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Bonnie Marie Dille

Bonnie Marie Dille, age 83, of Litchfield, passed away suddenly Sunday, April 9, 2006, at the Meeker County Memorial Hospital in Litchfield, after suffering a massive heart attack at church.

Bonnie was born July 17, 1922 in Litchfield, the third child of Alfred and Lura Anderson.

She was very proud of her family. Her mother’s family has been in America since 1630 and fought for freedom during the Revolutionary War. They were also some of Meeker County’s first settlers, arriving in 1857. Bonnie’s maternal grandfather took refuge in the Forest City stockade during the Dakota Conflict in 1862.

Her father, a 14-year-old Swedish emigrant traveling alone, arrived in Meeker County in 1896. He was a farmer, managed 1st District Association in the 1920s, owned three creameries, started the Anderson Chemical Company in 1911, and served as mayor of Litchfield.

Bonnie was an excellent athlete and musician. In high school, she played basketball and could easily swim across Lake Ripley. She played violin and served as concertmistress in the high school orchestra. As a Girl Scout, she rose to the highest rank, Golden Eaglet.

In 1940, Bonnie graduated from Litchfield High School. She studied at the University of Minnesota for three years.

Bonnie married Donald Everett Dille, a University of Minnesota medical student from Dassel, Aug. 28, 1943. His parents were Oliver and Eleanor Dille. Oliver was a dairy farmer and Meeker County commissioner.

In June 1945, Donald graduated with his Doctor of Medicine degree. They moved to Quincy, Mass., for a one-year internship. In 1946, they returned to Litchfield, where Donald began a 28-year general medical practice.

This was interrupted in 1955, when Donald was drafted into the US Army. The whole family, which at the time included five children, moved to the Black Hills Ordinance Depot (Igloo) in southwest South Dakota, and spent nearly two years at this base, returning to Litchfield in 1957.

Bonnie’s main goal in life was to be a loving, devoted, and supportive wife, mother, and homemaker.; and devoted her life to raising her seven children. She was very hospitable, compassionate, kind, and friendly.

Bonnie was very active in many church and community organizations. A member of the First Lutheran Church of Litchfield, she regularly attending church, circle meetings, and Bible study. She was a member of PEO for 55 years, and the Litchfield Women’s Club for over 50 years.

History was one of her special interests, and she was a lifetime member of the Meeker County Historical Society.

For many years, Bonnie sang in the Eden Valley Choralaires. She also enjoyed reading, traveling, visiting with friends and relatives, and playing bridge.

In 1968, Bonnie graduated from the licensed practical nursing program at the Meeker County hospital. She was employed there as an LPN for 11 years.

She returned to the U of M in 1983, graduating in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in art history, at age 65.

Bonnie is survived by seven children and 12 grandchildren: Steve Dille and wife Pamela of Dassel, and their children, Nicholas, Kaisa, Spencer, and Mitchell; Donna Lennon and husband David of Frisco, Colo., and their children, Dusty and Derek; Christine of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Cory Davis and husband David of Dassel, and their children, Natalie and Trevor; Nancy Ellie Eidsvaag and husband David of Litchfield, and their children, Millie and Jon; Peter Dille of Alhambra, Calif.; and Andrew Dille of Bloomington, and his children, Troy and Benjamin.

She is further survived by a brother, Boyd Anderson and wife Connie of Litchfield; a sister, Donna Varker and husband Chuck of Green Valley, Ariz.; and many nieces, nephews, friends, and other relatives.

Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents, Alfred (1952) and Lura (1958); her husband, Donald (1974); and brothers, Bruce (1977), and Alfred (2002).

Memorial services were Friday, April 14 at 11 a.m. at the First Lutheran Church of Litchfield, with the Rev. David Sorenson officiating.

Visitation was at 9 a.m. Friday, April 14, prior to the funeral service.

Arrangements were by Johnson-Hagglund Funeral Home, Litchfield.

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