Mrs. Rebecca “Becky” Owens Dietrich, 93, of Mont Alto, PA, passed away Sunday, January 5, 2020 in the Chambersburg Hospital.
Born February 7, 1926 in Baltimore, MD, she was the daughter of the late Allein Welch and Sarah A. (Smith) Owens.
Becky graduated from Eastern High School, Baltimore, with the Class of 1943. She later studied at the Scottsdale Artist School in Scottsdale, AZ, studying bas relief sculpture.
She and her husband, the late Retired Col. Daniel Harvey Dietrich, Jr., were married on August 31, 1946 in St. David’s Episcopal Church, Baltimore. While her husband was in the military, they were stationed at Fort Eustis in VA, Fort Sill in OK, Germany, Fort Holabird in MD, Fort Leavenworth in KS, Fort Hood in TX, returned to Heidelberg, Germany and was stationed twice at Fort Ritchie, Cascade, MD. They moved to their current residence in 1974. Retired Col. Dietrich died on August 7, 1990.
In her early life, Becky worked for Baker-Watts Investment Broker in Baltimore and while her husband was stationed in Greenland, she worked for various companies in the area. While they were stationed at Fort Ritchie, she was with the Public Affairs Office for one year during the Bicentennial. She was also the Fort Ritchie Historian and Archivist.
Becky studied art with the late Lester Stone beginning in 1975 (local artist); owned and operated A Little Gallery of Mont Alto from 1976-1995, where she represented 100 artists and craftsmen at the gallery and had her studio in her home. Following her retirement, she was an artist consultant and enjoyed painting with the Monday Painters Group.
Becky was a life member and jury member of Cumberland Valley Craft & Guild: Waynesboro Studio Club since 1974; Valley Art Association of Hagerstown, MD; Franklin County Art Alliance, Chambersburg, PA; Waynesboro Historical Society; Mont Alto Historical Society; Spectrum Seven and the Monday Painters Group; Penn’s Woods Print Makers, Waynesboro Studio Club, Writers Forum, Arts Alliance of Greater Waynesboro, and game night group. She was a former member of Rotary International and was a former board member of Renfrew Museum and Park, Waynesboro.
She authored four books and was currently working on her fifth. She also wrote the Artist’s Forum for the Record Herald and Public Opinion newspapers, where she wrote many articles about local history including Mont Alto and Fort Ritchie. She also gave slide presentations to various groups.
Becky volunteered for the American Red Cross both as a Grey Lady and Motor Service driver; started the volunteer program at Fort Leavenworth Army Museum; was Post Historian at Fort Ritchie for two years from 1970-1972; was actively involved in museum plans at Fort Ritchie; and volunteered for the Renfrew Museum and Park Gift Showcase.
She is survived by her children: Bradford W. Dietrich and his wife, Carrie of Chambersburg, Sally Dietrich of Gregory, Michigan, Kate D. Grenke of Chambersburg and Karen “Scottie” Baer and her husband, Bill of Highlands Ranch, CO; five grandchildren; one great-grandson; and several nieces and nephews.
She was the last of her immediate family.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her son in law, Junior W. Grenke, II; one sister, Sarah Owens Fry; and three brothers: Franklin Owens, Allein W. Owens, Jr., and Newbold “Larry” Owens.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, January 10, 2020, in Grove-Bowersox Funeral Home, 50 S. Broad St. Waynesboro, with Ms. Anne H. Baker officiating. Burial will follow privately in Mont Alto Cemetery.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to the services, Friday morning, in the funeral home. A celebration of life will follow the funeral at 12:30 at The Founders Grille at Penn National Golf Club & Inn.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Renfrew Museum & Park, 1010 E. Main St., Waynesboro, PA 17268.