Ruth Dittemore 1930-2019

Ruth Joann Dittemore died Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, at a Sabetha nursing home.

She was born Dec. 26, 1930, in Holton, the daughter of William Roy McBroom and Frances McGrath McBroom.

When she was five years old, her family traveled to Washington state to be migrant workers. When that didn’t work out for the family, they returned to Holton. Due to hard times, she was sent to live with her aunt and uncle who lived outside of Netawaka. She was six years old.

When she was 12 years old she returned to Holton and graduated from Holton High School in 1949. After high school, Joann moved to California. She had an aunt who lived there and worked at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica. When Joann arrived in California she worked in the maternity ward and got to meet Lana Turner and Cyd Charisse, who were patients at the hospital.

While in California, Joann decided to go to beauty school. Also attending the school was a Japanese-American woman whose family had to go to the interment camps during World War II.

She also went to school with a woman who was married to Willian Randolph Hearst’s chauffeur. At that time, Mr. Hearst was confined to a wheelchair and was no longer living at the Hearst Castle but in a home in Beverly Hills. She was allowed to go swimming in Hearst’s pool. Marion Davies often joined them. Years later, Joann’s family found out that the house Hearst lived in Beverly Hills was the setting in “The Godfather” showing film producer Jack Woltz waking to a horse’s head in his bed. The character was head of a film company called International, which was the name of Hearst’s early film company.

Joann got homesick and took a train back to Kansas. She married Clyde G. (Mose) Dittemore Jr. on May 18, 1954, in Lincoln, Neb. He passed away on May 18, 2002.

Survivors include two sons, Steve Dittemore, Holton, and Troy Dittemore (wife Dorothy), North Canton, Ohio ; a daughter, Tracie Dittemore, Kansas City, Mo. (husband Eddy Whitley); four grandchildren (Dawn Dittemore, Joey and Reilly Dittemore and Grace Whitley); and one great-grandchild (Tyson).

At Joann’s request, no services will be held.


The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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