James (Jim) Craig Dietenhofer
James (Jim) Craig Dietenhofer passed away peacefully at his home in Los Olivos with his family and friends by his side after battling Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He is survived by his wife Judith (nee North); daughter Heather (David) of San Anselmo, CA; son Jaime (Meighan) of Los Olivos, CA; grandchildren Ian, Adam, Anders, and Gray; and sisters Melanie of Walnut Creek, CA and Paulette of Southern Pines, NC. Jim was predeceased in death by his mother, father, and brother Jack of San Diego.
Jim was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina on Sept, 28 1946, to his parents Herbert (Mass) and Lucille (Texas). He attended Pinehurst High School where he played varsity basketball and learned the dance “The Shag”. While attending college in North Carolina he was drafted into the United States Army in 1967. After attending basic training in Fort Bragg, North Carolina he was sent to serve his term in Vietnam. Upon completion of his service in Vietnam, he returned to North Carolina. He and his friend Don Cline drove to California on a road trip, and he ended up living in California for the rest of his life.
He lived in Upland, CA for a period of time where he met his wife Judie in 1970. They married in 1972 and moved to Chicago to further his career in precious metals and commodities. They had an opportunity to come back to CA and moved to Hacienda Heights to raise their family. After starting a successful business in Los Angeles and seeing the growth and congestion in the LA area, Jim and Judie decided to purchase a ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1979. They planned their dream house and after construction moved their family to Los Olivos and have been there ever since. He ran his Southern California business from an office in Ventura for over 40 years.
Jim spent his life outside of work being involved in the community. He was a youth soccer coach for over a decade, volunteered on fundraising committees for various local non-profits, was a member of the Viking Charities in Solvang, and served as a Santa Ynez Valley High School Board Member.
In 2008 after many years of talking about going into business together Jim and his son Jaime started making moves to get into the craft brewing business and purchased an industrial location in Buellton, CA. They brought to life a dream of theirs and opened the doors in 2010. Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. has grown to a strong regional brewery exceeding their expectations.
Jim loved business, but mostly loved the people that it allowed him to meet. He believed in people and saw the potential that they had. He received great joy in seeing other people happy and made a consistent effort to make people smile. He squeezed every last drop out of life. He put others first before himself and he wouldn’t have it any other way. We will never stop missing him or living in his honor.
Services were held at St Mark’s Church in Los Olivos, CA, on Saturday July 27 th , and interment with military honors took place at Oak Hill Cemetery in Ballard, CA. In lieu of flowers please feel free to make donations in his name to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help others fight this disease. (lls.org)