Dora Irene Diepolder

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 schoolhouse

through Notre Dame

Academy in Willow City

where she graduated from

high school at age 16.

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, raising

kids, helping neighbors,

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 (Confra-

ternity of Christian Doc-

trine) 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 organiza-

tion and the Notre Dame

Altar Society.

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, 2nephews;


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 – Eu-

gene (Ardis) Dionne; sis-

ter – 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;



foundation.org in memory

of Dora and Joe Diepolder.

Due to COVID-19 a

Mass of Christian Burial

will be deferred to

theSpring-Summer of

2021 at Notre Dame

Catholic Church, Willow

City, followed by burial in

the church cemetery. Ad-

ditional details will be

provided in local newspa-

pers and via email in the

following months.

Arrangements with the

Anderson Funeral Home

of Rugby. Online registry: