Walter (Walt) Vincent Ditsch passed away Monday, November 23, 2020 at Box Butte General Hospital at the age of 78.
A memorial service will be Tuesday, July 6 at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. A lunch will follow at the family farm, 5790 Jefferson Road following the service.
Walt was born on June 2, 1942 in Alliance to Jean Andre and Agnes (Grosze) Ditsch. Growing up on his family farm north of Alliance, he began farming at an early age and took over much of the responsibilities at the age of 14 following his father’s death. He graduated from Alliance High School in 1959. After high school, Walt served in the US Army spending much of his time stationed with the medical corps in Korea.
On March 15, 1969 he was united in marriage to Phyllis A. Bayless at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Alliance, where they both remained lifelong members.
Walt was an accomplished race car driver, winning many races, trophies, and setting numerous track records all across the area, most notably in Alliance, Gering, Cheyenne, and Denver. He raced his well-known car #16 which corresponded to the age he got his first car, alongside his brother and best friend Paul’s #43 stock car. He drove his first race at the age of 17, and liked to point out that he began racing at the age of 17 and retired at 71, when he took a final spin in his #16 sprint car in Gering on an evening that honored the classic race cars from the past. He held a lifelong love for racing and cars, eventually rebuilding and restoring classic cars. He enjoyed showing his kids and grandkids how to fix the cars and take them for rides.
Walt’s farm was a major source of pride as well. He continued his father’s legacy, and he and Phyllis farmed and owned that same land his entire life until he retired in 2019 and rented the farm out while retaining the same pride in the family land. He loved showing his grandkids who all live in the urban areas how fun farm life can be by showing them how everything works on the farm. His family brought him great happiness and he truly enjoyed celebrating each and every accomplishment by his kids and grandkids, both big and small.
Walt is survived by his loving wife Phyllis Ditsch, his children, daughter Karen Ditsch and husband Joe McCarthy of Plano, TX, son Mark and wife Maha Halabi Ditsch of Chicago, IL and son Andre and wife Hatal Ditsch of Bee Cave, TX, and his grandchildren, Kyle Doviken of Plano, TX, Kathleen Doviken of Nashville, TN, Alexander and Clara Ditsch of Chicago, IL, and Sebastian and Benjamin Ditsch of Bee Cave, TX. He is also survived by his brother, Jim (Melanie) Ditsch of Custer, SD, his sister, Diana (Ed) Parker of Omak, WA, his mother-in-law, Betty Bayless of Galveston, TX and numerous nieces, nephews and other family.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers Paul and Lloyd Ditsch.
In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer memorials be given to the Holy Rosary Building Fund or Box Butte General Hospital.
Online condolences may be left at www.batesgould.com.