Thomas “Tom” James Ditton of Hermiston passed away peacefully in Kennewick, Wash. on Oct. 30, 2023 at the age of 74.
He was born on Sept. 18, 1949 in Cody, Wyo. to Robert and Mary “Betty” Ditton.
He moved to Hermiston as a young child and lived almost his entire life in Hermiston. As a youngster, Tom was an avid swimmer and swam for the Hermiston team during the summer. He also worked as a lifeguard at the Hermiston Pool, where he met his sweetheart and future wife, Abbie Rankin. He graduated from Hermiston High School in 1967. He and Abbie were married on June 27, 1970 in Hermiston. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1971 and Lewis and Clark Law School in 1974. He returned to Hermiston and set up a very successful legal practice for almost 40 years from 1974 to 2013.
Tom dedicated much of his free time to community service. Tom was an active member of the Hermiston Kiwanis Club, being declared Kiwanian of the Year. He served on the Hermiston School Board for many years. He was active at St. John’s Episcopal Church, serving as senior warden, lay reader and Christmas band director. After retirement, Tom took up the trumpet and played for the Pendleton Round-Up Mounted Band and the Willow Creek Symphony. Tom loved attending Hermiston High School athletic events. He never missed a home game and loved volunteering at track meets. One of Tom’s greatest joys was watching his grandson play goalkeeper for the FC Portland soccer club and for Sunset High School.
Tom was loved and cherished by all of his innumerable friends. His sense of humor was one of a kind and will be greatly missed. Above all, Tom returned so much kindness to all who knew him.
Survivors include his wife, Abbie Ditton of Hermiston; son, Mark Ditton of Portland; daughter, Ellen Rothery (Brian) of Portland; grandson, Carson Rothery of Portland; brother, Robert “Bob” Ditton (Ann) of Eugene; sister, Jane Watson of Hermiston; sister-in-law, Carole Lind of Caldwell, Idaho; a friend considered family, Carlos Flores; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Betty Ditton; sister-in-law, Suzie Furrer; and brothers-in-law, Gene Lind, Richard Furrer and Steve Watson.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023 at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Hermiston.
A graveside service will follow at the Hermiston Cemetery.
A reception lunch will follow the graveside service in the Hermiston High School commons.
In lieu of flowers, Tom’s family suggests donations be made in his name to Hermiston Kiwanis Club, St. John’s Episcopal Church, or any charity/organization of your choice.
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in care of arrangements.