Russell "Russ" J. Ditman

July 23, 1955November 19, 2018

Russell James Ditman, 63, of Duluth, Minnesota died on November 19, 2018 after a courageous 10 month battle with cancer.

Russ was born on July 23, 1955 in Virginia, MN to Albert Russell and Beverly Bernice Ditman. In 1968, his family moved to the community of Morgan Park in Duluth, where he built lifelong friendships.

Russ graduated from Morgan Park High School in 1973. He went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota - Duluth, with a degree in history. Throughout his life, Russ was very involved in sports. He impacted many lives through the friendships he built and the teams he was a part of.

Russ was the loving father to Jeff and Ryan and was always their biggest fan. Supporting them in sports as they grew up was one of his greatest joys. As adults, they continued to be his greatest sources of pride.

Russ met the love of his life, Diane Bloomquist, in 2002. Through their years together, they built a wonderful life full of love. He was a father to Diane’s children, Kari and Drew. Together with Jeff and Ryan, they all became a family.

Russ was passionate about sports and lifelong knowledge. You could often find him mastering a crossword puzzle, and devoutly following Minnesota teams. Perhaps the only thing he was more passionate about was his family. Along with endless encouragement, you could always count on Russ for an obscure sports fact and a perfectly timed joke.

Russ is survived by his love, Diane; children Jeff (Denise) Ditman and Ryan (Amanda Farris) Ditman, Kari (Chris Harwood) Bloomquist and Drew (Rachel Ritter) Bloomquist; grandchildren, Jonathan and Dominick. He is also survived by his sister, Kathy (Kevin) Heaslip, many loving nieces, nephews and other family members, and friends who were like family.

Heaven has gained the kindest, most encouraging, and supportive angel. We will miss the laughter he brought, his chocolate chip cookies, and his love.

Our family would like to deeply thank Essentia West Duluth and Oncology, as well as St. Mary’s Hospital and Hospice for all they have done for Russ over this year.

Visitation: 10 AM until the 11 AM Memorial Service Wednesday, November 21, 2018 at Bell Brothers Funeral Home, 601 N. 56th Ave. W., Duluth.


  • Visitation Wednesday, November 21, 2018
  • Memorial Service Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Russell "Russ" J. Ditman

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Joan Burger (Dutmer)

November 22, 2018

I am so sorry to hear of Russ’s passing. Although I have not seen him in many years I will always remember him for his great sense of humor and infectious laugh. He also played a mean game of pool and was a great all around athlete. God rest his soul

Wendy Meyer

November 21, 2018

Diane and family,
My heartfelt condolences to you at this time. Russ brought so much joy and laughter to everyone he met. He will be missed.

Tamara Case-Belich

November 21, 2018

With deepest condolences to Russ Ditmans beloved family.
Kathy & Kevin, you are in my many prayers and precious memories.
With all of our love,
Tamara Case-Belich
Family of Lola Case

Dan Belich

November 21, 2018

I have known Russ since 1970. I enjoyed watching him as an athlete, attending many "club dances" and after parties. Russ was a joy to be around. That same joy continued as I had the privilege of coaching Jeff and Ryan. Russ was a devoted father, baseball Dad and a cherished friend. I will carry memories of Russ forever, as I am grateful to have known him.
My sincerest condolences Jeff and Ryan.
Dan Belich

Susie Northey(Johnson)

November 21, 2018

Diane and Family,

Russ was a true Wildcat. His love for athletics and bleeding blue and gold was contagious, I will never forget those big hugs and his larger than life personality! In our prayers, Frank Johnson Family

Natalie Belich

November 21, 2018

Russ was a constant in our sports community growing up. He and my Dad have known each other for most of their lives, and I don't have a memory at sporting events when Russ wasn't there. I am so sorry for this huge loss to the family, and community.

Ole Zupetz

November 20, 2018

My condolences to the family and friends of Big Russ. We shared plenty of good times and ball games in our old northside Virginia neighborhood. Russ, his sister Kathie and the family moved to Duluth in the late 60s, where they spent their high school years and built their adult lives. I was fortunate to reconnect with Russ during those "softball summers" in the 70s and 80s. He will be remembered often and with fondness. The world is a lesser place without him in it.

Bradley Beckman

November 20, 2018

To Diane and Family: May your sorrows be softened by the cherished memories that you will forever hold close to your hearts. Thinking of you in your time of loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you Diane and the Family!! Brad Beckman, Hudson , Wisconsin.

David and Hope Solomon

November 20, 2018

We have so many happy memories of Russ. He was such a fun and dear person. We are go sorry for your loss. God’s speed, Russ. You will be missed.

Roger Johnson

November 20, 2018

I’ve known “Ditts” since the Heydays of Duluth Slowpitch Softball when I played for Last Chance Liquor, Twins Bar, Lofdahl’s Bar over the decades 70’s, 80’s & 90’s! Especially the Bucko’s / PaPa G’s-Courthouse Battles back in the early 80’s! “Ditts” played for Congress Bar, Bucko’s Bar & The Limit Bar! You always respected his hitting power & also a great 1st Baseman! But most of all! What a Stand-up Individual! My condolences to Kathy (the female “Ditts”) & the Immediate Family. RIP Ditts.