John Sanderson Dietz was born in Albuquerque, N.M. He graduated from the Deerfield Academy and was an army veteran of World War II. He was past president of the former Dietz Lantern Co. He retired in 1988 as executive director of the Central New York Community Foundation. He was a board member of the former Syracuse Museum of Art, Syracuse Stage, Child and Family Services and Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and was the president of the board of Planned Parenthood. His family and friends remember his love of people and contributions to the community above all else.
His wife, Julia, was born in New York City to Major General Ulysses S. Grant III and Edith Root Grant. She was the youngest of three daughters and was raised in San Francisco and Washington, DC, following her father in his deployments in the Army Corps of Engineers.
A graduate of the Shipley School and Bryn Mawr College (class of 1938), Julia worked briefly at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, before moving to New York City in 1940, working as an editor at Harper Brothers publishers. That same year she met John. They became engaged in 1941, but delayed marriage due to America’s entrance into the Second World War. They married on August 18, 1945, after his return from the army.
Julia and John moved to Syracuse, NY in 1945, where John worked for the R. E. Dietz Company, retiring in 1974 as president, after which he ran the Community Foundation for a decade. Julia became deeply involved in Planned Parenthood in Syracuse, and worked tirelessly on the boards of Memorial Hospital (where all four of her children were born) and the Everson Museum of Art. She was instrumental in the merger negotiations between Memorial and Crouse-Irving Hospitals in the 1960s. She was a longtime member of the Onondaga Country Club, where she played golf regularly for over 50 years.
This fund was established to carry on the couple’s generous legacy by supporting the broad and changing needs of the community.Donate Now