Eileen Dietz

Eileen Dietz Longtime China Lake and Ridgecrest resident Eileen Dietz passed away Feb. 21. She was 96.

A private service with the family will be on March 2.

Born in Palo Alto, on Feb.13, 1917, Eileen came to China Lake in 1946 with her husband Ralph and thought she would be in this “God-forsaken” place for just a couple of years. After a while, she found that God had not forsaken this place as she came to love the desert. Sixty-seven years later she was still here.

Eileen was a big nature lover. She hiked and backpacked in the Sierras, often by herself, took frequent wildflower walks in the desert, and was driving her car and taking walks as recently as Jan. 2013.

Eileen worked on the base as a math aid once her children were old enough to get to school and home by themselves. She and Ralph built a home in Ridgecrest in 1960 with a view looking at the southern skyline of Indian Wells Valley. She loved the fact that there were no buildings between her home and the horizon.

She loved visiting any place she had not been, and she visited every continent except Antarctica as well as countless places in the U.S. Eileen played duplicate bridge for as far back as almost anyone can remember, volunteered at the Maturango Museum and knew the names of almost every wildflower in the desert.

Eileen is survived by her son, Lowell Dietz of Flowery Branch, Ga., and Pine, Colo.; grandsons Chris Greynolds of Yuma, Ariz., and Eddie Greynolds of Bakersfield, Calif.; six great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

Donations can be sent to the Maturango Museum or the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council).

Submitted by the family of Eileen Dietz

Story First Published: 2013-02-27