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Joseph Dittmar

November 3, 1929 — January 30, 2024

Ottawa

Joseph C Dittmar passed away on Tuesday January 30, 2024 at Bruyere-Saint Vincent Hospital in Ottawa at the age of 94. Loving father to Jennifer (Delroy Lawrence) and Margie (Lucas Demysh), grandfather to Kristina Dittmar and Seanna Lawrence, great-grandfather to Nova Lawrence. Beloved husband of 47 years to the late Valerie Dittmar (2001), and brother of the late Helen Lockey (2015).


Born in Hamilton to Walter and Anastasia Dittmar, Joe grew up in both Hamilton and Waterford, Ontario. After graduating from high school and deciding that farming life was not for him, he moved to the big city to study electronics at the Ryerson Institute of Technology (now Toronto Metropolitan University). This decision opened up great new opportunities, including the chance to meet his future wife Valerie while playing badminton there. 


In the 1950s at his new job at IBM, he proudly worked on cutting-edge technology, including the first integrated processing system (computer) in Canada. His work as a systems engineer brought him to Pierrefonds in Montreal where he and Val started their family and built a sailboat, the “Sock-it-to-me”, which he often sailed in the lakes nearby wherever the family went camping. In 1969 they moved to the new suburb of Blackburn Hamlet in Ottawa. This friendly community suited them well for 40 years where they hosted many fun New Years Eve parties with their neighbours. During these years, together with their daughters, Joe and Val enjoyed many sunny family vacations in Sauble Beach, Ontario, Longboat Key, Florida, and the Caribbean. After 25 years at IBM, Joe retired and then continued to work in computers for another decade at the nearby National Research Council.


During his retirement Joe continued with his favourite activities: reading science fiction, tending to his garden, and beachwalking early in the morning. An avid nature-watcher, he always found pleasure observing wildlife whether it be the antics of critters in the back yard or sandpipers on the beach. He took up volunteer work with Meals on Wheels and various other local organizations. The last 15 years Joe enjoyed living at Waterside Retirement Residence in Carleton Place, becoming their poster boy (literally!) for happy, social, retirement living.


The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at Bruyere-Saint Vincent who are so caring and dedicated to their patients. Dad appreciated their compassion and thoughtfulness, particularly from Laura and Malayka. They, in turn, appreciated his quiet strength, gentleness, and sense of humour. He will be dearly missed by everyone who knew him.


The family will hold a private service in Owen Sound this summer. As an expression of sympathy, donations can be made to the Canadian Wildlife Federation.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph Dittmar, please visit our flower store.

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