Dolores Willette, age 93, of Litchfield, formerly of Dassel, died Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, at the St. Cloud Hospital.
Dolores Gladys Sophia Kuehl Willette was born Dec. 3, 1928, in Forest City Township to Walter and Laura Rosenow Kuehl.
Her baptism and confirmation were celebrated at St Matthew’s United Church of Christ in Forest City.
She went to District 5 Elementary school through eighth grade and Litchfield High School for a year and a half. She then went to the Hollywood Beauty Academy in Minneapolis, graduated in November 1946, and practiced as a licensed hairdresser for the next 60 years.
While in school in Minneapolis, she met the love of her life when they were set up on a blind date by friends.
Dolores and Wallace Arthur Willette were united in marriage at St Matthew’s March 20, 1948, and celebrated 73 years together.
They were blessed with two children, Suzanne Donna Ruth Willette Ahlbrecht, and Paul Wallace Willette.
Wally and Dolores lived in St. Paul, where Wally attended barber school, and they both practiced the profession there for about 10 years, until Wally bought the barber shop in Dassel in 1963.
Dolores worked out of a shop in her home.
They have been active members of Gethsemane Lutheran Church since 1964.
When their son, Paul, was diagnosed with an intellectual disability as a toddler, Dolores became a staunch advocate for the rights of people with disabilities.
At that time, few services were available in this part of the state, and she had to drive him to school in Biscay and pick him up every day.
To protect people with disabilities, and to expand options for their care, Dolores wrote letters, made phone calls, and lobbied politicians. She joined numerous committees, organizations, and boards, including ARC, the library board, the Christian Service Committee, and the board of directors at Meeker County’s Multi-Care and Community Homes, where she continued to serve as treasurer up until last year.
She baked cookies, sold flowers, poured coffee, taught Sunday school, and continued to serve other people and God right up until her last few days.
Wally and Dolores moved to Litchfield in 1989 to be closer to Paul.
It took her 50 years, but she got her GED at the age of 68.
Her free time was spent doing crossword puzzles, watching the Twins and Vikings, reading, cooking, and baking. Every yea,r she made piles and piles of cookies, bars, candy, jelly, and breads to give away to friends and family. She spent her days serving others and cherished spending time with family.
Dolores was preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Laura Kuehl; mother and father-in-law, Leona and Arthur Willette; son, Paul Willette; daughter, Suzanne, Ahlbrecht and son-in-law, Allen Ahlbrecht; sisters and brothers-in-law, Alice and Art Reilein, Diane and Willard Maahs, Ruth and Bud Marquardt, Jeanette Byrne and Bonnie Revering; and brother, Walter Kuehl Jr.
She is survived by her husban,d Wally; grandchildre,n Laurel Ahlbrecht, Rebecca (Shawn) Dillingham, and Allen Ahlbrecht; great-grandchildren, Aleisha Ahlbrecht, Dan Ahlbrecht, and Samantha Mortenson; sisters-in-law, Donna Kuehl and Donna (Albert) Rademacher; and many, many nieces, nephews, and dear friends.
She has touched countless lives and will be greatly missed.
A memorial service took place Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dasse, with Rev. Janine Olson officiating.
The interment of the urn took place at Ripley Cemetery in Litchfield following the service.
There was a time to gather with the family one hour prior to the service at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church Wednesday, Dec. 29.