Donald Diepolder

May 3, 1926-July 25, 2020

On Saturday, July 25th,

2020, Donald Joseph

(Don) Diepolder, peace-

fully passed away at the

age of 94 in Rugby, North


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 border.

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 Willow

City American Legion, the

Rugby Eagles and Knights

of Columbus.

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;

great-grandchildren –

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 Diepold-

er; and sons -William

and Joseph (Joe) Diepold-


Memorial suggestions

include the Dacotah

Foundation, 600 S. 2nd

St., Suite 308, Bismarck,

N.D. 58504, 701.223.4517,


in memory of Joe Diepold-

er. If you wish to send

flowers, consider honor-

ing Don as a long time lo-

cal farmer and gardener

by bringing flowers from

your fields and/or gar-

dens. He would like that.

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

burial will be held at

10:00 a.m., Friday, July

31st, 2020, at Notre Dame

Catholic Church, Willow

City, ND, with burial fol-

lowing in the nearby

church cemetery. Fr. Tom

Graner will be the cele-


Visitation will be held

from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.,

Thursday, July 30th, at

Anderson Funeral Home,

Rugby, ND. Father Paulraj

Thondappa Thomas will

lead a private prayer vigil

rosary and sharing of

memories at 7:00 p.m. at

the same location.

Please respect Don and

Dora’s wishes and follow

COVID-19 precautions.

Accordingly, attendance

at all services is limited to

immediate family and

capped at 50 people at

any one time. All attend-

ing must wear face masks

and follow proper social

distancing protocol. If you

have been diagnosed with

COVID-19, are not feeling

well, or if you have a

compromised immune

system, we respectfully

request that you stay


Online condolences:



(Anderson Funeral

Home, Rugby)