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Dorothy Zimmerman

Dorothy Zimmerman

Funeral service for Dorothy (Dot) Lorraine Zimmerman of Graceville, MN will be held on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, at 11:00 am with visitation one hour prior to services at Our Savior's Lutheran Church with Reverend Gloria Anderson officiating. Visitation will be held from 5:00-8:00 pm with prayer service at 7:00 pm, Monday, May 26th at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Chokio, MN. Burial will follow in Chokio Lutheran Cemetery.

Dorothy Lorraine Rilley, age 88, was born on March 4, 1926, on the family farm in Stevens County on the shore of Artichoke Lake to Stanley and Hilma (Dorff) Rilley under the supervision of her Grandmother Ingeborg Dorff. Dorothy completed her 8 grades of education in 7 years. Dot attended high school in Chokio and graduated in 1943. She then followed her dream of becoming a teacher by attending Normal School in Ortonville, MN. Dorothy taught in Big Stone County at District 100 and the next spring she also started a kindergarten class. In the summer of 1945, Dorothy went to Duluth for additional teacher's training. The next 2 years she taught at District 57 near her parents' farm.

Dorothy met the love of her life, Stanley "Buster" Zimmerman, on a Saturday night during the summer of 1942 on the main street of Chokio after he caught her eye through the barber shop window. The next week they walked hand in hand through the streets of Chokio. They were married July 10, 1947, after Buster returned from serving active duty in the U.S. Army. They had a church wedding planned for June 28th, but it had to be postponed when Dot got the mumps.

Her career took a different path in 1948 when the 1st of 7 children were born. Buster and Dot worked hard on the farm but really appreciated spending time with family and friends. Sundays were reserved for church being a primary socialization opportunity.

The following years became a blur of activities for Dot as her children grew. She served as an adult 4-H leader for 10 years and served on various school committees. Dorothy was involved at church with her Rachel Circle, Ladies Aid and Homemaker's Club. Dorothy and Buster's love of sports and school activities spanned several generations and earned them "Fan of the Year" for the Graceville Shamrocks.

The next chapter was the arrival of grandchildren and great grandchildren. In 1981 the cows were sold which opened the door to fishing 3-4 times a week. Bus and Dot officially retired from farming in 1985 and fishing with grandchildren became a regular activity.

Dorothy died peacefully on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at Grace Home in Graceville, MN.

Dorothy is survived by four sons and two daughters, and their families: Charles (Dorothy) of Chisago City, MN and their children Heather (Jeremy) Peterson and Janelle Zimmerman (Jace Brendle); Wayne (David Hasbargen) of Oxbow, ND and children Matthew (Marisa) and Brandon (Heidi Heikes); Diane (Tod) Neubauer of West Fargo, ND and her children Brett (Jessica) Wigglesworth and Megan (Justin) Diemert; Loren (Debbie Jo) of Colorado Springs, CO and their children Rebecca (Jason) Broussard and Victoria (Elgin) Snider; Luann (Greg) Kleindl of Graceville, MN and their children Eric (Melissa) Kleindl, Christina (Eric Anderson) Wills, and Danny; Les (Beth) of Alexandria and their children Amy (Chris) Schulz and Joe (Jamie Knakmuhs); and 22 great-grandchildren: Isaac and Anna Peterson, Iris and Jasper Brendle, Eli and Owen Zimmerman, Jackson and Dawson Wigglesworth, Lauren, Ashlyn and Morgan Diemert, Bradley, Aubrey and David Broussard, Keegan, Olivia and Jacob Snider, Mackenzie and Tyler Wills, Annika and Sierra Kleindl and Lily Schulz. She is also survived by her brother Don (Barb) Rilley of Chokio and sister Doris (Joe) Wilkins of Rockwall, TX.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 62 years; one infant daughter Debra Lynne; son-in-law Carl Wigglesworth and two infant great-grandchildren Angel Grace and Caleb Charles Schulz.

Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris, MN is in charge of funeral arrangements. To send online condolences to the family, please visit