Audrey passed away peacefully at her home on July 9, 2023 attended by her children and surrounded by the thoughts and affections of her family and friends.
Born Audrey Ann Richard in Cleveland, Ohio on August 20, 1922, she grew up in and around Cleveland, riding the Interurban and swimming in Lake Erie. After graduating from Bay Village High School, in an unusually bold move for women of her time, she boarded a west-bound train for Albuquerque, New Mexico, specifically to enroll in the Anthropology program at the University of New Mexico. It was there that she met the love of her life, Alfred “Ed” Dittert.
Following the interruption of Ed’s service in World War II, Audrey and Ed married in May 1946 and began a life centered in Southwest. And Audrey dedicated herself to being Ed’s helpmate. She joined in Ed’s field work on Cebolleta Mesa for his graduate work, together with Rey and Carol Ruppe, who would become lifetime friends. Living in Sante Fe, New Mexico, she bore and began raising two children (Eric in 1954, and Marta in 1957) while typing Ed’s 600 page doctoral dissertation in triplicate.
When Ed’s career took the family to Tempe, Arizona, Audrey worked to make their newly built house a home – the home they lived in for the rest of their lives. Over the years, Audrey was active with the League of Women Voters, and she rarely missed a Faculty Wives luncheon. She and Ed often volunteered to help at event at Pueblo Grande.
After the kids had launched and Ed retired, Audrey and he had numerous travel adventures: several trips to archaeological sites in Mexico, whale watching in the Sea of Cortez, and trip with extended family to Hawaii, and an exploration of England.
After Ed’s death in 2006, Audrey’s life slowed down, but she still managed a cruise to Alaska, and a return trip to see Denali.
Audrey is remembered for her determination, for quietly doing what needed to be done, for her love of Crow Mother katchinas, and a few idiosyncrasies.
She said she would make it to 100 years old, and she did.
Arrangements for a memorial service are pending.