Lawrence Walter “Walt” Deitrich,

Walter Deitrich passed away on Saturday August 1st in Naperville, Illinois. His obituary follows. In addition to being a strong Christian man, he was a big supporter of VCC and the AFCU where he co-chaired the development committee and served on the executive committee. We all miss his presence and strong leadership. I shall personally miss him greatly. He was always a wise and valuable counsel. Here is a memorial paragraph written by fellow AFCU Board member, Rev. Dr. Jim Wiberg, also a former pastor at the VCC during 1999-2005:

Dear VCC Friends and Supporters, 

Walt Deitrich died this last Saturday, August 1, 2020, at Edward Hospital in Naperville, Illinois.  He had been in Intensive Care since July 9, 2020 and finally succumbed to what the hospital call a “Pulmonary Syndrone”.  Due to Covid 19, a Celebration and honoring of Walt’s life will be held at a later date.  Walt was an active member of the Vienna Community Church, Vienna, Austria, during my years of the pastorate there.  At the conclusion of his service in Vienna, he became a member of the VCC Diaspora in America and served on the Development Committee of the American Foreign and Christian Union.  Ted Ziemann is the current President.  Walt became a Chair of the Vienna Section of the AFCU and proceeded to participate in the lively worship of the Vienna Church whenever he was participating in meetings of the IAEA in Vienna.  Because of his constant connections to the VCC, Walt became an outstanding contributor to the AFCU-VCC Endowment Fund, the new Meeting Point and to the regular budget of the congregation.  As Development Chair for the VCC section of the AFCU, you could expect to get a call if you happened to be on his list in any given year to ask for your support and contributions.  Walt understood the needs of an English speaking congregation in Vienna and its constant rotation of participants from around the world.  He held this little community of faithful constantly rotating participants in his prayers and helped with donations of time and energy to keep the pastoral ministry to these transients in a foreign city involved and active in the life of the Spirit in our midst during their years in Vienna.  May God now grant him peace and rest from his labors and a new life in Christ.

Pastor Jim Wiberg

Walt’s Obituary

Lawrence Walter “Walt” Deitrich, age 81, peacefully passed away on Saturday, August 1, 2020 at Edward Hospital of Naperville. He was born on October 17, 1938 in Pittsburgh, PA, to loving parents Leon Lawrence and Margaret Deitrich. Cherished husband of 55 years to

Patsy Ann (Smith) Deitrich. Loving father of David Deitrich and dearest brother of Mary Deitrich Capra. Dear brother-in-law of Patricia Smith. Fond uncle of many nieces and nephews.

Walt Deitrich was a 50-year veteran of the nuclear power industry. Most of his career was spent at Argonne National Laboratory, working in reactor technology and reactor safety research, including 5 years as Division Director of Reactor Engineering. He also worked at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Schenectady, NY, and for 3 years (2003-2006) at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria. He continued to assist the IAEA with numerous training courses through 2019.

He holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from Cornell University, 1961, a Master of Science (Mechanical Engineering) degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1963, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Mechanical Engineering) degree from Stanford University, 1969. Walt was the recipient of the University of Chicago Medal for Distinguished Performance at Argonne National Laboratory, 1999; the International Atomic Energy Agency Merit Award for Outstanding Performance, 2005; and was a part of the IAEA work force which received the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize (which he said validated his career path). He was also a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society.

Walt loved his family, friends, and Saviour Jesus Christ. He was an enthusiastic assisting minister at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. He was also an avid world-wide traveller, especially savoring trips to Japan with his son, Dave, and visits to places and colleagues around the world.

Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, and to honor Walt, a “Celebration of Life” will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Doctors Without Borders, PO Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030; the Salvation Army, 5040 N. Pulaski Rd., Chicago, IL,60630; or your favorite charity.