In Memory of

Dorothy L. Willardson

July 6, 1923 - June 23, 2022
From: Fort Dodge, IA | Originally: Gowrie, IA


 

Dorothy Lou Willardson of Gowrie, passed away Thursday, June 23, 2022 at the Paula J. Baber Hospice house.  She was 13 days shy of her 99th birthday.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 AM Monday, June 27, 2022 at the United Methodist Church, Gowrie with Pastor Susan Rohden officiating.  Burial will be in the Gowrie Township Cemetery.  A visitation will be  5:00PM to 7:00 PM Sunday, June 26 at Palmer Funeral Home, Gowrie. Memorials may be left to the discretion of the family. 

Dorothy Lou Smith was born July 6, 1923, in Eagle Grove, Iowa, to Thomas Jefferson Smith and Eldora  Myrtle Smith (Overholt). The family moved to Fort Dodge when she was young and she attended Fort Dodge schools and graduated from Fort Dodge High School. During high school she played in the band and was very proud that she was first chair trumpet.  Dorothy had a love of music that followed her through her life.

In 1946 Dorothy married Lawrence Willardson. They started by farming in Duncombe and then managing the Rosedale Farm Dairy.  They soon began their family, and eventually they moved their growing family to Gowrie where they remained for the rest of their lives. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary prior to Lawrences passing in 2012.

After the birth of their 5th child in 1964, Dorothy went back to school and earned her BA int teaching from Buena Vista University.  She worked for Prairie Community School District as a Title 1 reading teacher for many years, retiring in 1987.  After retirement she taught private classes to  people helping them earn their GED. She believed that education was a necessity.

Dorothy and Lawrence were active members of the Gowrie United Methodist Church for over 50 years where Dorothy’s love of music continued as the choir director for many years. In her lifetime she had many hardships but her deep faith carried her through. Her strength and perseverance were not reflective of her small stature. Dorothy deeply loved her family and they were always her priority. 

Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence Willardson, her parents, her daughters Nancy Essink and Janet Culver, her son James Willardson, her grandson TJ. Willardson, and 8 siblings. 

She is survived by her sons David (Jodi) Willardson of Knoxville,IA, Terry (Lisa) Willardson of Gowrie, IA, Warren Olson (Emilie) of Marengo, IA, Grandchildren, Erica Andrews (Troy), Robin Culver, Tricia Harrison, Kim Wright (Joe), Andrea Duntly (Donnie), Jeff Essink (Nicole)  April Parker-Hanson (Dan)  Angi Schiltz, Kelsey Willardson Roland (Cole), Brooke Willardson (Nate), Lindsay Olson (Kyle), Tyler Olson(Sydney), Cheri Fruits (RJ), Tom Willardson (Jill), Travis Booher and Taylor Willardson as well 30 great grandchildren.

 

SERVICES
United Methodist Church
June 27, 2022
11:00 AM Monday

OFFICIATING
Pastor Susan Rohden
VISITATION
Palmer Funeral Home- Gowrie
June 26, 2022
5:00 to 7:00 PM Sunday
INTERMENT
Gowrie Township Cemetery

Condolences

Monday, June 27, 2022 at 1:59 PM
“What a wonderful life story. So much family and so much love!”
- Tina Kastendieck

Sunday, June 26, 2022 at 12:37 PM
“I'm sorry to hear of Dorothy's death but am glad she lived a long and meaningful life. I remember her and Lawrence from my childhood days when they lived east of Fort Dodge on the farm across from my grandparents, Harley and Freda Messerly.”
- Marshel Rossow

Sunday, June 26, 2022 at 12:36 PM
“I'm sorry to hear of Dorothy's death but am glad she lived a long and meaningful life. I remember her and Lawrence from my childhood days when they lived east of Fort Dodge on the farm across from my grandparents, Harley and Freda Messerly.”
- Marshel Rossow

Saturday, June 25, 2022 at 12:37 AM
“We are so sorry for your loss. Our hearts are with you and we love you.”
- The Graybeal Family

Friday, June 24, 2022 at 6:45 PM
“So sad to hear of your grandmothers passing. You have so many wonderful memories to carry with you. She was a sweet lady. My prayers & thoughts are with you all during this time of loss. ”
- Cyndee Olson

Friday, June 24, 2022 at 5:57 PM
“Deepest sympathies to all, Dorothy was a great lady, she was one of my teachers and then a family member, prayers for the family.”
- Deana Connelly

Friday, June 24, 2022 at 5:52 PM
“So sorry for your loss. Prayers for all of you. ”
- Betty Peterson

Friday, June 24, 2022 at 2:25 PM
“I am so sorry to hear about Dorothy thoughts and prayers to the willardson family”
- Emily Joyce


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