Kenneth Ditton - November 3, 2002
Kenneth Ditton, 82, who had lived in the Wishkah Valley for 69 years, died Sunday, Nov. 3, 2002, at the Westhaven Villa in Aberdeen. He had been suffering from cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Mr. Ditton was born May 31, 1920, at Turner, Mont., to Earl and Amy (Hart) Ditton. He grew up in Potlatch, Idaho, and in the Wishkah Valley, where he moved when he was 13.
He graduated from Wishkah Valley High School in 1939. He also attended Grays Harbor College.
In 1940, Mr. Ditton entered the Army Air Corps. He served at Elmondorf Field in Alaska, then flew to England as a bombardier with the 557th Bombardment Squadron, 387th Bombardment Group, known as "Whit's Warriors."
He flew more than 79 missions over the English Channel. Campaigns he was involved in included Normandy, the European Air Offense and Northern France. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, an Air Medal with 13 oak leaf clusters and other decorations.
On Oct. 25, 1948, he married Hettie McBride at Montesano. She died in 1994.
In 1946, Mr. Ditton purchased a dairy farm in the Wishkah Valley. He was also a logger and owned two log trucks, driving one for several years. He then worked in a shake and shingle mill until retiring in 1982.
Mr. Ditton was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1135 in Hoquiam.
He enjoyed dancing, reading, hunting and gardening.
He is survived by a daughter, Diana "Dee Dee" Johnson of the Wishkah Valley; three stepchildren, Dixie Parker of the Wishkah Valley and Bonnie Solheim and Bob Parker, both of Aberdeen; two sisters, Edith Kunkle of the Wishkah Valley and Viola Flodstrom of Hoquiam; 14 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
Two brothers, Keith and Homer, died before him.
A graveside service is planned for 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, in St. John's Cemetery in the Wishkah Valley.
Arrangements are by the Whiteside Family Mortuary in Aberdeen.
Contributions in his memory are suggested to the Alzheimer's Support Group of Grays Harbor, P.O. Box 161, Montesano, 98563.