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Dora Irene Diepolder

Jan 16, 2021

Aug. 23, 1930 – Jan. 2, 2021

On Saturday January

2nd 2021, Dora Irene

Diepolder, peacefully

passed away at the age of

90 in Grand Forks, ND.

Dora was born August

23, 1930 in Thorne, ND to

August and Hermine

(Berube) Dionne. Her life

was marked by many

things but perhaps educa-

tion, faith and family

stand out most in our

memory of her.

Education. Her life-long

thirst for education began

at the early age of four in

a one-room schoolhouse

in Thorne, ND. She per-

sisted in following her

older sister to school each

day asking permission to

attend class until the

teacher eventually agreed

to let her start school.

She learned to read at an

early age – and loved it!

Dora read her way from

that one-room school-

house through Notre

Dame Academy in Willow

City where she graduated

from high school at age


Dora’s father August,

with only an 8th grade

education, valued and

supported her educational

thirst. In 1947, she trav-

eled over 400 miles to at-

tend the College of Saint

Benedicts (St. Ben’s), in

Collegeville, MN. There

she studied English for

two years before a hail-

storm destroyed her

father’s crop and he could

no longer afford to send

her to college. She pro-

ceeded to Minot State

Teacher’s College in 1949,

received a teaching certifi-

cate, and taught in

Coteau, ND until she

saved enough money to

return to St. Ben’s. In

1952, Dora reached her

goal and graduated from

St. Ben’s with a bachelor’s

degree in English. Dora

began teaching in

LaMoure, ND. She was

ready to accept a teaching

job in Garrison, ND when

in the summer of 1953,

Donald J. (Don) Diepolder

proposed. Her educational

focus was about to shift to

teaching her own chil-


Family. Dora married

Don in Thorne, ND on

November 28, 1953. They

honeymooned that winter

in the U.S. and Mexico

and as she would often

say “We had a ball”. In

the Spring of 1954, they

returned to Willow City

and started raising a fami-

ly of ten children.

Dora lived the life of a

farm wife on the family

farm located 5-1/2 miles

southeast of Willow City

– cooking, cleaning, rais-

ing kids, helping neigh-

bors, praying, walking,

reading – all centered

around the family. She

loved the open prairie – its

smells, its wildflowers,

and its meadowlark

sounds. She was ahead of

her time in the 1960s by

feeding her family

healthy, organic foods

that did not contain the

pesticides that may harm

them or the prairie. She

taught CCD (Confraternity

of Christian Doctrine) for

the Notre Dame Catholic

Church and literature at

the Notre Dame Academy.

She was an active

member of the Willow

City Public School Parent

Teacher organization and

the Notre Dame Altar So-


Dora and Don retired

from the farm in April

1990 and moved to Rug-

by, ND. Dora enjoyed

playing cards, following

Minnesota Twins base-

ball, politics, and current

events; reading; walking;

and enjoying her children

and grandchildren. She

was smart, pretty, kind,

accepting, and

open-minded. She was

proud of her French heri-

tage. She made those

around her feel important.

She made a difference.

She was the best mother

– the best grandmother.

In 2020, Don passed,

and Dora moved to Grand

Forks, ND where she

stayed until the time of

her death.

Faith. Everyone that

knew Dora will tell you

how strong and grounded

she was in her faith. She

lived her faith and ack-

nowledged God’s pres-

ence in her daily life.

Faith gave her great peace,

and during her final days,

she could not wait to be

with family and friends in

heaven. She often quoted

this poem by Robert

Browning which summed

up her life beautifully:

“Grow old along with

me! The best is yet to be,

the last of life, for which

the first was made. Our

times are in his hand who

saith, ‘A whole I planned,

youth shows but half;

Trust God: See all, nor be


Survivors include: two

sisters – Thelma Dionne,

Columbia, SC; and Lor-

raine (John) Buckley,

Land O Lakes, FL; four

daughters – Ann (Micha-

el) Brown, Grand Forks,

ND; Mary Diepolder (Rob

Turner), Columbia, SC;

Paula Diepolder (Bill

Fleming), Albuquerque,

NM; and Sarah Diepolder,

Moose Lake, MN; three

sons – John Diepolder,

Lawton, OK; Jim (Colleen)

Diepolder, Willow City,

ND; and Karl Diepolder,

Albuquerque, NM. seven

grandchildren – Michaela

(Brooks) Boland, Blythe-

wood, SC; Danielle (Brad)

Larson, Tabor, MN; Ben

(Taylor) Diepolder, Bot-

tineau, ND; Laura (Bran-

don) Cobb, Grand Forks,

ND; Graydon Brown,

Broomfield, CO; Maria

Diepolder, West Fargo,

ND; and Seth Premo, St.

Paul, MN; three

great-grandchildren –

Josephine and Kiersten

Larson, Tabor, MN;

Michael (Remington) Bo-

land, Blythewood, SC;

and numerous cousins,

nieces, nephews;


great-nephews, other rela-

tives and friends.

She was preceded in

death by her: paternal

grandparents – Hylas and

Emma (Cassavant)

Dionne, and maternal

grandparents – Arthur

and Victorine (Mongeon)

Berube; parents – August

and Hermine (Berube)

Dionne; husband –

Donald J. Diepolder;

brother – Eugene (Ardis)

Dionne; sister – Lillian

(Jim) Dymock; daughter –

Lisa Diepolder; and sons –

William Diepolder and

Joseph (Joe) Diepolder.

Memorial suggestions

include the Dacotah

Foundation, 600 S.

Second St., Suite 308,

Bismarck, N.D. 58504;



on.org, in memory of Dora

and Joe Diepolder.

Due to COVID-19 the

funeral Mass will be held

in the Spring of 2021 at

Notre Dame Catholic

Church, Willow City.

Arrangements with the

Anderson Funeral Home

of Rugby. Online registry:



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