Michaela Elizabeth Dietterich, beloved daughter and cherished friend to so many, passed away peacefully at the age of 31 on November 22nd, 2019. She had been courageously battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia since 2018.
The daughter of Elizabeth and Gary Dietterich, Michaela was born June 14th, 1988. From that day forward, her incredible smile, her infectious laugh and the sunlight she carried with her would change the world. Michaela graduated from Watertown High School in 2006 and later from the State University of New York at Oswego with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She was employed by Watertown Savings Bank in Watertown.
Michaela was diagnosed with leukemia in July of 2018. While leukemia did not define her life, it does in many ways define her legacy. Following a stem cell transplant in October of 2018, which had been hoped to save her life, Michaela became deeply passionate about helping other families facing cancer. She founded a Relay for Life team that walked in June 2019 to raise thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society. It was a cause she looked forward to supporting for years to come.
In addition to her parents, Gary and Elizabeth of Watertown, Michaela is survived by her sisters in spirit Ashley Converse Padrick of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and Cynthia Converse of Watertown, along with their daughters Marley Padrick and Emerson Dutton. It is a testament to Michaela’s joyful, love-filled spirit that she was surrounded by an incredible group of close friends whom she treasured as family. Each of them and their children, who loved their Aunt Kay dearly, will miss her for all of their days.
Michaela is also survived by her maternal grandmother Mary Sweeney of Middletown, New York and her aunts and uncles Robert and Mary Dietterich, David Dietterich and Jill Wheeler, Tom and Barbara Carey, Bob and Kathy Zifchock, and Mike Sweeney as well as several cousins and countless friends.
She was predeceased by her paternal grandparents Robert and Dorothy Dietterich, maternal grandfather Daniel Sweeney, and her uncle Mark Dietterich.
For those who knew and loved Michaela, it is her love of life that is most memorable. Wherever she went, everyone she met was moved by her heart. Her true legacy is one of love. She loved fully and completely and everyone she touched felt moved by her amazing soul. Michaela had a lifelong love of the outdoors, sunshine and spending time on the St. Lawrence River. A former competitive diver, Michaela was happiest swimming, boating, sitting by the water or watching the sunset over the river.
Though forever heartbroken, Michaela’s family and friends know that she has found light and peace at last after her long fight. Her spirit will live on in all of those whose lives she touched with her beauty.
Donations may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society where the fight continues to advance the research needed to battle AML.
Funeral arrangements are in the care of D.L. Calarco Funeral Home. Calling hours will be held Wednesday, December 4th from 4 to 7pm to be followed by a private funeral service at the convenience of the family, per Michaela’s wishes. A celebration of life will be held at Garland City on Thursday, December 5th starting at 12:00pm.
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