Beverly J. Ditmer, 83

Fort Meyers, FL – Beverly Jean (Akason) Ditmer, a resident of The Cottage at Cypress Cove, Fort Myers, Florida, previously of Thief River Falls, passed peacefully from this earth on Friday, April 27th. She was 83 years old.
A Celebration of Beverly’s Life will be held in the Estero Room at Cypress Cove, 10100 Cypress Cove Dr. in Fort Myers at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, May 21st. Later that day, at 1:30 p.m., inurnment will take place at Fort Myers Memorial Gardens military section.
Beverly was born on October 16th, 1934, in Halstad, the cherished daughter of Elmer and Geneva (Helgoe) Akason. She was raised on their 320-acre farm north of Ada, was confirmed in the Lutheran church, and graduated from Hillsboro (North Dakota) High School in 1952. She attended North Dakota State University in Fargo, graduating in 1956 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Home Economics (Home Ec).
Beverly married her college sweetheart, Wayne Wilson Ditmer, of Velva, North Dakota, on June 16th, 1956, and she and her husband joined the staff of Mott (North Dakota) Lincoln High School that fall. Over the next seven years she gave birth to three boys while also competing in the 1961 Mrs. North Dakota Pageant where she was a finalist.
During Beverly’s 28-year teaching career in Mott, she served as a positive role model for hundreds of young women, teaching them sewing, foods, independent living, and other life-skills; while also leading the Mott chapter of the Future Homemakers of America (FHA). She was universally admired for her dedication and enthusiastic teaching style. She played a key role in the training of the next generation of Home Ec teachers through her annual mentoring of student teachers.
Beverly was a founding member of Mott’s “Monday Study Club,” a member of the First Congregational Church where she taught Sunday School, and an active member of the Order of Eastern Star.
In 1985, Wayne and Beverly moved to Thief River Falls, where Beverly became Regional Field Director for the Girl Scouts, coordinating programs in 21 towns throughout northwest Minnesota. They attended United Methodist Church of Thief River Falls. The Ditmers retired in 1995 and began wintering in Fort Myers, Florida, before becoming full-time Florida residents in 2001.
Beverly enjoyed sewing, knitting, cooking, reading, and working with young people. Her true passion though was exploring the world. She was happiest with a map in her hand, either navigating her current journey or planning the next one. During her lifetime she visited all 50 U.S. states and 67 foreign countries across six continents. Destinations included Europe for five weeks in 1971, Disney World on multiple occasions beginning in 1972, Mexico in 1973, Boston and Montreal for the bicentennial and summer Olympics in 1976, and meeting Scandinavian relatives in 1979. Following retirement, she enjoyed an African Safari, a cruise through the Panama Canal, several visits to the Orient, and a visit to Tasmania to see the duck-billed platypus and other oddities of nature.
Beverly was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Wayne, who passed in February 2015. She is survived by her three sons, Steven (Carol) of Highlands Ranch, Colorado; Michael of Two Rivers, Wisconsin; and Gary (Etsuko) of Sendai, Japan; one grand-daughter, Gabrielle Geraty, of Chanhassen; and two great grand-children, Annie and Connor Geraty. She is also survived by two step-grandchildren, Greg and Joseph Roark, and four step great-grandchildren, Evan, Nicholas, and Mackenzie Roark; and Aidan Cole.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research at https://www.michaeljfox.org/
A special thank you to the Cottage staff and all home caregivers who enhanced her later years.
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