Friday, October 29, 2010


Born 12/16/1936 in Dayton, OH

His final flight west 10/28/2010 in Concord, CA

Jack is survived by his devoted and loving wife Ami, his 6 children; David & Kelli Ditzel of Palm Harbor, FL, Bill & Cristy Ditzel of Livermore, CA, Julie & David Natali of Brentwood, CA, Katy & Rob Barker of Clayton, CA, Christina Ditzel of Concord, CA and Anita Ditzel of Concord, CA and 9 grandchildren, his brother William & wife MaryEllen Ditzel of Kettering, OH, and an extended family and friends.

Before serving in the Marine Corps, Jack graduated from University of Dayton, OH. Jack later became an airline pilot. He was based in San Francisco and later in Berlin, Germany, where he was the Chief Pilot for Pan Am until the Wall came down, a total of 27 years. Thereafter he flew for Delta Air Lines until his retirement in 1996.

He will be missed dearly.

A Memorial Service to celebrate Jack’s life will take place at The Gardens at Heather Farm on November 13th @ 3 PM. (Click here for directions to 1540 Marchbanks Dr. Walnut Creek, CA 94598)

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association, Hospice of the East Bay, Save Mt. Diablo, or Mt. Diablo Center.

A special thank you to the staff at Walnut Villa, who took such good care of Jack during his last 5 months.

If you plan on attending the memorial on the 13th, could you please let Christina know via email  Thank you.

Please leave a comment or share a memory below (there will be a lapse in time before your post becomes visible).


  1. Christina- Jack was a great uncle, mentor and friend to me. I played golf with him and let him win several times. I loved his laugh and joy of life. Most of all I love everyone of the members of his big family who welcomed me into their home(s) when I lived in the Bay area. The whole family is a reflection of him- warm, loving and caring. If there is anything I can do let me know- Joe D

  2. Thank you for sharing your memories with everyone Joe. It's nice to hear what people have to say.

  3. P.S. Remember the time he came into your room at 2am to tell you to change your clock for daylight savings? That was awesome. :)

  4. The world is at a deficit of an Angel today. But make no mistake that his spirit remains to watch over his children and all his loved ones. He look out for all of you and let him serve as your guiding light henceforth. Jack, you will be missed.

  5. Very nice Christina!

  6. I had the privilege to serve with Jack in many ALPA activities when we were both First Officers, and later as Captains, and we concluded our Pan Am career as members of "management". Never in any of those many years of service did I ever encounter a more honest and sincere person. In the immortal words of John Paul Jones, Jack was "a gentleman of refined manners, punctilious courtest, and the very nicest sense of personal honor". He made an everlasting impression on all who met him. God's speed my friend.

  7. Members of the Ditzel family have touched my life in countless ways and I am very fortunate to have their friendship. Jack's legacy is that of loyalty, honor, consideration and kindness. I am truly blessed to have met him and to have my life deeply enriched by his loved ones. He clearly set a stellar example of how to lead ones life. Love and sympathy to all of you.

  8. Humble, Honest, Hospitality and Humour. Thankyou Jack.

  9. Bill Ditzel (Ohio) says...

    To remember Brother Jack is to remember a signature smile, often mischievous eyes, someone who enjoyed laughing, an airline pilot who loved his work, and someone who cared deeply for his wife, Ami, and his family. Need I say more? I could, but it would only add to the pain of losing him. We can’t make the November 13th, California memorial service, but we will celebrate in his memory at Mass here in Kettering, Ohio on the same day.

  10. Jack the Marine....a fun loving guy. The Ditzel smile and the twinkle in your eyes will be sorely missed by Jane the Dane and this Marine. I am thankful that our paths crossed on this side of the sod, Jack. It has been a privilege to share with you...cockpits, laughs, lies, golf carts and..... the good life that was Berlin. I will never forget those years.
    Jane and I are ever so glad that we introduced you to that great lady Ami. What a terrific couple the two of you made.
    When we meet again on the other side, I'm sure that you will have it scouted out. Be sure to have some Pilsner Urquell on ice for all your old friends.

    Go in peace, our friend. Semper Fi.

    Dennis and jane

  11. Our condolences to the Ditzel families and friends.

    Linda Andersson and Bruce Fogel

  12. Janis (Thill) BrooksNovember 10, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    To Dave, Julie, Bill, Katy and family:

    I was so sorry to hear about Uncle Jack. Thinking of him, I will always see a trim and dashing 30-year-old man in a Pan Am pilot’s uniform with an amazing smile and a twinkle in his eye.

    My heartfelt sympathy to you all.

    Love, Janis

  13. Cindy and Mike HassanNovember 12, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    We will be thinking of you tomorrow as you gather together in memory of Jack. I have so many fond memories of my Uncle Jack --- his engaging smile, his great laugh, his kind words, and his love of family. It was heart warming to see all of these photos and to remember all we shared with him --- and with all of you. We will be with you in spirit tomorrow as we celebrate his life in Dayton, Ohio --- where his journey began!

    Love and prayers,
    Cindy and Mike

  14. Ami, please accept my deepest condolensce in your time of sorrow. I am thinking of you and your family. May you have the patience and strength to overcome your sorrow.Kram, Barbara Fattah (SWEA)

  15. Ingrid and Jan NilsenNovember 15, 2010 at 9:37 AM

    We met Jack in 2002 when our family visited California and found a warm and kind man. One memory that our sons still is talking about is the hickory smoked salmon Jack and Ami made at the pool. It was delisious! We spent some good days together with the most generous persons we know. We think about you Ami and hope to see you in Karlstad! Kram Ingrid och Jan

  16. A little over two months have passed since you passed away. I miss you dearly and don't quite know how to process this. It's been harder than I expected to have you gone and not a day goes by when you are absent from my thoughts. I have many wonderful memories to toss around in my head and heart, yet there are also memories of the time you had to suffer and the thoughts about what else I could have said to you that last wednesday night. That time with you was precious and I feel so lucky to have been given that gift of saying "good-bye" yet it had been happening for several years.

    I miss you pappa. :(. I am blessed with several people in my life who love me, but I still feel raw and empty because of your death.

    Thank you for being someone I could trust and look up to.

    I love you....

  17. pappa... it's now been 4 months since you passed away and I wish i could say that it's been getting easier - but it hasn't. I really need you right now and yes... i know you are here and I know you are listening. I guess I have the privilage of being able to "talk" to you any time - any place. Yet, I would really like for you to be here and to be healthy. I miss you dearly. It's still hard to really process the fact that you are gone. I fight with it. I try to forget it. However, it's true - you are gone and I'll never have you back. How is that even possible? You've always come back.