At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
St. John's UCC
1934 Bridge St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Betty & Dietrich Roth Endowed Scholarship at the American Welding Society Foundation
Life Story / Obituary
Dietrich K. Roth passed away on Friday, November 15, 2019. He was born in Darmstadt, Germany on November 3, 1933. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Betty Lou Roth. She was the center of his life. He is also survived by their three children, Robert (and Marcy) Roth, Christine (and Jeff) Gillman, and Stephanie (and Kyle) Carlson. He and Betty have five amazing grandchildren, Mike Roth, Kayla Roth, Kylee Carlson, Derek Gillman, and Nicole Gillman. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Fred Rosendall and sister-in-law Mary Beth Roth. He was preceded in death by his parents, Wilhelm & Käthe Roth, his brother and sister-in-law Wolfgang Roth and Janet Pearson-Roth, and his sister-in-law Barbara Rosendall. After receiving his Electrical Engineering degree in Germany, Dietrich immigrated to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1959 and went to work for the Kirkhof Manufacturing Company as an electrical engineer. He rose up through the company becoming the Chief Engineer and later the division General Manager. It is at Kirkhof Manufacturing where he met his future business partner, Robert Hofman who together in 1980 started RoMan Manufacturing. They were partners in the truest sense and great friends. Dietrich became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1967 and the pride of having the opportunity to become an American citizen overwhelmed his emotions to his last day. The employees at Kirkhof Manufacturing presented him with a flag, which he still flew on national holidays. Dietrich was a life member of the American Welding Society and was inducted into the Ferris State University Welding Hall of Fame for his contributions to the school’s welding engineering program and to the industry. Dietrich was an avid motorcyclist up to his 80th year having also restored a number of old motorcycles. He loved their cabin on the south branch of the Pere Marquette River, all animals, and especially their dogs Mandy, Mindy, Molly, and Daisy. Although he did not wear his faith on his sleeve, he was a man of deep faith and conviction. He quickly made St. John’s UCC his church home after arriving in Grand Rapids as they still held a service in German at that time. He was a man of humility, grace, kindness, and love. The memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, November 23, at St. John UCC, 1934 Bridge St NW. Family and friends will gather from 3-5PM and 6-8 PM on Friday, November 22, at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW and on Saturday for one hour prior to the service. Contributions in Dietrich’s memory can be made to St. John’s United Church of Christ or the Betty & Dietrich Roth Endowed Scholarship at the American Welding Society Foundation. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to submit a favorite memory, photo, or to sign the guestbook online.