Posted: August 25th, 2023

DIETRICH MICHAEL DIETRICH, of Lethbridge, beloved husband of Lillian Dietrich, passed away peacefully at the Chinook Regional Hospital, on Tuesday, August 22, 2023 at the age of 79 years.
Michael was born in 1943 to German parents, Michael and Katharina Dietrich, in the small farming community of Birk, Romania. It was the height of World War II and, like so many others, Michael’s family was displaced from their homeland and became refugees separated by the war, eventually reuniting in Austria in 1949. In 1950, they immigrated to Canada and settled in Montreal where the family grew with the births of his brother, Henry, and then his sister, Gertrude.
At the age of 17, Michael attended Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree (Hons Political Science) in 1966. He went on to study law at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he graduated with a Juris Doctor degree in 1969.
While working in Prince Edward Island in the summer of 1966, and completing his legal studies, Michael met Lillian Legge, a registered nurse. The two went on to marry and created a loving relationship that lasted for 57 years. The couple took up residence in Halifax, and raised a family of two girls, Marlene and Katharina (Katie).
Michael soon went on, in partnership, to found his own law firm, and his career as a trial lawyer took its origin. The practice originally focused on both family and criminal law, but Michael’s passion was the latter. He became an established and successful criminal defence lawyer and during his career appeared before Courts in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, and in Ottawa, before the Supreme Court of Canada.
In 1982, the family relocated to Lethbridge, Alberta. There, Michael crossed the aisle and became a Crown Prosecutor from 1983 until 1999, when he founded the firm Michael Dietrich Law Offices, once again providing defence counsel in criminal law matters.
Over a 53-year career, Michael has been a mentor to dozens of lawyers/professionals who evolved professionally and went on to create successful law practices of their own throughout Canada. The knowledge and experience that Michael honed throughout his career has provided dependable legal advice to individuals, corporations, and government entities Canada wide. As a popular speaker on criminal law issues, Michael presented to bodies in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere.
Michael always possessed a great curiosity and insatiable appetite for world history and politics. He explored both over his lifetime. Michael’s passion, however, was the law, of which he was a continuing student. He craved a good debate, and the cerebral argument it engaged.
Michael always emphasized respect for the rule of law, and the process. He always promoted respect between lawyers, and endorsed an appreciation of the judiciary, whose men and women make difficult decisions daily that affect the right and liberty of our citizenry.
Michael’s love of family was ever strong and unwavering. He was a committed and dedicated husband and father, and a doting grandfather. His values were engrained by his mother and father, of whom he always spoke and always revered.
In later years, Michael became something of an intrepid traveller, visiting Europe, the United States, Asia, and Australia, where he met many new friends, all of whom came to love him.
Michael’s influence in our lives will survive his passing.
Michael leaves behind Lillian, his wife of 52 years, his daughters Marlene and Katie; Katie’s husband, Jamie; his granddaughter Macaila; his brother Henry, his sister Gertrude; Gertrude’s partner, Bob; and many, many other friends and family across the world.
Michael was predeceased by his beloved granddaughter, Tanesha.
A Celebration of Michael’s Life will be held at CORNERSTONE FUNERAL HOME, 2825 – 32 Street South, Lethbridge, AB on Saturday, August 26, 2023 at 2:00 P.M. with Pat Siedlecki officiating. The Celebration of Life will be live-streamed and may be viewed through Michael’s obituary on the Cornerstone website.
Cremation entrusted to Cornerstone Funeral Home.

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