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Tom Ditty

Posted By Ballard Sunder Funeral Home On September 16, 2022 @ 3:34 pm In 2022,Obituaries | 22 Comments

Ditty Web Pic

Thomas Francis Ditty, 76, Prior Lake, MN, passed away peacefully on September 16, 2022.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, October 7, at 1 pm, at St. Michael Catholic Church, 16400 Duluth Avenue SE, Prior Lake, with Father Tom Walker presiding. A time of gathering and celebration will follow at The Wilds Golf Club, 3151 Wilds Ridge Ct, Prior Lake, from 2-6pm. A private family interment will be held at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, in Minneapolis, MN. 

Livestreaming will be available at St. Michael Catholic Church’s website https://stmichael-pl.org/ and by clicking on the “Mass and Services” tab.

Tom was born in Delano, MN, and graduated from Delano High School in 1964. He attended St. Cloud State University, where he earned four athletic letters in basketball and one in baseball. In basketball, Tom was co-captain and All-Conference in 1967 and 1968, and he was All-District in 1968. The Huskies’ 25-4 record earned them a birth in the NAIA national tournament in 1968. In baseball, Tom earned All-Conference honors and was a member of the 1969 NAIA National All-Tournament Team, where the Huskies placed third. He was inducted into the St. Cloud State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992. 

Tom also played Minnesota Amateur Baseball for the Delano A’s, the St. Peter Saints, and the Miesville Mudhens. During his 18 seasons in the league, he was a .300 career hitter, a seven-time all-star, and a five-time all-tournament selection. Tom was inducted into the Mudhens Hall of Fame in 2006 and the North Star League Hall of Fame in 2008.

After graduating from SCSU, Tom enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed in El Paso, Texas. He then attended Mankato State University, where he earned his master’s degree in physical education. He went on to teach and coach baseball in Benson, MN and then became the head basketball and assistant baseball coach in Hastings, MN. During his years teaching and coaching, Tom also ran the scoreboard at the Metrodome for Minnesota Twins and Vikings games. In 1985, Tom changed professions and became a sales executive at NOREX in Prior Lake, MN, he then went on to become sales manager and a member of the CEO Team. In 2011 he joined Superior Consulting Services in Burnsville. Tom returned to NOREX in 2017 as the Chief Executive Officer and retired in 2020. 

Tom proudly served as a member of the Hastings Planning Commission, the Hastings Public Schools Foundation, the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church building committee, and President of the Hastings Country Club.

Tom is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughters, Jayna (Nate) Phelps, Jeanne Ditty, and Erin (Ben) Ahneman; grandchildren, Noah, Grace, Ellie, Tommy, Danny, and Aiden; sisters, Mary Grengs, Carol Hemberger, Nancy Stevens, Catherine (George) Kraemer; brothers-in-law, Jerry Borrel, Don (Joyce) Ellefson; sisters-in-law, Ardella Ditty, Margaret (David) Bjork; and many nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Perry and Cecilia Ditty; sister, Therese Borrel; brothers, Rich Ditty, Paul Ditty; brothers-in-law, Dick Hemberger, Jim Stevens; sister-in-law, Donna Ditty; and his father and mother-in-law, Marmion and Eunice Ellefson.

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Condolences for the family of “Tom Ditty”

Condolence from Jan Hanson on September 16th, 2022 8:01 pm

Thoughts, prayers, hugs and so many awesome memories!
Jan & Jim Hanson

Condolence from John zitzloff on September 17th, 2022 10:58 am

My deepest condolences to the family. He was always a great guy to be around. He had some of the best stories about the sports that he played, his family and growing up in Delano. I always looked forward to when he was going to be at the shack to listen to what he had for stories. He will be deeply missed.
John & Toni zitzloff

Condolence from Linda Moen on September 17th, 2022 11:27 am

Ditty Family,
So sorry to hear about Tom.
I worked with him a Norex he was a man with leadership and humor.
He will be missed.
Bless your family at this time of grief.
Linda Moen

Condolence from Jan Hertel on September 17th, 2022 7:02 pm

So sorry to hear this. Peace and hugs to the family. Basketball games were always better knowing Tom was up there keeping an eye on things.

Condolence from Kevin Casey on September 18th, 2022 1:19 pm

Much love and sincere wishes for the peace of wonderful memories of a great man. A true hero to many. Greatly missed, never forgotten.

Condolence from Dan & Brenda Gardner on September 18th, 2022 1:31 pm

To Tom’s family: My wife and I were both born in Delano and had a relationship with the Ditty family through baseball. I played for Delano A’s (after being a batboy in my early ages) and alongside Tom on some of the Delano A’s teams. He was a team player first and was always willing and able to offer tips to help us. Our most exciting season was 1971 when we were state runnerups. Tom was kind and always pushed us “rookies” in a positive direction. He will be missed as an athlete, but more so as a great human being. Dan & Brenda Gardner

Condolence from Den Gardner on September 18th, 2022 8:58 pm

I echo the remarks from my brother Dan. I have great memories and photos of being a batboy in the early 1960s when Tom, Rich and Paul all played for the A’s. Tom was engaging, funny, humble ( a phrase hard to find in many great athletes today) and willing to share his amazing talents as an athlete and a person. I remember a number of times playing golf with Tom after playing baseball with him. He probably could have played professional golf too if he wanted. Winning one hole from him was an accomplishment. He will be missed and my memories will always be of the highest regard for Tom. Our best to the family in this difficult time.

Condolence from Terry Porter on September 19th, 2022 2:34 pm

Tom was my teammate and best friend during my stay at St Cloud State. Not only was he a terrific athlete, but also was very entertaining and enjoyable to be around – great sense of humor. I will always have the best memories and regards for Tom. He will truly be missed by everyone who knew him. My thoughts and prayers are with his beloved family.

Condolence from Mike Rohde on September 20th, 2022 3:38 pm

I met Tom almost 60 years ago at St. Cloud State.
He was of the funniest and most decent
human beings I’ve ever known.
Although we did not see each other many times in the past many years, i have told friends of Tom’s athletic feats
(Especially the time he dunked on Earl the Pearl’s
Pan Am squad at Hallenbech).
I know that his Savior Jesus has welcomed him
May God watch over his family and his closest

Condolence from Sheila and George Jones on September 21st, 2022 3:51 pm

Our whole family is keeping you in our thoughts and prayers during this sad time. We loved having you for friends and neighbors years ago. Tom was such a fun and thoughtful guy. Our memories are plentiful.

Condolence from Colleen Hendrickson on September 22nd, 2022 7:27 pm

Sending my deepest sympathy to your family on the loss of Tom. May he fly high with the angels in heaven. They are probably playing baseball at this moment.

Condolence from James & Jeanne Minder on September 23rd, 2022 11:24 am

Our hearts go out to the Ditty Family. So sorry for your loss. Tom was a really great guy and will be missed by all of us.

Condolence from Betsy Readmond on September 23rd, 2022 1:19 pm

I so enjoyed working with Tom over the years. He had the perfect blend of intelligence and humor and was just a joy to be around. I’ll never forget talking with him about SCSU and baseball and hearing his jokes – the real groaners! His knack for “poetry” provided so many laughs. Dave and I are sending our deepest sympathy to the Ditty family. Tom was simply a wonderful man and will be sorely missed. Signing off with the nickname he bestowed on me.
Betsy “The Hammer” Readmond

Condolence from Chuck Shaleen on September 23rd, 2022 10:11 pm

Tom was a very special person indeed. I echo the previous comments about his character, athletic accomplishments, sense of humor and his devotion to family and friends. I worked with him for almost 30 years and his favorite saying was “let’s start work a little early so we can stay a little late.” Tom, you went home a little early and we all miss you. Prayers for the family.

Condolence from Judy House on September 24th, 2022 7:21 pm

My sincere condolences to the Ditty family on the loss of your beloved husband, father and grandfather. To lose the good ones so young is so very hard. May you all find peace in the knowledge that he’s with his Lord.

Condolence from Julie and Terry Lipelt on September 25th, 2022 1:56 pm

Barb, you and your family are in our thoughts today. Sending hugs.

Condolence from Sue Beck on September 28th, 2022 2:23 pm

You made light of everything, because you had this great ability to find humor in all that was said and done. I’m so sad that you left this world early, but excited for you that you are in heaven. (Remember that I talked you into going to reconciliation after a long absence, so you are closer to heaven…thanks to me.)

Thanks for the 30+ years of working together and sharing your many talents with everyone.
Many lunch hours you and I hit the track, workout room or weights so we could stay in shape for another hobby that we both shared…the love of eating. You would comment on my new dresses often and say “I like your new dress, did they not have your size?” ha ha ha. Maybe that’s something that I should not write on your condolences page, but when I think of you, I think of great humor, a love of life, family and friends and that brings a smile to me and a laugh out loud.

You made this world a better place Tom. Thanks for bringing laughter into so many of my days.
Until we meet again my friend may God hold you close. Watch over us. ~Sue Beck

Condolence from Jane Kaisersatt on September 30th, 2022 12:26 pm

Ditty Family-Hold all of your memories close to your heart as you mourn the loss and the “new normal” of Tom not being here on planet earth. I did not get the honor to meet Tom. But being at NOREX for the past (almost) 3 years, there certainly have been plenty of Tom stories. He left a legacy at NOREX and would certainly be in the Hall of Fame here! Blessings to you all. -Jane Kaisersatt

Condolence from Dale Wolpers on October 1st, 2022 10:58 am

Sorry for the loss. Many condolences and blessings to Tom’s family.

Condolence from David Linehan on October 2nd, 2022 3:09 pm

I played basketball with Tom at St. Cloud State, and he always threatened to jump off the top rope of a wrestling ring onto my knee. He did great imitations of Mudcat Grant’s pitching for the Twins, as well as holding a broom for a microphone and singing a super Bobby Darin rendition of “Mack the Knife”. Always cheerful and a lot of fun. Condolences to Barb and his family. We are thankful that he gave his heart to the Lord and will spend eternity with Him.

Condolence from Spence & Petey Ahneman on October 2nd, 2022 7:47 pm

Such wonderful accomplishments and such wonderful careers. He must have had such a huge impact on so many lives. We know he was Special because you are such an amazing, special person.

Condolence from Jack Linehan on October 2nd, 2022 8:36 pm

Dear Barb and family, The Linehan boys –Dave, Don, Jack—all admired the way Tom could be such a good friend and colleague to so many people. Those St. Cloud Husky Basketball days with Tom provided us all with so many good memories of playing and laughing with him. He held such respect from teammates and competitors alike. He loved being an athlete and teammate and it showed—his work ethic, integrity, leadership, and sense of team grew from his family in Delano all the way to NOREX and beyond. Whenever we have talked in recent years, it feels like we are back in St Cloud with his stories that are uplifting, humbling, and hilarious; I have recalled many today and smiled. Tom has been the proud patriarch of his large, extended family and with so many friends and colleagues who are saddened by his loss but must feel so fortunate to have had him in their midst. I sure do.
Rest in Peace my friend.
Jack Linehan

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