PHOENIX, NY – Jill A. (Sherlitz) Dietz, 90, of Smokey Hollow Road, Baldwinsville, passed away on Sunday May 17, 2015.
She was born in Michigan on January 5, 1925.
An adorable baby, she was soon adopted by Otto Sherlitz and his fashionable wife, Margaret.
Her best memories of her childhood were of playing with and training the dogs her mother raised, which she counted as the beginning of her teaching career, and of visits to her cousin in Fergus, Ontario.
Jill graduated from Wayne University in Michigan with a degree in art, and later, earned a Master’s degree in education at SUNY Oswego.
This was the beginning of a teaching career spanning 30 years, initially as an art teacher, and later as a classroom teacher.
She took a personal interest in each of “her kids,” sometimes expressing a wish that she could just bring some troubled
youngster home with her.
Teaching was the joy of her life, and she will be remembered by many who were her students.
When not teaching, she was traveling.
Every vacation, or even a three-day weekend, she was off somewhere, on a camping trip, or traveling the world by car, plane, train, or cruise ship, looking for adventure.
One way or another she visited every state in the union, and many countries in Europe, always taking family or friends along with her, and snapping thousands of pictures as she went.
Jill was a devout Christian, and very active member of Phoenix United Methodist Church.
She gave many sermons as a lay speaker there, and painted a beautiful mural in the Narthex.
She wore out her favorite Bible, and was known for her warmth and generosity, her unfailing sense of humor and her ready smile.
Jill was predeceased by her loving husband of 57 years, Kenneth M. Dietz Jr., on June 27, 2013; her son, Kenneth P. Dietz, on September 19, 1981; her grandson, Joshua Dietz.
Surviving are her children, John C. Dietz of Charlotte, NC, Katherine R. and her husband Bruce Coville of Syracuse, and David J. and his wife Lisa Dietz of Phoenix, NY; a daughter-in-law, Nancy Dietz of Myrtle Beach, SC; nine grandchildren, Eric and Alex Dietz, Orion, Cara and Adam Coville, Jared, Landon, Nathan and Bradley Dietz; a brother and his wife Bill and Nancy Snover; two sisters-in-law, Barbara Johnson of Baldwinsville and Nila Wilson of Canada; several nieces; nephews, including Eric Snover; and cousins.
Calling hours will be held on Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, 431 Main St., Phoenix.
Services will be on Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Phoenix United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Susan Townsend officiating.
Burial will follow in Phoenix Rural Cemetery, 126 Chestnut St., Phoenix.
Contributions in Jill’s memory to: Phoenix United Methodist Church, 49 Jefferson St., Phoenix, NY 13135.