Delta Delta Brother Celebrates 101st Birthday

George E. Rich, Delta Delta Class of 1945, just celebrated his 101st birthday on June 14. Brother Rich is the father of Sigma Chi’s George G. Rich ∆∆ ’74 and James C. Rich, Central Michigan ’77. Both traveled to Battle Creek, MI, where Brother Rich still lives in his home, to celebrate a life well lived.
George E. Rich '45

Brother George E. Rich ’45 turned 101 on June 14th.

Sigs, Friends Celebrate

The family celebration included dinner at Schuler’s restaurant in Marshall, MI, with George, Jim, Jim’s wife, Karen, and the honoree. Brother Rich also celebrated with his golf pals at a cottage on a small lake outside of Battle Creek, MI.  There were about 12 guys there who George has played golf with for nearly 30-years that included a nice cake!  While we were away at the cottage a neighbor decorated my Dad’s garage door marking his 101st birthday!

Delta Delta Days

Brother Rich completed his freshman year at Purdue in 1942 and then went into the US Army, serving in the 12th Armored Division, 66th Armored Infantry Battalion, Company C during WWII.

After the war, George returned to Purdue and Sigma Chi to complete his Mechanical Engineering degree and graduated in 1949. He enjoyed living in the fraternity house at 202 Littleton Street and getting back to college life.

Rich family Sigma Chis

George ’74 (left) and Jim ’77 (Central Michigan) celebrate their Dad’s (George E. Rich ‘45) 101st birthday.

He shared a story of a “Pinning Ceremony” that was a tradition back then.  He met Mary Fran Dittrich walking to class.  She was living in the Kappa Alpha Theta house, which at the time was next door to Sigma Chi on Littleton Street and adjacent to the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity house.  One evening George and a number of other Sigs went over to serenade Miss Dittrich at the “Theta” house.  They had a song leader and sang the “Sweetheart of Sigma Chi” and other songs.  George presented his Sigma Chi pin to Mary Fran Dittrich and she accepted! George has fond memories of going with Mary down to the “Triple XXX” for hamburgers and to “Harry’s Chocolate Shop”. George and Mary were married in April 1950.

George lived in the chapter house with Hank Stram ‘45, who later became the coach of the Kansas City Chiefs and won Super Bowl IV.  While in school Hank worked in the kitchen.  On one occasion Hank and another brother, Warren Khrke ’48, who was a large tackle on the Purdue football team, got into some horseplay in the kitchen.  George recalled that Brother Stram came out of the kitchen after the tussle with his T-shirt ripped off!  It was all in good fun, according to George.

Avid Golfer Still Going at 101

He has been a lifelong golfer and he played 9-holes, 3- or 4-times last summer at age 100.  George hopes to get out sometime soon when the weather is right and the spirit moves him!  He was a 2-handicap at one time and has played since he was 10-years old.

To Brother George E. Rich ’45, all the Delta Delta brothers wish you a very Happy Birthday and good luck on the links.

To read more about Brother Rich’s long and rewarding life from golf club champion to WWII POW, go to 101 Years of Living.


2 Responses to “Delta Delta Brother Celebrates 101st Birthday”

Dudley Foster

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday (belated) I remember you well, yes there are still a few of us around. I only lived in the house from the fall of 1947 until I graduated in the summer of ’49. Transferred up from the University of Mississippi where the Navy had sent me. You may recall Jack Caylor and I repelling down the side of the house. Those were the days. Hope to see pictures of you at your 102nd BD. In Hoc, Dudley


Doug Dittrich 1980

Congratulations Uncle George! Proud to be a Delta Delta Sigma Chi.

In hoc,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *