: Gianni Dietz, Charlotte Dietz, Raphael Ward, Eleanora Dietz and Felix Dietz; and her sister Patricia (Rick) Bakker. Jill will also be remembered by her nieces, nephews, extended family and dear friends. Jill is preceded in death by her parents, a brother and a sister.

Memorial contributions can be made in Jill’s memory to Journey in Christianity at

A memorial mass will be held at All Saints University Parish, 4040 McKenna Drive, Turlock, CA 95382 on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 at 10:00a.m. A celebration of life luncheon will follow at a location to be determined.


  • Sieglinde September 22, 2020 1:28 am

    I remember Jill at the Journey functions and how happy she was to see everyone there no matter if you were a long time friend or someone she just met. She will be missed by so many, love you Jill!!!

  • Joe and Shelley Sousa September 22, 2020 1:35 am

    I remeber her infectious laugh an smile at all Journey functions. She also gave the best hugs!!! She will be missed dearly!!!

  • RAUL REYES September 23, 2020 7:57 pm

    Jill said, “take this coupon” I said “No I don’t want it” she said “yes you take it, if not I will put on your back seat” I said ” Go ahead I don’t want it” .weeks passed and I was on my way to Lodi to shop for a Birdbath. While at the site, on Fathers Day, I was told there would be discounts and if you have a coupon will also honor that as well, I wanted that birdbath real bad, so remembering ,I ran to the car in hopes of finding that rejected coupon which I know was for the statuary place I was at. Sure enough it was still on the back seat ( I don’t Clean my car out often, thank God”. to make this memory a little shorter, I turned in the coupon plus a discount for Father day and one for being old, in short the birdbath original price was $ 119. plus tax, when they finished their discounts I went home paying 17 dollars plus tax, once I got in the car I told Cookie that I had to get home right way and ( THIS WAS BEFORE CELL PHONE) call Jill, which I did, once I told her the blow by blow account of what happened she laughed and told me how happy and proud she was that I had saved the coupon ” LIKE SHE TOLD ME TO.” Will miss those days but smile when I remember some of Jill’s antics. Note; she probably has coupons for ” ANGEL WINGS” They had better pay attention if you ask me…

  • Anne Brennan October 13, 2020 3:05 pm

    How sad to hear of your death Jill. I remember lots of good times in Germany when we used to go camping with the services caravan club.We used to travel all over Europe.Lots of great times were had by your 6 children, and my 2.Garry and Tricia..Unfortunately Garry passed away in November 2018, he was 50 years old.I am offering my kind condolences to your Family, I am sure Ed is distraught. Fly high Jill RIP, God bless you.From your Friends in England..

  • KATHLEEN M. WHALEN DELISIO January 15, 2021 4:26 pm

    Just now, January 15, 2021, see that my old St.Jerome grade school friend returned to the Lord Jesus last year. How blessed we are to know you are in heaven with Him and someday we will all be reunited again. God comfort your family on your birthday as I am sure they miss you so much.Kathleen Whalen DeLisio

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