Etta Mae Pendleton Dittrich Bertelsen
Etta Mae Pendleton Dittrich Bertelsen went to her eternal mansion in glory to be with her Lord and Savior on Sunday, July 15, 2018. She was 100 years old and passed peacefully in her sleep in Granbury, TX, under hospice care and in the company of her oldest son. Visitation will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, July 20, at Clifton Funeral Home. Burial will take place at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 21, at Boggy Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 21, at First Baptist Church, Clifton with Dr. Jerry Smith officiating.
Etta Mae Pendleton was born on August 23, 1917, to Homer Denton Pendleton and Gina Louise Lund Pendleton, the third of four children - a sister, Opal, and brother, Homer Denton (H.D.) - preceded her and her brother William (Bill), followed ten years later. She was born in a little two-bedroom house near a stream called Boggy Branch. In 1923 she started Boggy School and eventually completed 11th grade at Cranfills Gap - there was no 12th grade then - during the Depression.
In 1936, she married Edwin Woodrow Dittrich after becoming friends in high school. Although she had grown up as a Methodist, she was baptized into the Baptist Church in 1937 to join her husband. The couple had three sons: Edwin W., Joe Leigh, and Jerry Bob. Widowed in 1968, she later married William (Bill) Bertelsen. He passed away in 1975.
Though she spent some of her early married life in Needles, CA while Edwin worked as a conductor on the railroad during WWII, Etta Mae spent almost her entire life in Bosque and Hamilton Counties - first on a farm near Cranfills Gap, then living on the Dittrich farm while raising her sons, later in Cranfills Gap itself, then finally in Clifton for many years where she developed a number of lots and built homes. Etta Mae spent the final ten years of her life near her sons who lived in Texas, Jerry in Benbrook and Edwin in Granbury.
She was talented in the arts, always enjoying working with her hands, whether it was painting, crocheting, or making and painting ceramic figures. With an eye for design, her homes always reflected her eclectic flair. Etta Mae also enjoyed family history and spent a great deal of time in her later years recording her memories of both her own life and time with her beloved grandmother Fanny Pendleton. She contributed much of her research and artifacts to historical associations in Clifton and Meridian.
The matriarch of the Dittrich family for decades Etta Mae’s core values were faith and family. Nothing gave her more pride and joy than to spend time with her assembled family members. At the same time, her faith continued to be reflected even in the last days of her life where she talked about going home to be with the Lord and even sang gospel songs from her youth.
In Aug. 2017, Etta Mae celebrated her 100th birthday with a group of nearly eighty family members and friends gathered at the Pecan Plantation Country Club in Granbury. In attendance were her three sons and their wives, nine grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren. Also in attendance were her first cousin Fay Wallace of Clifton, TX, who had also become a centurion earlier in the year, and her younger brother Bill, now in his 90s, of Frisco, TX, who attended with his wife Janell and three of his children and other family members.
Etta Mae was preceded in death by her parents, sister, and brother, H.D, in addition to her husbands Edwin Woodrow Dittrich and William Bertelsen.
She is survived by her three sons and daughters-in-law: Edwin and Louise Dittrich of Granbury, TX, Joe and Teresa Dittrich, VA and Jerry and Christine Dittrich of Benbrook, TX. She has ten grandchildren, six of whom are married: Cindi and Aaron Timmons, David Dittrich, Mark Dittrich, Darren and Chris Dittrich, Jason and Melissa Dittrich, Jeff and Amy Dittrich, Jamie Dittrich, Jenny Garza, James and Courtney Dittrich, and Michele and Ryan Schmidgall. She also has thirteen great-grandchildren ranging in age from 26 to four: Michael, Julia, Joshua, Rylie Mae, Spencer, Matthew, Jackson, Ella, Ksenya, Bailey, Cody, Brady, and Reed. She also is survived by her brother Bill and his wife Janell, her first cousin Fay, and numerous nieces and nephews and their children on both the Pendleton and Dittrich sides of the family, whom she remained close to over the years. Etta Mae is also survived by her step-children Bellamy Bertelsen and Christabel Jorgenson, and held their families in high regard.