Clifford H. Dietz
Clifford H. Dietz, 94, an innovator committed to his family, his American Baptist faith and Franklin College, died Thursday, May 23, 2013, at his home in the Franklin United Methodist Community.
Dietz was born Nov. 18, 1918, and grew up in St. Louis, Mo.
He served in the Army during World War II, receiving a battlefield commission and bronze star. He served in the 104th infantry, nicknamed “Timberwolf,” and on frontline heavy artillery during the Battle of the Bulge.
He married the former Louise Pauline “Paula” Porter on
Dec. 24, 1946, and she survives. They are the parents of three daughters, Sharon Dietz Wilson (Roger) of Marthasville, Mo.; Stephanie Dietz of Carmel, and Jennifer Dietz St. Martin of Greenfield, a Franklin College alumna. They have nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
After the war, he founded Engineered Models Inc. in 1950 and served as president for 41 years. The Indianapolis corporation produced precision aircraft parts for the aerospace industry and transmission parts for large military land vehicles. Dietz attained several patents during his career.
In 1980, Engineered Models was nominated for the Small Business Administration Company of the Year Award and in 1991 the company was honored for its support of the United States effort in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. A plaque was presented to the firm by the North Central District of the Defense Contract Management Command of the U.S. Department of Defense.
He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Franklin. Before moving to Franklin in December 1999, he was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Indianapolis.
Dietz served as secretary of the Franklin College Board of Trustees from 1991 to 2010. He served as a FC trustee from 1978 to 1982 and was reappointed in 1983, continuing to serve until his passing. In 1984, the Franklin College Alumni Council named Dietz an associate alumnus for service to the college. He received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Franklin College in 1986.
The Dietzes have made a difference in the lives of Franklin College students and for the Franklin College community, including the faculty, staff, alumni and friends.
The generosity of the Dietzes is evident on campus through numerous named facilities. They were charter members of the Franklin College President’s Club and the college’s Leaders for Life giving society. They also served as national co-chairs of the college’s Leaders for Life Campaign, which raised $48,540,782.
The Dietzes established the Clifford and Paula Dietz Franklin College Library Rare Book Endowment Fund in 1979, when they also established the Clifford and Paula Dietz Award for Faculty Excellence, first presented in 1980. They also established the Engineered Models, Inc., Scholarship Fund, the largest corporate endowed scholarship at Franklin College.
He was an avid hunter and fisherman, was the first in Indiana to obtain the Grand Slam in Mountain Sheep. Among his major trophies was a world-record polar bear and caribou, and he and his wife presented the college with a grizzly bear trophy which is displayed in the main entrance of the Spurlock Center.
Dietz was named a life member of the Winona Memorial Foundation in 1967, and he served as a trustee of Judson College, Judson, Ill., for many years. The Dietzes also established a student scholarship program at Judson.
Dietz was a collector of rare books and antique guns, and he and his wife, Paula, were world travelers.
He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and mentor to many. He enjoyed spending time with his family at their lake homes, sharing his love for fishing with his children and grandchildren, hunting with his sons-in-laws and grandsons. He made dear long-time friends everywhere he went.
James G. Moseley, president of Franklin College, will conduct a service for Dr. Dietz at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Richardson Chapel on the Franklin College campus, 101 Branigin Blvd. Friends may call from 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Flinn and Maguire Funeral Home, 2898 N. Morton St., Franklin. Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Franklin College, designated for either the Clifford and Paula Dietz Franklin College Library Rare Book Endowment Fund or the music program. Contributions may be sent to Franklin College, 101 Branigin Boulevard, Franklin, IN 46131.