Vincent T. Dittrich, 75, of Prairie Village, KS, took the Lord’s hand and departed his home in the early morning hours of Tuesday, January 12, 2021, leaving a legacy of unwavering faith, devotion to family, selfless love, and service to others. Preceding him in death were his parents Theodore and Dorothea Dittrich and his sisters Dot Newman and Annemarie Dittrich. A committed husband of 49 years, Vince is survived by his wife, Terry, four loving children: Amy (Jamie) Bunck, Angela (Mike) Perryman, Andrew (Colleen) Dittrich, and Preston (Rosmery) Dwyer, and seven admiring grandchildren: Jayce Bunck, Asher Bunck, Annie Perryman, Joseph Perryman, Addison Dittrich, Brianna Dwyer, and Amber Dwyer.
Vince was born in Kansas City, MO on June 17, 1945, the second of six children. He spent his childhood in Sioux City, Iowa, and attended the University of Iowa where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy. He was an ROTC cadet and earned the highest awards for marksmanship, a hobby he pursued for the duration of his life. Following in his dad’s footsteps, Vince attended graduate school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he earned both a master and a doctorate of Pharmacology. It was here that he met the love of his life, his wife Terry. Upon completion of his studies, Vince taught pharmacology in the nursing and respiratory therapy graduate programs at KU. At various times in his life, Vince worked as a retail and hospital pharmacist. However, the majority of his professional career was spent in pharmacy software development, earning several awards for excellence.
Throughout his life, Vince engaged in a myriad of interests and hobbies. He gave his time in voluntary service to the Boy Scouts, Sanctuary of Hope, the Knights of Columbus, and Christ Renews His Parish. He was an ardent reader, writer, and contemplative; amateur photographer and print developer; ham radio broadcaster; political pundit; and avid cyclist, camper, hunter and marksman. Vince was also an incredible craftsman. With patience, persistence and attention to detail, Vince would turn a wood blank into a work of art. Yet he was a humble man. When others pored over his beautiful woodworking projects, he deflected the praise and simply spoke of the workarounds he employed to get there and the bones of buried error that, hopefully, he alone knew where to find.
Vince put his faith and his family above all else. He was steadfast in his love for his “bride”, to whom he attributed each of the blessings bestowed on him, devoted to his children, and awed by the depth of joy he experienced in the presence of his grandchildren. His family, in turn, adored him. By account of his grandchildren, grandpa could do no wrong. He was the master of games, the ultimate tickle monster, toy-fixer extraordinaire, rocket scientist, firearms instructor, hidey-hole engineer, and the biggest baddest wolf. If a man were measured by the love he cultivated, Vince would stand, unassumingly, among the most revered.
With his family, Vince harbored a preeminently charming trait as a sappy correspondent, writing many cards and letters throughout the years with the heart-tugging send-off I.W.L.Y.F. (I will love you forever). Weeks prior to his passing, Vince spoke of the absence of his father, and the unique pain of feeling adrift without that familiar paternal anchor. Sitting in his armchair, looking pensively out the living room window, he said he did not know whether he’d ever reconcile that loss. But Vince, himself, was an anchor by nature and weighted by choice. He was everything his wife, children, and grandchildren needed him to be: always there, time after time, with intense love, tethering a ship and creating safe harbor while each individual plotted their course and embarked on their journey.
Those who knew Vince knew that he approached life’s challenges with measure and intention, patience and care. He was meticulous in study and learning, and it served his unending quest to understand the how and the why. He reveled in the journey of finding out, and he dutifully shared with others the lessons he learned through study, practice and life. Vince understood and taught the importance of hard work and earned reward, and so many benefitted from his hard work. So many, including his children and grandchildren, learned from him how to interrogate, reflect, and discover for themselves, and how to recognize, in his absence, life lessons both big and small.
Guided by his commitment to his Catholic faith, Vince was a role model by any definition. His selflessness lifted others, and his modesty belied the breadth of his knowledge, passion and philosophy. It masked a quiet confidence that buoyed him during his life as both a leader and as God’s servant. Vince was always there when you needed him most, with an open, giving, and forgiving heart.
Words cannot begin to express who the world lost last Tuesday morning. But there is joy in knowing that he was truly one of a kind. Vince was a consummate gentleman, beloved husband, admired father, adored grandfather, and trusted friend who lived his life with integrity and service to his faith and fellow man. He will be deeply missed.
To our husband, dad, grandad and friend – W.W.L.Y.F.
Services will be held on Monday, January 18th at St. Ann Catholic Church, 7231 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS 66208 at the following times:10-11am Visitation, 11-11:30am Rosary, 11:30am Mass of Christian Burial. Vincent will be laid to rest on Tuesday, January 19th at 10am at Resurrection cemetery in Lenexa, KS.
For those unable to join us in-person, services will be streamed beginning at 10:50 to include the Rosary. https://stannpv.org/vincedittrich
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Ann Catholic Church in Prairie Village, KS. Memorial gifts can be made online at https://stannpv.org/tribute-gifts.