In Memory of

Denise

Dietrich

Obituary for Denise Dietrich

Denise Marie Dietrich (née Wenzel) passed away on Sunday, June 26th, 2022, at the age of
sixty-nine. Visitation will be from 5pm to 7pm on Friday, July 1st, at Belden Larkin Funeral
Home. Services will be at 10am on Saturday, July 2nd, at St. Francis de Sales Church in
Lansing, followed by burial at Mount Muncie Cemetery. It can also be viewed online.

Denise was born in 1953. She was the youngest of three, all born and raised in Lansing. Like
her brother and sister, she was drawn to the arts: singing, marching in the band, and acting on
stage. After her junior year at Lansing High School, the family moved to Chillicothe, Missouri,
then south to Texas. In college, her love of music and drama gave way to an interest in graphic
art and interior design. She graduated from the University of Houston and soon found herself
back in Missouri, this time in St. Joseph. It was there, while working at Sears, that she met and
married a young Xerox salesman named Bryce Dietrich.

The newlyweds soon moved to Florida, where Denise gave birth to two boys. Their marriage
was brief; Bryce and Denise separated shortly after the youngest was born. She kept her last
name - she did not want her children to grow up with a different one from hers - and found
herself raising the children alone, working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Denise and the
boys moved to Texas and then, for the second time, she moved back home to the Midwest. The
family returned to Lansing and her boys grew up in a house built by their great-grandfather on
Ida Street, next door to their great-grandmother Dody. Meanwhile, Denise settled into a long
career with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Though she never expected to work for the
government, she eventually took great pride in her twenty-four years of service to America’s
veterans.

Christ teaches us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Denise embraced this, and
when facing circumstances beyond her control, responded by opening her heart and home to
others, first as a mother and then as a daughter.

Her boys lived with her for a few years after high school until they could make their own way in
the world. Shortly after both had moved to other parts of the country, Denise once again found
herself caring for others in her home. Her parents, Bill and Marilyn, moved in with her, and
Denise cared for them both until their passing.

She was also the family historian, surrounding herself with the photographs and memories of
her family. Pictures of the mother and father, aunt, siblings, grandparents, and children who so
often depended on her were near when she passed. Denise will be missed deeply by her
children, brother, and sister. The others are waiting to welcome her, with open arms and ready
hearts, to His home and to eternal peace.

Denise was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by two children: Staley Dietrich
of New York, New York, and Bryce J. (“BJ”) Dietrich of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is also
survived by her brother, Scott Wenzel of Pensacola, Florida, and her sister, Linell Grundman, of
Washington, DC.

Condolences and memorials in her name may be sent to Belden-Larkin
Funeral Home.