Mary Jill Dietz

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 a later date.

Leave a Remembrance