BY BILL PARRY
A Richmond Hill street
now bears the name of a member
of the Greatest Generation:
the late Anton J. Dietrich
Jr., a World War II veteran and
lifelong resident of the neighborhood.
Dietrich died in February
2018 at the age of 99 and the intersection
of 89th Avenue and
134th Street was co-named in
“I stand here with great
pride honoring World War II
veteran Anton Dietrich. Not
only did Anton bravely serve
our country, he also served his
community upon his return,”
Councilman Eric Ulrich said.
“He was an admirable public
servant, who dedicated his life
to helping others. I am thrilled
Anton’s legacy will live on in
Richmond Hill through conaming
this intersection. It is
my hope that it will serve as a
small reminder of his sacrifice
to all those who walk by.”
Dietrich was born on Sept.
17, 1918, on 89th Avenue in
Richmond Hill, having lived
on the same street for most
of his life. His family moved
from the middle of the avenue
to the corner house in 1922 due
to the construction of the Axel
Corporal Dietrich served
in the 9th Infantry Division
– 39th Regiment, G Company
from 1941 through 1947.
Years after his return he was
awarded two Purple Hearts,
a Bronze Star, the French Legion
of Honor, and many other
“As I stand here on 89th
Avenue, the street my father,
Anton J. Dietrich Jr. was born
and raised on, I can’t help
but reflect on the numerous
ways he contributed to this
community. A neighborhood
he loved and was a valuable
part of,” Marion Ziegler said.
“The pride I have for him and
his civic and military contributions
is what drove me to
seek this honor for him. I am
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thankful to New York City for
recognizing what a charitable
and conscientious man he was.
Thanks to our friends on 89th
Avenue and New York City,
my dad’s memory will live on
for a long time to come.”
In November 1942,
Dietrich’s ship was hit by a
German torpedo and he spent
16 hours floating in the Mediterranean
Sea before he was
rescued by British troops. He
saw combat in Africa, Sicily
and France landing on Utah
Beach during the Invasion of
Normandy and helped imprison
several high-ranking Nazi
His active service would
come to an end on July 12,
1944, when he was seriously
wounded by a mortar shell. He
spent the next 32 months in the
hospital and was discharged
from Maryland’s Walter Reed
Medical Center in 1947.
Dietrich married Charlotte
Starr in 1945 and was married
for 72 years, raising five children
on 89th Avenue. He was
Photo courtesy of Eric Ulrich
an usher at Our Lady of the
Cenacle for 63 years, a member
of Community Board 9 for
43 years, the Van Wyck Civic
Association, the Richmond
Hill Republican Club, Past
Commander of the VFW – Lt.
F.J. McConnell Post No. 229
and Past President of the Kiwanis
Club of Bellerose.
“By celebrating Anton
Dietrich’s life, we are honoring
a veteran who embodied
the spirit of courage, selfless
service and willingness to
fight for the future of our community,”
Adams said. “His life expressed
a deep love for others
and my hope is that we never
forget his life and legacy.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry
by e-mail at bparry@schnepsmedia.
com or by phone at
Richmond Hill WW II veteran
honored with street co-naming
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