Renner Funeral Home Home Obituaries Resources At Need Pre-Planning Services About Us Facilities Contact Us

Deacon Donald Deitz

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Deacon Donald Robert Deitz, 82, of Belleville, IL, born June 3, 1931, in Belleville, IL, died Monday, December 9, 2013, at his home.  
Deacon Don lived his life to the fullest as a devoted family man of faith who worked at least two jobs while raising a family with his lovely wife of 61 years, Shirley A.,nee Schmid, Deitz, whom he married on June 21, 1952, in Camp Cook,  CA.

He was a member of Local 101 Plumbers and Pipefitters for 57 years.  He was the Village of Swansea Plumbing Inspector for twenty years. 

Don was a man of patriotic service, very dedicated to the Illinois National Guard.  In 1951, he was activated with the Belleville Unit and served specifically in KMAG in Korea.  He retired after 39 years of service at the rank of Lt. Colonel.

He was a life-long member of St. Peter’s Cathedral, and the Cathedral Men’s Choir.  He graduated from Cathedral High School in 1949. 

Deacon Don was a man of strong faith in God and dedicated service to God’s people.  In 1990, he entered the Ministry Formation Program.  In 1993, he was accepted into the Diaconate Formation Program.  On April 19, 1997, he was ordained a Permanent Deacon for the Diocese of Belleville.  He ministered as a deacon in the Cathedral Parish of St. Peter and St. John the Baptist Parish, Smithton, IL, and various other ministries throughout the Diocese of Belleville. He currently worked for the Diocese of Belleville as Manager of Property and Special Projects.

Don’s special hobby was woodcarving.  He was an active member of Belleville Area Holzschnitzers, the Midwestern Woodcarvers, and the National Wood Carvers Association.  His specialty skill was “CHIP” carving and he received numerous awards throughout the years.  He served as Chairman of the Annual Holzschnitzers Woodcarving Show for several years.

Don was an honest, hardworking, straightforward man, and you always knew where you stood with him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jacob E. and Aurelia M., nee Brueggeman, Deitz; a brother, Jack G. Deitz; a sister-in-law, Ethel, nee Simpson, Deitz; a daughter-in-law, Sandra, nee Rodriguez, Deitz; a grandson, Benjamin I. Schneider; and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Frank and Ann, nee Mizell, Schmid.

Surviving are his wife of 61 years, Shirley A., nee Schmid, Deitz;
six children, Susan K. Scott of Belleville, IL,
Steven D. Deitz of Belleville, IL,
Sheryl M. Schneider (James Jackson) of New Athens, IL,
Stacy A. (Brian) Deslatte of Longview, TX,
Scott T. Deitz of Smithton, IL,
and Shelly J. (Michael) Popp of Swansea, IL;
16 grandchildren, Melinda Platero, Wayne (Tia) Scott, Nicole Haas,
Corey (Dawn Skidis) Deitz, Madeline and Dale Deitz, Sarah Schneider,
Jessica (Patrick) Crockarell, Jamie (MSgt. William) Hall, Joanna (Brian) Rumler, 
Army Specialist Zachary (Kate) Marshall, Aaron and Emily Marshall,
and Aurelia, Zoe and Caleb Popp;
22 great-grandchildren;
his sister, Judy A. Schanter of Shiloh, IL; 
two sisters-in-law, Pam (John) Kramer, of Atlanta, GA,
and Jeanette (Larry) Wuest of Belleville, IL;
two brothers-in-law,  Richard (Renee) Schmid of New Athens, IL,
and Bob Schmid of Hawaii;
numerous nieces and nephews;
and the children of St. John the Baptist Parish in Smithton.

Memorials may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Society Food Pantry at the Cathedral of St. Peter or to the Building Improvement Fund at St. John the Baptist, Smithton, IL.   Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation:  Friends may call from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday, December 12, 2013, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Smithton, IL, and from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Friday, December 13, 2013, at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Belleville, IL.

Funeral:  The Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 9:30 a.m. Friday, December 13, 2013, at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Belleville, IL. Presiding over the Funeral Liturgy and the final commendation will be the Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton.  Bishop Stanley Schlarman will be the Principal Celebrant, with Deacon Ronald Karcher as Homilist.

Burial with military honors will follow at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO.

Go Back

Condolences Left For Deacon Donald Deitz

    Shirley and Family,

    Don was a very special man and touched so many lives and his memory and spirit will live on forever. We are praying for you and the family to find peace and contentment in our Almighty God. Love, Rob and Becky Riess

    Rob and Becky Riess, Jenks, Oklahoma, 74037

    Dear Shirley and family we are so sorry to learn that Don has passed. Its been many many years since we have seen you both but remember you often when you were running with the torch at Carbondale camping ground. Charlie & Gloria Hopfinger

    Charles & Gloria Hopfinger, Lake Placid, Fl., 33853

    To the family of Deacon Don,
    You are in our thoughts and prayers. Don was a wonderful man and touched many lives. He will be missed!
    Gary and Dena Vasquez

    Dena Vasquez, New Athens, IL, 62264

    Dotty and I want to wish all of Uncle Don's family our respectful and loving condolences. We loved Uncle Don as many, many people have, and we will miss him. When I think of kind-hearted people, I always have included Don and Shirley and their large family in my thoughts, since I was eight years old and you let me stay at your home when my parents were away during a family emergency. Don and Shirley are the kind of people who would offer their home, and food off their table, for someone in need.
    Your family are in our thoughts and prayers, Shirley, Suzie, Sherry, Stacy, Steve, Scott, and Shelley. Love, Shawn & Dotty

    Shawn & Dotty Schmid, San Pedro, CA, 90731

    Dear Shirley and Family, I am so sorry for your loss. Donny was truly a "man of strong faith in God and dedicated service to God’s people". His kindness' will never be forgotten. I pray that beautiful precious memories will bring comfort and Peace to all of you. Peace be with you ~ Mary Beth & Family (Girard Riess' daughter)

    Mary Beth Riess-Allen, Houston, Texas, 77070

    Our sympathies and prayers are with the Deitz family at this time of sorrow. Jerry and Anita

    Jerry and Anita Radowski, Lebanon, IL, 62254

    I am so sorry for your great loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Dorothy

    Dorothy Skeans, Longview, Texas, 75601

    To the entire family, but especially to Shirley, Sherry, and Sarah with whom we shared most of our experiences with Don, we share your sadness at his passing while we also rejoice that for him, this Christmas, "The Lord has come."

    Donna and Marshall Bergeron, Las Vegas, NV, 89147

    Grandpa Deitz has truly been an inspiration to me since the first time we met. Although we are not blood related, he never treated me or my family any different than his own grand children. For that he will always be my grandpa and a great friend. I will miss the military stories and life long lessons you have taught me over the years. I am honored to have been part of your life and will always cherish the time we shared. Love you Grandpa!!!!

    B.J. Hall, Freeburg , Illinois ,

    Please accept my deepest sympathy. I knew Deacon Don as a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Council. He always had the love of his faith and the best for God's people on his mind and in his heart. I enjoyed his humor and his love of family demonstrated in his words and actions. You will remain in my prayers.

    Phyllis Mensing, Beckemeyer, Ill, 62219

    Dear Shirley and family, You have lived with and now lost a great man. I always enjoyed being around him. He was a good worker for the church and school. You are in my prayers at this time. I will always remember him. In prayer Sister Deanne

    Sister Deanne Stratmaann, SSND, , ,

    Shirley and Family, We will all miss Don. Psalm 122:1 "I rejoiced because they said to me, 'Let us go up to the House of the Lord.'" Well, Don is home now. His Christmas came early. He set a great example for us.
    I especially remember his assist at my dad's funeral in 2006. In time of sadness he showed joy. Don had a gift of humor and has probably already greeted St. Peter and exclaimed, "I hope the plumbing works up here."
    Peace! Ricky & Theresa Riess

    Ricky & Theresa Riess, Tucson , Arizona, 85719

    Shirley, Suzie, Sherry, Stacy, Steve, Scott, and Shelley,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Don was such an inspiration to so many through his life of dedication to family and his faith. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Cindy Kaye Crannage, Belleville, IL, 62226

    Dear Mrs. Deitz,

    I am at a loss for words to express my deepest sympathy in the passing of Don.

    I knew him professionally and as a former student in the Ministry Formation Program, and in all my contacts with him I knew I was in the presence of a special person.

    My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family at this time.

    He sleeps in peace with Christ now.

    Bob Cebuhar

    Bob Cebuhar, Smithton, IL, 62285

    Stacy, what a wonderful life story of an interesting and wonderful man. The world will surely miss him. Our hearts are with you and your family.

    Charlotte & John Wrather, Longview, Texas, 75606

    Shelly and family,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time of loss. Shelly, your Dad sounds like a wonderful man and I know you loved him dearly.

    Cathy & Phil Powers, Collinsville, IL, 62234

    We are so sorry for your loss. All of your family is in our prayers. Love you Stacy, Brian, Zach, Aaron, and Emy. Scott and Patti Long

    Patti and Scott Long, Longview, Tx, 75602

    Mrs Deitz and to Susan, I was very sadden at the news of the passing of your husband and father. I never got to meet Mr. Deitz but I heard some of the stories from Susan. I know he will be missed by everyone ! I will continue to pray for the family!!! Psalms 30:5 says, Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. You all may be crying right now but rejoice(joy) in knowing that he isn't suffering any more. He will be rejoicing in Heaven and looking down in his family!!!

    Eddie Law, Springfield, MO,

    Mrs. Dietz and Stacy Deslatte,
    We are sorry for your loss of you beloved and our prayers are with you and your families.

    Eric Skoog, Longview, TX, 75604

    Dear Shirley and Family,

    We are so sorry at the loss of Don. He has always been a true mentor in the Catholic faith for us.
    He will truly be missed by many and for a long time to come.
    Sorry we will absent tonight at Smithton but sincerely hope to see you at tomorrows Mass.

    God Bless You all, Nick & Phyllis

    Nick & Phyllis Lang, Belleville, IL, 62223

    Shirley, Our condolences. We are very sadden by the passing of Don. He was a wonderful person. We will miss him and are thankful for the memories he shared with us, especially Chris. Prayers for you and your family.

    Christ and Kathy Lehr, Belleville, Illinois, 62221-5423

    Shirley, Our condolences. We are very sadden by the passing of Don. He was a wonderful person. We will miss him and are thankful for the memories he shared with us, especially Chris. Prayers for you and your family.

    Christ and Kathy Lehr, Belleville, Illinois, 62221-5423

    Dear Shirley & Family
    We were so sorry to hear of Don's passing. We have known Don for many years since we used to see you at the Allgires.
    Don was one of the finest gentlemen we have known. He was always very friendly to us and ready to chat a bit. We will miss him and will add him to our prayers.

    Jim & Rose Guetterman & Barb Jansen, Swansea, Ill., 62226

    It is with saddened hearts that we read of Lt. Col. Deacon Donald Deitz's passing. He contributed so much during his lifetime but his family must also be commended for their part in making these blessings
    possible.We would like to attend his service but Bob's recent surgery does not allow that to happen. Know that we are praying for all of you at this painful time. Love & Prayers, Bob & Mary Thouvenot

    Thouvenot, Robert & Mary, Collinsville, Il., 62234

    Shirley and Family, We were sadden to hear Don had passed away. The last 10 yeas we interacted with you, especailly when Don and I(Chuck) discussed church stuff was always an interesting conversation for us. Since Sue left the Metro East Choir I have missed the encounters I have had with y'all. Don's earthly missions were many and he did them so well and anyone who had contact with him during his life time we'll miss him. I know time will help you and the family get used to not having him but what a wonderful legacy he has left to this family and church over the years. We are some fortunate to have had our paths crossed to have known such a wonderful Christian. God will continue to bless you and the family for many years.

    Chuck & Sue DeLorme, Lebanon, il, 62254

    Our sincerest sympathies on the loss of your father. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Joe and Shari Hoffmann, Belleville, IL, 62226

    Shelly and family,
    I am so sorry to hear about your dad's passing. I remember him always having a smile on his face when he greeted me and I always enjoyed his homily. I know he will be missed at Cathedral.
    Nilufer Fries

    Nilufer Fries, O'Fallon, IL, 62269

    Shirley and Family, I remember fondly our younger days in the Army. Don has always been a great friend.
    With deepest sympathy in your time of sorrow.

    Leland and Mary Knqpp, Maryville, Illinois, 62062

    Scott and family, I'm truly sorry to hear about your loss. Scott, your dad was a very nice man and a servant of the Lord. May God place his guiding healing hand upon you and your family during this difficult time. You and your family are in my prayers.

    Ginny Williams, Washington, MO, 63090

    Go Back