Jeffrey P. Ditch, age 53, passed away on Sunday, March 15, 2020, at Lake Region Hospital in Fergus Falls, MN. We are planning a small service for immediate family in the coming days.
Jeffrey Paul Ditch was born to Delos and Patricia (Johnson) Ditch on May 16, 1966, in Oakes, ND. He was raised in Rural Richland County, ND by his mother Patricia and his dad, Stuart Flaa. Jeff attended Richland Elementary and High School where he graduated in 1984. He attended college at NDSCS, Valley City State University, and St. Cloud State University where he was a graduate assistant baseball coach. Jeff lived for sports in high school and college.
Jeff began his professional career as a high school math teacher in Agate, Colorado and Wahpeton, but eventually focused on his true love, coaching baseball. His baseball career took him from the Galchutt, Jamestown, and Wahpeton American Legion programs, the Northwoods Collegiate Summer League, as head coach of the St. Cloud River Bats, to Penn State University, to the University of Cincinnati, West Virginia University, Young Harris College, the Cotuit Kettleers of the prestigious Cape Cod League, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania where Jeff was the head coach for 11 years.
Jeff eventually ended up back home in North Dakota, where he became a Bison as the hitting coach for the North Dakota State University baseball team. Jeff recently left coaching to pursue a career in commercial real estate with NAI North Central.
Jeff’s family and friends have been so happy and fortunate to have him back with us for the past 4 years. Jeff especially enjoyed family time at the lake, 4 wheeling with his nieces and mom’s chocolate chip cookies.
Jeff is survived by his parents, Stuart and Patricia Flaa; brother, Brad (Marsha) Flaa; sisters, Amy (Brady) Fredrickson and Annie (Torrey) Hovland; nieces, Hannah, Annika, and Mollie Flaa; nephews, Brenner Fredrickson, Maclain and Collen Hovland; the love of his life, Beth Swenson; and cousins, friends and teammates, too many to number.
Jeff was preceded in death by his biological father, Delos Ditch; grandparents, Leo and Mabel Ditch, Irwin and Beatrice Johnson, and Emil and Frances Flaa; uncle, Steiner Flaa; uncle, Paul Johnson; and nephew, Anders Flaa.
In lieu of flowers
Please make donations to Bethany Free Lutheran Church, PO Box 107, Abercrombie, ND 58001 or the charity of your choice.
Due to the health concerns currently impacting the country, we have decided to delay a large, inclusive gathering until the public health concerns have passed. Later this spring or early summer we will have a larger service to celebrate Jeff’s life and accomplishments. We will pass on details regarding that service as soon as possible.
Arrangements are entrusted to Vertin-Munson Funeral Home.