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Diane Kittredge


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Norwich, Vt. — Diane Kittredge, 72, of Norwich, Vt., died peacefully at home on Monday, June 4th, after spending two weeks lovingly surrounded by family during the final stages of her breast cancer illness.

Diane was born June 3, 1946 in Portland, Maine, a daughter of Robert B. and Jane (Pierce) Kittredge. The oldest of five, Diane, from an early age, developed her skills and aptitude as a teacher and caretaker among her siblings and many dear cousins. Diane grew up in Winchester, Mass., and graduated from Winchester High School in 1964. As a child, Diane was a spirited tomboy who fearlessly and energetically loved to try new things and was always up for adventure. She loved horseback riding, skiing, and playing tennis and relished summers spent with extended family in Maine.

She went on to obtain her Bachelor’s degree from Smith College in Northampton, Mass., class of 1968. At Smith, Diane honed her leadership skills, majored in biochemistry, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Friendships formed at Capen House were a highlight of her time at Smith, and Diane had the opportunity for many small reunions and travel with some of these dear friends over the years.

Diane graduated from Harvard Medical School class of 1972 at a time when women made up only 10% of the class. She then interned at Yale and ended her pediatric residency at Boston Children’s Hospital. Diane spent a short time in Delaware and Dallas before going to work for the University of Oklahoma in the Department of Pediatrics from 1979-1997, where she established the Community Pediatrics Section.  In Oklahoma City, Diane forged lifelong friendships, raised three children with her then husband, Dr. Philip Rettig, and launched her career as a pediatric educator and leader.

At age 38, Diane was diagnosed with breast cancer and with the support of family, friends, and colleagues she was able to overcome this setback and live life to the fullest for 34 more years. Always a devoted mother, Diane also put the same amount of energy and care into her work as a pediatrician. In 1997, she went to work at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth until her retirement in 2012. Diane was a full-time faculty member of Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine as a Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Community and Family Medicine. A highlight of her career was working with professionals across the country to standardize pediatric residency training and focus on innovative teaching strategies. Diane is the past president of the Academic Pediatric Association (APA) and was the driving force behind the APA’s “Educational Guidelines for Pediatric Residency.” These standards continue to be used to this day in the education of all pediatric residents across the country.  Diane ended her tenure at Dartmouth as the Pediatric Residency Program Director. She loved this job that focused on teaching and encouraging young physicians to improve clinical practice and service to families. Throughout her professional career and even in retirement, Diane was a beloved teacher and mentor to many colleagues and physicians in training. She was respectfully devoted to the children and families she cared for and what was important to her was knowing that the world may be different because she might have been important in the life of a child and family.

Diane was thrilled to return to her beloved New England and soon fell in love. She married Dr. Alan A. Rozycki on July 2, 2006, and they have lived in Norwich since. This marriage brought together a blended family of six children and eleven grandchildren! Diane loved living closer to much of her family and Smith friends, and Diane and Alan enjoyed many years of travel together visiting their children and friends across the country and world. Travel highlights include multiple trips to Hawaii, a month long stay in Rome in 2015, and annual trips to the family cabin in Houlton, Maine.  In her last few years she was an avid reader, rediscovered her love of painting, and found her greatest joy in her family and spending time with her grandchildren. Her grandchildren cherished their special time with her spent baking, decorating Christmas gingerbread houses, reading books, playing games, and drawing pictures for her.

She is preceded in death by her parents Bob and Jane (Pierce) Kittredge. She is survived by her husband, Alan Rozycki; her children Anna (and Adam) Shane, and their children Connor, Caitlyn, Jason, & William; Chris (and Jill) Rettig, and their children Gabriel & Alice; Elizabeth (and Bill) McCarthy and their child Katherine; her step-children Ford Rozycki; Derek Rozycki and his children Alexa & Ethan; Greg Rozycki and his children Sanam & Sachin; and her siblings Lucia Kittredge (and Cleve Kapala), Bobby (and Patricia) Kittredge, Emily (and Paul) Hummel, & Debby (and Bruce) Irving, and many nieces and nephews.

Diane was lovingly sent off with the words of gathering she and Alan said each night around the dinner table: “We’re glad we’re all together and peace in the whole wide world!”

To celebrate Diane’s life, a service will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, June 22, at the Norwich Congregational Church, 15 Church St, Norwich, VT. A reception will immediately follow at Dowds’ Country Inn in Lyme, N.H. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Diane’s name to Smith College (Essential Smith Fund https://smith.edu/about-smith/giving/smith-fund/designations) or the Academic Pediatric Association (Resident Scholarships or Young Investigator Awards, https://www.academicpeds.org/aboutUs/about_developmentFund.cfm).