Nature 22

Myrna I. (Anderson) Berlet-Dietrich

May 30, 1940 ~ February 12, 2021 (age 80)


Myrna Berlet Dutcher Dietrich, a longtime resident of Jackson, Michigan, died after a brief illness on February 12, 2021 at Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson. She was 80 years old. Myrna was born on May 30, 1940, in Minot, North Dakota to Orin F. and Mildred H. (Larson) Anderson. After graduating High School in 1958 she attended the University of Washington – Seattle; then received her B.S. in Biology from Minot State University in North Dakota and her M.S. from the University of Michigan, graduating with a major in Zoology and a minor in Natural History Interpretation.

She married Walter Berlet in 1967, and together they built an internationally renowned nature film business. Walter predeceased her in 1995 after 28 Years of marriage. Following the death of Walter, Myrna continued her teaching career at Jackson Community College, retiring in 1998 after 32 years with many recognitions and awards. In 2001 she married longtime friend Donald Dutcher.

Under the tutelage of Don, Myrna began her amazing wood carving phase.

Together they travelled, photographed, carved, fished and shared 10 very happy years until Don’s passing in 2011. In 2013, at the age of 73, she met and married the love of her life, Elwood (Woody) Dietrich. Woody soon discovered his own hidden wood carving talents, and together they traversed the country going to workshops, meeting and gaining new friends. Myrna was an accomplished woman of many and varied interests. Her love of nature was apparent in all aspects of her life, in both her professional careers of teaching and film making, and in her personal life as well. She loved plants and animals and it showed in her photography and artwork. She was extremely dedicated to Environmental Education and Conservation. Her generosity and support of these causes has been substantial. Myrna was a driving force in whatever she was involved with and those that knew her were often hard pressed to keep up. She leaves behind a legacy of hard work and success and a huge void in the lives left behind.

Myrna was a devoted and faithful Christian and was an active member at South Jackson Community Church. Her beliefs were central to her love of nature.

She is survived by her loving husband, Woody Dietrich and her “adopted son”, friend and caregiver, Mark Snedeker.

A celebration of her life is planned for later this year.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the charity of your choice.

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