Richard Allan Deitrich, 78, husband and father, passed away on Sunday Oct. 25, 2020, at his home in Bellefonte.
Born in Bellefonte on July 26, 1942, he was the son of Walter Dewey Deitrich and Leah Catherine (Felding) Deitrich.
Richard was a 1960 graduate of Bellefonte Area High School. After high school, he earned degrees from DeVry Technical Institute, LIFE Bible College and Gettysburg Seminary. Later in life, he enrolled at Penn State University, earning a BA and Ph. D. in the field of Science, Technology and Society.
At LIFE Bible College, Richard met Carole Jeanette Jenkins, and the two were married on June 25, 1966, in Anaheim, Calif. They lived in California, Tennessee, Florida, New York and spent their last 37 years in Bellefonte. During their 54-year marriage they had three children, daughters Doreen (m. Darrin Koleno) and Laureen (m. Jeromy Knepp), and son Richard Jr.
Richard’s career included early jobs as a radio DJ, television repair, vacuum sales and also at NASA. He eventually became an ordained minister, and pastored for many years in various denominations. After earning his Ph.D., he was an associate professor at Penn State.
Richard loved the Lord, and was blessed with a wonderful singing voice, which he shared with all who would listen. He was part of a quartet, the Gospeltones, who ministered in song throughout central Pennsylvania. He also loved to tell stories and write. Serving in the community was important as well, and Richard volunteered his time at local nursing homes, as a board member of Bellefonte Area School District, and on the board at Centre Community Hospital. After retiring, he spent many hours watching his grandchildren play sports, and enjoying the sights during car rides. His family have faith that he is now marveling at the awesomeness of Heaven.
Richard was preceded in death by sisters Pearl (Dotterer), Jean (Davidson), and Patricia (Wagner). He is survived by a brother, Carl Deitrich. In addition to his wife and children, he is survived by grandchildren Quin and Corby Koleno, and Matthew and Elizabeth Knepp.
A viewing will be held on Friday, Oct. 30, at 10 a.m. at Zion Community Church, 3261 Zion Road, Bellefonte. A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m.
On-line condolences www.kader-neff.com