Clarence died 19 Feb 1972 and Violet died 22 Jun 1984. They are buried in the Lutheran Cemetery beside their son George. Clarence and Violet were active in First Lutheran Church in Decorah. (See Vick, Tollif; Anna Foss).

Willson, Dennis and Mary (Muether)

(Dennis Willson)

Dennis Leo Willson is the son of Leo and Mary (Hyberger) Willson. He has one brother and 5 sisters: Gordon, Madelyn (Wise), Marian (Schissel), Rita (Lansing), Martha (Samuelson) and Gretchen (Bucheit). Dennis was raised on a farm 1/4 mile east of what today is the North Winneshiek School. He attended Hesper No. 4 school (a one-room country school) through the 8th grade. Classmates included: Merle Headington and Kathleen Foltz. His best friend was (and still is) Dennis Fisher. Teachers at Hesper No. 4 were Mrs. Ted Emmons (Burr Oak) and later Muriel Cronin (Decorah). Dennis graduated from Decorah High School in 1964.

Aug 1964 he left for the Navy. Dennis went to boot camp at Great Lakes, IL and then to air craft school near Memphis, TN. After his training, Dennis was stationed at the Naval Air Station, Lemoore, CA. While in the Navy he went on 2 cruises. One on thel/.S.S. Fonestal in the Mediterranean; the other on the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk in the waters off Viet Nam. Both were very large air craft carriers. They were more than 1,000 feet long and had over 5,000 men on board. Dennis was discharged from active duty on 7 Oct 1967.

He started at Area One Vocational Technical School in Calmar (now Northeast Iowa Community College) in Nov 1967. Dennis took the welding course. Since the school was new and classrooms had not yet been built, the welding classes were held in an old tractor store on the main street of Ossian. This was across the street from his sister and brother-in-law, Rita and Bob Lansing, so Dennis lived with them while he went to school.

About the same time Dennis started playing drums with the Carl Thompson Band. The band played at 4-5 dances per week. Also at this time he began dating Kathy Harmening of Tripoli, IA. Kathy worked for the Superintendent of Area One School.

Dennis completed the welding course in May 1968 and started working for Link Belt Speeder in Cedar Rapids 3 Jun 1968. Dennis and Kathy were married Aug 1968. They lived in Hiawatha, IA (a suburb of Cedar Rapids). Early in the summer of 1969 Dennis and Kathy had a daughter, Denise.

Like his father, Dennis loved music and soon started playing for a band in the Cedar Rapids area. In 1972 Dennis and Kathy moved to Palo, IA (west of Cedar Rapids). Their second daughter, Dawn, was born in Sep 1972. Both children were born by Caesarean section. Kathy later started working for the telephone company.

In Sep 1979 Kathy became very ill and was diagnosed with cancer of the lymph nodes. She had both chemotherapy and radiation, but they were not successful. Kathy died in Apr 1980.

Dennis was left to be both mother and father to 2 small girls. With his faith in God and the help of good friends and neighbors the family made it through these difficult times. In the fall of 1981 Dennis and his daughters moved back to Cedar Rapids. Dennis was laid off from his job at Link Belt in May 1982. About a year later he started working for Iowa Specialities in Marion, IA. His boss was an old high school friend Mark Peterson.

In 1984 Dennis became re-acquainted with his high school sweetheart, Mary Muether (daughter of Aaron and Maxine Muether). Mary also was widowed with 2 daughters, Jill and Julie Holtmeyer. (Jill and Julie’s father was from Postville.) Dennis and Mary were married in Aug 1985 - 22 years after they first met.

In Sep 1986 Dennis began working for General Mills in Cedar Rapids. He works in the warehouse where he drives a fork lift and loads “Cheerios” on trucks. Mary works at Von Mar at Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids. Their daughters, Denise, Dawn and Julie, live in the Cedar Rapids area; Jill lives in Evansville, IN with her young son, Jordan M. Holtmeyer.

Dennis continues to enjoy drumming for the Shriners. He had 1 brother and 5 sisters and in the words of a Johnny Rivers Song, that makes him the “seventh of the seven suns.” Dennis’ father died 9 Sep 1988; his mother now lives in the Senior Hospice in Ossian.

Willson, DeWitt Clinton and Margaret (Dolan)

(Madelyn (Willson) Wise)

DeWitt Clinton Willson was born 29 Oct 1855 on the Willson homestead in Canoe Twp., Winneshiek Co. He died 22 Sep 1932 on the farm where he lived most of his life. On 21 May 1875 DeWitt married Margaret E. Dolan in Winneshiek Co. Margaret (or “Maggie”) was born 17 Mar 1858 in Bluffton Twp., Winneshiek Co. and died 18 Jun 1924 in Decorah. DeWitt and Margaret are buried at St. Bridget's Cemetery, Bluffton, IA, Lot #12.

Margaret’s parents were Patrick Dolan born 1824 in Ireland and died 1870 in Winneshiek Co. and Catherine Tollin (birth and death unknown). Patrick and Katherine also are buried in St. Bridget’s Cemetery, Lot #12. They had one son, Frank and 5 daughters - Mary Ann, Ellen, Jane, Catherine and Margaret.

Frank lived in Mandan, ND. He was struck by a train and killed. Mary Ann first married a Fredenberg. After he died, she married Jim Murdock and had a daughter, Irene Foss. Ellen (or Nell) married a Brickner. Their children were Ralph, Harry, Mabel and Gertie. Jane (or Jenny) married a Duff and lived in Hay Springs, NE. They had 2 children: Grace and Floyd. Catherine (or Kate) married a Fogerty. They lived in Brookings, SD and had 5 children: Florence, Bill, Jim, Jack and Katie.

DeWitt Clinton and Margaret E. Willson had 3 sons and 3 daughters: Effie Marie, Frank, Emmett Clinton, Halley Elizabeth, Grace Agnes and Leo. Effie Marie (Feb 1877-28 Oct 1899) married Phillip Jeremiah Carolan on 25 Jan 1899. Phillip was born 8 Nov 1872 on the Carolan homestead in Bluffton Twp. He died 24 Aug 1957 in Decorah. Both Effie and Phillip are buried in St. Bridget's


Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living is not included.

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