Walter Dittmer Jr.
September 9, 1932 – November 22, 2018
Local businessman, entrepreneur and family patriarch, best known for designing and fabricating the "ditt-deck" extruded aluminum walkway cover and other architectural aluminum product lines that defined an industry, passed away on November 22nd 2018 in Longwood. In many ways, Walt's life story and achievements are the personification of the American dream. Born September 9th, 1932 in Bronx, New York to Walter and Aura Dittmer. Walt Sr. was a former Naval Officer from Hamburg, Germany and Aura was an accomplished artist and concert pianist from Helsinki, Finland, who once performed at Carnegie Hall. In 1948, the family migrated to Florida, bought property and built their house on Lake Concord in Casselberry. Walt graduated from Winter Park High School, attended Rollins College on a baseball scholarship and served in the US Army, stationed in Berlin, Germany. Walt's father purchased the Wilkins Awning Company, a canvas awning business, which became Dittmer and Sons. While working with his father and younger brother Ted, Walt came up with the idea for a new type of walkway cover. Using pieces of scrap metal from the floor of a salvaged semi trailer, Walt created a prototype model for an interlocking self-draining extruded aluminum canopy and established Dittmer Architectural Aluminum. Today, there are Dittmer aluminum products at schools, hospitals and commercial buildings throughout the state of Florida and nationwide as far away as Alaska and Hawaii. The furthest installation is in Siberia, Russia. Walt was a natural artist. He held a patent and was personally fond of his aluminum beer can screen, which were decorative wall panels and sight-screens made from recycled aluminum cans. Several impressive installations were commissioned over the years, including one that still resides on an exterior wall of the Winter Park Post Office. Walt was a devoted family man. He and first wife Ann had three daughters. Zoe Ann, Shelli and Jay would all join in working at the company started by their dad. Walt's stepson Dana Callan was his lifelong right hand man, apprentice and legacy. Dana, his wife Karen and sister Shelli still run the family business that was started in 1963.Martha, Walt's beloved wife of 31 years, was his inspiration, true companion and trusted advisor. He would openly compliment and credit her forever. Together, they shared the love of 16 grandchildren, 2 great-grand children and many wonderful times with family and friends.Walt had a passion for golf. He was a member of the Rolling Hills Country Club where he acquired a unique reputation. He was also a fan and follower of the pros. Walt touched so many people. His warm smile, compassionate generosity, charming sense of humor and infinite wisdom will be greatly missed, always remembered and forever loved. In lieu of flowers please make donation to the Parkinson's Association of Central Florida - http://www.parkinsoncf.org/donate/A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, December 7th at the home of Dana Callan.110 N. Sunset Drive, Casselberry, Florida Service at 2:00pm - Reception following.
- Celebration of Life Friday, December 7, 2018
Walter Dittmer Jr.
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