Nicholas J. Dietz

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Nicholas J. Dietz passed away on Sept. 25, 2021.

He was born in May of 1945 in Postville.

The world has been less bright since Nicholas J. Dietz left it behind. Gone, but certainly not forgotten, are all the stories he used to tell, the “inventions” he came up with, and the projects he was always working on.

Rumor has it, that St. Peter personally held his gate open for Nicholas. As he was about to enter, Nicholas said “Just a minute there St. Peter, I noticed that gate seems a bit heavy for you and is dragging some.” He then whipped out his well-worn slide rule, did a few computations, and said he would be right back. He soon came back with the supplies he needed to fix that gate. When it was swinging at the touch of a finger and all wobbles were gone, Nicholas entered that gate and proceeded to set up his new home just the way he liked it.

His pet rat from his bunker in Viet Nam came up to welcome him. All the wild cats he tamed over his lifetime, lined up to help him get settled in.

They may not have recognized it yet, but his new neighbors were about to be entertained by Nicholas, mentally stimulated with all his scientific discussions about “better ways of doing things,” tales from a life he made interesting, and about people whose lives he made better along the way. A lot of his old friends and relatives are sure to get in touch with him in his new quarters, so he will have lots of company. He should find it easy to get enough people together to start a card game. He did like to make riskier high bids, yet he usually came out ahead at the end of the day. Just putting to good use his math skills in keeping track of the odds.

Nicholas attended Iowa State University and studied Electrical Engineering, back in the slide rule days. While he did very, very well in college, in spite of not having taken any college prep classes in high school, he was not the type to want to wear a suit. He was happiest being his own boss and being in charge of his own life as much as possible. This was after his service to his country while stationed in Viet Nam. Over his lifetime he developed woodworking skills and built custom kitchen cabinets. He built his own house and helped others build theirs. He was a commercial fisherman on the Mississippi for a number of years and grew fantastic tomatoes from land well fertilized with the remnants from the fish he caught and sold. He operated a smoker and sold fresh and smoked fish to local restaurants for their guests. Of course, he designed and built his own wooden fish traps along the way, along with his smoker. He tried his hand at trapping and hunted and harvested wild ginseng which he then sold. He worked with metal lathes in a John Deere factory when younger and made auto parts in a factory after retiring from fishing as he got older. He stubbornly lived his life the way he wanted to and on his own terms.

He made numerous friends along the way and most of his adult life was spent in the Guttenberg/Garnavillo area.

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He was preceded in death by his mother, Hazel Anderegg; his step-father, Harold “Red” Anderegg, as well as his father, Nicholas John Dietz, his brother Mark Dietz and Mark’s wife Judy.

He is survived by his two sisters, Carol Genrich and Donna Krenz (Tom Bates) and his brother, Leon (Gina) Dietz along with many nephews and nieces.

The family especially wants to thank all the people, friends, relatives, and medical personnel, who helped him get to all of his medical appointments or treated him for the last several years, thus allowing him to continue to live at home and on his own terms as long as possible. He was a victim of Agent Orange from his Viet Nam days.

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The family of Nicholas J. Dietz invites friends and relatives to attend his burial at the Guttenberg City Cemetery as he is laid to rest on Saturday, Sept. 3. 

Afterwards, friends and family are invited for a very informal get together at the Guttenberg South Marina Building. We imagine there will be an endless number of stories about and from Nicholas that everyone is invited to share. Nicholas grew up in and lived most of his adult life in and around Guttenberg. He made numerous friends over the decades and often talked their ears off. We especially welcome the drivers of the ride service, Earl Public Transit, otherwise known as NEICAC, or Northeast Iowa Community Action Corp, who got him to his dialysis treatments. They have missed him dearly too and missed his stories and scientific discussions. Never a dull moment with Nick around.

More up-to-date detail will be provided prior to the actual weekend of his burial so please watch The Guttenberg Press for an update on those details.

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