Louise Mildred (nee Johnson) Luhtala Dritt, 93, of North Port, Fla., and formerly of Punta Gorda, Fla., and DeKalb, Ill., passed away Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, peacefully in her home, with her husband beside her.
She was born June 23, 1920, on a dairy farm near DeKalb, to Albin and Edith Christine (nee Schiller) Johnson.
Louise was a second-generation Swedish-American. She was a pioneer in her career and business, as one of the first female bank vice presidents and officers in the 1970s. After graduating from DeKalb Township High School, she took a job as an office worker in a piano factory. Louise’s clerical skills and sharp mind gained her entry to the insurance industry, which, in turn, introduced her to finance. Eventually she served for five years as secretary to the assistant cashier/controller at National Bank & Trust in DeKalb. She left with him in 1966 to join 1st State Bank of Maple Park, from which she retired as executive vice president, assistant trust officer and bank director in 1986.
She married her first husband, Wayne Luhtala, in 1943. Louise and Wayne moved to Punta Gorda in 1987, where they shared a passion for golf and remained happily married until she mourned his passing in 1998. She married her second husband, Harry J. “Jack” Dritt, in 2001, and they enjoyed 12 years together with many good friends and family. During this time, Louise suffered form macular degeneration and slowly went blind. Louise adapted in many ways to this challenge, and it never diminished her spirit. She was a distinguished businesswoman, an avid golfer, a keen bridge player, a rose gardener, a sharp dresser, a scotch drinker and a fan of the Denver Broncos.
Louise is survived by her loving husband of 12 and a half years, Jack; three stepdaughters, Deborah (Jerry) Jones and Laura Dritt, both of Bolingbrook, Ill., and Jennifer (Richard) Wight of Lyndeborough, N.H.; five grandchildren, Beth Jones of Washington, D.C., Jay Jones of Ottawa, Ill, and Amanda, Grace and Naomi of Lyndeborough; two great-grandsons, Donavin and Connor of Ottawa; and two nieces, Carole Johnson of DeKalb, and Emma Knuuttila of Kimberling City, Mo.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 4365 State Road 776, Venice, Fla. Friends may visit online at www.robersonfh.com to sign the memory book and extend condolences to the family.
Arrangements are by Roberson Funeral Home & Crematory Port Charlotte, Fla., Chapel.