Darlene “Dee Dee” (Wilson) Ditmar passed away of natural causes on December 6, 2021, at Northern Montana Care Center in Havre, Montana. She was 87 years young.
Darlene was born in Liberty County Montana on April 22, 1934. She was the fourth of five daughters born to Charles “Tommy” and Alice (Gustafson) Wilson. Born Darlene, Dee Dee was an endearing nickname given to her by her first niece and nephew. The name went perfectly with her spunky personality, and from that point forward, Darlene became Dee Dee to all those who knew and loved her.
The Wilson family moved from the family homestead to Rudyard where Dee Dee attended school, graduating high school in 1952. She later graduated from Idaho State College, earning a degree in cosmetology. If you knew Dee Dee, you knew she always looked like a million bucks, donning the latest hairstyles and fashions, so cosmetology was the perfect career for her. After college, she came back to Rudyard and ran Darlene’s Beauty Salon, but eventually put her career on hold to marry and raise a family with the love of her life, Richard “Dick” Ditmar. They married on September 25, 1955, and together they worked the family farm while raising three children. Feeling the cosmetology bug again, Dee Dee went back to work in 1985, and operated Dee Dee’s Beauty Shop for several years before retiring.
Dee Dee and Dick spent many years traveling together. They truly enjoyed each other’s company, and especially loved traveling to various trap tournaments where Dick shot, and Dee Dee cheered! In later years, they enjoyed spending their winters in Laughlin, Nevada.
Dee Dee was known for her many talents. She was a conversationalist, or some might say that she had the “gift of gab”. That “gift of gab” came in handy at the beauty shop. She could drum up a conversation with a perfect stranger. Dee Dee enjoyed meeting new friends, and always loved a good visit. She was an excellent cook, and an amazing baker, who turned out the best buns and breads. She was well known for her famous Almond Roca, and it was an often-sought-after treat during the holidays.
Some of Dee Dee’s hobbies throughout the years were gardening, especially flowers, sewing, crocheting, ceramics, golfing, and darting. She was an avid bowler and enjoyed it for many years, often traveling to the National Bowling Tournaments where she made many friends. Last, but not least, Dee Dee had a love for shoes, and to say she had a shoe fetish might be an understatement. It was a Wilson thing!!!
Dee Dee’s grandest achievement was her family. Her most prized possessions, even more than her shoes, were her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She loved spoiling them with her wonderful cooking, relished in their conversations, and always followed them in their extracurricular and sporting events. Dee Dee beamed with pride when she talked of her grandchildren. They completed her life.
Darlene had a strong Christian faith and did not fear death. She faced her failing health bravely. She was the last of the Hi-Line’s famous “Wilson Sisters” to leave this earth, and she’s now at peace, suffering no more. The Wilson sisters are surely having a grand time in Heaven, the five reunited again, probably fighting over shoes! Dee Dee was a tiny woman, but she lived and loved big. She left this earth knowing she was in good hands, and left knowing her family would be okay without her.
Darlene was preceded in death by her parents; sisters; and brothers-in-law, LaVon (Orville) Sather, June (Bob) Toner, Naomi (John) Jacobson, and Myrla Dahlke.
She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Dick; children, Darra (Lyle) Petersen, Doyle (Julie) Ditmar, and Darby (Stacy) Ditmar all of Rudyard; five grandchildren, Reed (Becky) Petersen, Rudyard, Dain (Sara) Petersen, Columbia Falls, Sierra Ditmar, Chicago Illinois, Payne Ditmar and Porter Ditmar both of Rudyard; four great-grandchildren, Owen, Abby, Jacob, and Maggie Petersen; brother-in-law, Dalton Dahlke, numerous nieces and nephews, and a host of friends.
Funeral services will be held at New Beginnings Lutheran Church in Rudyard on December 14th at 11:00, followed by graveside burial and a luncheon, where we can reminisce of this life well lived.
Memorials in Darlene’s honor can be made to the Rudyard Commercial Club, the Rudyard Ambulance, or the memorial of your choice.