THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
John Diktanas, 87, of Crivitz, died Monday, Oct. 28th unexpectedly in Rothschild. He was born Dec. 24, 1925 in Lithuania.
At the age of 15, he was captured by German soldiers while watering the horses on his familys Lithuanian farm. He was forced to dig trenches for the German Army until he was able to escape to West Germany right before the Berlin Wall was constructed. Through sponsorship by a Lithuanian priest, he came to the United States with one dollar in tow and began his new life in Chicago. He married Valentina Strods there, and in 1959 the couple moved to Crivitz, where they bought a dairy farm. His Chicago friends made bets against him that he would not make it a year on the farm and would end up back in Chicago. He lived on the successful family farm for over 53 years, struggling in the beginning doing multiple jobs such as welding and driving a school bus to support the family. Not only did he raise his children, but also took in nephews and grandchildren over the years.
He was an avid walker, walking four miles every day up until the time of his death. He was a longtime member of St. Marys Catholic Church in Crivitz.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Tina (Valentina Strods) Diktanas and his daughter, Ruth Fancher of Sussex who lost her battle against cancer on Oct. 10th.
Survivors include three children, Vitas (Heidi) Diktanas of West Palm Beach, Fla., Irene (Darryl) Goltz of Rothschild, Lisa (Chad) Cochart of Casco, and a son-in-law, Jerry Fancher. He is further survived by 11 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, six nephews, and a brother, Joseph, who resides in Lithuania.
Friends may call at the Rhodes-Charapata Funeral Home in Crivitz on Saturday, Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. until going to St. Mary Church in Crivitz for funeral services at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund will be set up for the 4-H program.