Sylvia S. Dietz, age 90, of Appleton, died on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, at St. Elizabeth Hospital, in Appleton, Wisconsin, after a short encounter with pancreatic cancer. Sylvia was born on January 18, 1931, in the same hospital where she died, to Norbert and Regina (Werner) Strobel. She married John G. Dietz on January 7, 1950, in Appleton, and, after 65 years of marriage, John preceded her in death on October 29, 2015.
Sylvia is survived by her four children; daughters: Margaret (Peggy) Dietz of San Francisco and Linda Dietz of San Jose, CA; sons: George Dietz (Andrea Blaylock) of Delafield, WI and Jeffrey Dietz of Appleton; and her grandson, Jay Dietz of St. Francis, WI. The youngest of six children, she is also survived by her brother Alex O. Strobel of Naples, FL and by sisters-in-law: Mary Herwig of Appleton, Rita Brandt of West Allis, and Bernice Strobel of Little Chute, WI, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband John, Sylvia is preceded in death by her parents and her husband’s parents (George J. Dietz and Eleanor (Knapstein) Dietz), her brothers Melvin, Marcellus and Sylvester Strobel, her sister, Beatrice Sturm, as well as her sister-in-law, Ruth B. Strobel, and by brothers-in-law Robert F. Herwig, Chuck Brandt, and Oscar Sturm.
Sylvia graduated from Appleton High School in 1948 and met John, who swept her off her feet when he took her for a ride in his Piper Cub. They married on January 7, 1950. Prior to marrying John, Sylvia worked as a secretary and administrative assistant for the Appleton Public Schools. She also worked making chocolates at Bowlby’s Candy. She later ran Peggy’s Candy Store featuring Kaap’s hand-dipped fine chocolates, which was owned by her brother, Alex. A talented seamstress, she later managed and did expert bridal gown alterations at Tiesling’s Bridal Salon.
As a mother and homemaker, Sylvia was an excellent cook who made well-balanced meals for her family, and enjoyed sewing beautiful clothes for herself and her children. She made matching outfits for herself and her two young daughters, and went to great lengths to duplicate a linen jacket worn by Twiggy on the cover of Seventeen Magazine. She took classes in upholstering and flower arranging, and enjoyed home decorating in the Danish modern style of the times. Later in life her decorating tastes turned to sentimental Norman Rockwell plates and Thomas Kinkade paintings.
Sylvia and John were members of the Stardusters Dance Club and loved all the Big Band music of the 50’s. John loved ballroom dancing with Sylvia in the many beautiful ballgowns she made for herself to wear at Stardusters and Knights of Columbus dance events. Sylvia and John hosted many a cocktail party in the beautiful mid-century modern home they designed and built in 1957 at what was then the very outer edges of Appleton’s South Side. Sylvia and John were Charter Parishioners of St. Bernadette Catholic Parish when it was established in 1960. Sylvia was a member of the Women of Saint Bernadette, the Catholic Daughters and the Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary.
Sylvia and John also enjoyed bowling and golfing and belonged to Ridgeway Country Club. In retirement, Sylvia and John enjoyed being snowbirds at their condo in Naples Florida. They enjoyed cruising the Caribbean, international travel, and traveling with family and friends to use their timeshares. John’s passion was flying, so they often flew to these destinations in his Cessna. “Just in case,” Sylvia completed a “Pinch Hitters” course to learn how to land the Cessna on her own.
Special thanks go to Gastroenterologist Sudeep Sodhi, Oncologist Kamal Abbi, and to hospice RN Ben and CNA Peggy for their care, concern and family support at the end of Sylvia’s life.
Visitation will be held Friday, October 8, 2021, at Saint Bernadette Catholic Church, 2331 E. Lourdes Drive, Appleton, beginning at 1:30 pm until the time of the Funeral Liturgy at 3:00 pm, with Fr. John Becker officiating. The Mass will be livestreamed and can be watched by clicking on the link below. Inurnment will be at St. Joseph Cemetery (St. Francis Gardens), Appleton. In lieu of flowers, tributes may be made to The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research www.lustgarten.org 415 Crossways Park Drive, Suite D, Woodbury NY 11797. (866)789-1000. Online condolences may be made at legacy.com or the Brettschneider-Trettin-Nickel website: www.btlfuneral.com.