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Donald Joseph (Don) Diepolder

Aug 1, 2020

May 3, 1926 – July 25, 2020

On Saturday, July 25th,

2020 Donald Joseph (Don)

Diepolder, peacefully

passed away at the age of

94 in Rugby, North Dako-


Don was born May 3rd,

1926 in Willow City,

North Dakota to Walter

Joseph Diepolder and Syl-

via Mary (Lizotte)

Diepolder. He earned a

high school diploma from

the Willow City Notre

Dame Academy and began

college at the University

of St. John’s in College-

ville, MN. But when

WWII broke out, Don like

many of the greatest gen-

eration, joined the U.S.

Navy to protect our coun-

try. He served in active

duty on the USS Flint in

the South Pacific before

returning to Willow City

where he began a life as a

first generation farmer.

Don remembered a pret-

ty young gal from the No-

tre Dame Academy, Dora

Dionne. Don and Dora

married November 28,

1953 in her home town of

Thorne, ND. Their ad-

venture began. They went

on a 3-month honeymoon

traveling across the coun-

try and, without knowing

any Spanish, into Mexico.

They lived in Mexico City

for a month, enjoying bull

fights and a Mexican New

Year’s full of guns firing

in the air. But spring was

coming and in early 1954,

they returned to Willow

City where they began

farming and raising a fam-

ily 5-1/2 miles south east

of town.

Don became a success-

ful farmer, family man of

ten children, and sup-

porter of his community

while retaining his quiet,

free spirit. He worked

with the University of

California Davis to plant

new crop varieties and

was honored with the

Harvest Bowl Award by

North Dakota State

University. He protested

against farm imports at

the U.S. – Canadian bord-

er. He instilled music in

his children by freely

singing at home, in the

family car, and sometimes

over the C.B. radio. He

served on his church

council and as Clerk of

Wellington Township. He

was a member of the Wil-

low City American Le-

gion; and, the Rugby Ea-

gles and Knights of


Don retired and moved

with Dora to Rugby, ND

in 1990 where they en-

joyed the fruits of their

working life, neighbors,

friends, and his growing

family. Later in life nick-

named “The Captain”, he

enjoyed watching Min-

nesota Twins baseball,

gardening, attending Navy

ship reunions with fellow

sailors, fishing, reciting

poetry, a hot cup of cof-

fee, and, more travel – in-

cluding the Panama Ca-

nal, Germany and a WWII

Veteran Honor Flight to

Washington D.C.

Survivors include: wife

Dora Diepolder, Rugby,

ND; four daughters – Ann

(Mike) Brown, Grand

Forks, ND; Mary Diepold-

er (Rob Turner), Colum-

bia, SC; Paula Diepolder

(Bill Fleming), Albu-

querque, NM; and Sarah

Diepolder, Moose Lake,

MN; three sons John

Diepolder, Lawton, OK;

Jim (Colleen) Diepolder,

Willow City, ND; and Karl

Diepolder, Missoula, MT;

seven grandchildren

Michaela (Brooks) Bo-

land, Blythewood, SC;

Danielle (Brad) Larson,

Tabor, MN; Laura (Bran-

don) Cobb, Grand Forks,

ND; Ben (Taylor) Diepold-

er, Bottineau, ND; Gray-

don Brown, Boulder, CO;

Maria Diepolder, West

Fargo, ND; and; Seth

Premo, Moose Lake, MN;


Josephine and Kiersten

Larson, Tabor, MN;

Michael (Remington) Bo-

land, Blythewood, SC;

numerous cousins, nieces,

nephews, great-nieces,

great-nephews, other rela-

tives and good friends.

He was preceded in

death by his paternal

grandparents Joseph

and Mary Diepolder;

maternal grandparents

parents August and

Minnie Lizotte; sister,

Dolores (Denver) Rosberg,

daughter – Lisa Diepolder;

and sons – William and

Joseph (Joe) Diepolder.

Memorial suggestions

include the Dacotah

Foundation, 600 S. 2nd

St., Suite 308, Bismarck,

N.D. 58504, 701.223.4517,


on.org, in memory of Joe

Diepolder. If you wish to

send flowers, consider

honoring Don as a long

time local farmer and gar-

dener by bringing flowers

from your fields and/or

gardens. He would like


Don’s family would like

to thank all of you for

your support through the

years. They welcome you

to share in their vision of

him – quiet, happy,

strong, surrounded by

passed family members,

patiently waiting for us to

join him.

Mass of Christian buri-

al was held at 10:00 a.m.,

Friday, July 31st, 2020, at

Notre Dame Catholic

Church, Willow City, ND

with burial following in

the nearby church

cemetery. Fr. Tom Graner

will be the celebrant. Ar-

rangements with the

Anderson Funeral Home

of Rugby. Online registry:


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