SM’s Stef Dietrich Remembered as a Family Man, Volunteer

Stef Dietrich, a longtime San Marino resident who most recently joined the Library Board of Trustees and served as a citizen adviser to last year’s City Council ad hoc committee, died Monday. He was 72.
“He was a great guy,” wife Chris Dietrich said. “Anyone will tell you that.”
The Dietrichs moved to San Marino more than 40 years ago, where they would raise six children. After retiring from a career as a certified public accountant, Stef Dietrich began serving the Library Board as an alternate trustee and spent a year working alongside four other locals to analyze city operations and fiscal practices and make recommendations for improvement.
The city is in the process of addressing many of those recommendations and Stef Dietrich most recently attended a special City Council meeting in which the proposed 2017-18 budget was presented.
“Everyone thought it was pretty amazing,” Chris Dietrich said. “Finally, he had retired and he wanted to start giving back more. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the time he wanted.”
Stef Dietrich hailed from Pennsylvania, but moved with his family to Los Angeles when he was 5. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from USC in 1969, after first earning a bachelor’s degree in economics from UC Santa Barbara.
Stef and Chris also married in 1969 and he would begin his career by spending 10 years with Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers). His work there would bring the family to Connecticut for a couple of years, but San Marino remained home for the family.
Stef Dietrich ultimately retired after spending the last 18 years of his career with the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board. His volunteer efforts also included serving as a trustee with the San Marino Schools Foundation, among others, and he liked to fish in his spare time.
“That was one of his joys, plus working in the community,” Chris Dietrich said. “He had so much knowledge he just wanted to use.”
Mayor Dr. Richard Sun commended Stef Dietrich’s contributions to helping the city become a better place, pointing out the bulk of human resources recommendations in the ad hoc committee were his own.
“I think he demonstrated his talents there, and I think he had made a tremendous contribution,” Sun said.
Sun added that, very often, people think of San Marino as a quiet community that emphasizes beautiful homes with elaborate gardens and a top-notch school system, but said it should first and foremost be thought of as a volunteer- and service-oriented community.
“To me, the best part of San Marino is the volunteerism we have with San Marinoans,” Sun said. “Stef Dietrich really represents that.”
Susan Jakubowski, a member of the city’s Planning Commission who served alongside Stef Dietrich for the ad hoc committee and also with SMSF, also praised Dietrich’s ideas and contributions to the final ad hoc committee report to the city.
“He was so positive and frequently spoke to me of his love for his wife, his family and his life,” she said. “He was a consummate gentleman and very even-tempered and respectful of other opinions. When he felt strongly about something, he didn’t hesitate to speak on it.”
Other members of the advisory group could not be contacted before press time this week.
In addition to his wife, Stef Dietrich is survived by four of his children and soon-to-be 11 grandchildren.
“We’ve got a big family to support each other,” Chris Dietrich said. “That was always No. 1 to him.
“We’ve had a lot of support,” she added. “He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and former co-workers. We appreciate the outpouring of support from everyone in the community.”

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