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William Dee, 87 Print E-mail
Written by TRF Times   
    Thief River Falls - William “Bill” Dee, 87, died Monday, April 30, 2012 at Sanford Medical Center, Thief River Falls.  
    Memorial services were held Saturday, May 5,  at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, with Rev. George Davis officiating. Military honors were provided by the Minnesota National Guard Honor Guard, Thief River Falls Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2793, American Legion Ecklund-Holmstrom Post 117. Burial of ashes was held at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis.
    William Henry Dee was born on May 22, 1924 to William Joseph and Mary Louise (Stadler) Dee in Faribault. He was raised in the Catholic faith and attended school in Faribault where he graduated from high school.
    Bill entered the U.S. Marine Corps and served from 1943 to 1946. He then served in the National Guard from 1948 to 1950. Bill returned to the Marines for another tour of duty from 1950 to 1952.
   He was united in marriage to Doris Pearl Petrik on July 5, 1948. They started out as a military family living in a few different areas where Bill was stationed. Bill then began working as assistant manager in the Woolworth’s Store in Rochester. Bill always wanted to be manager of his own store, and his first store as manager was in Detroit Lakes, where they lived for a few years. Bill then worked on the road as a store zone manager for a few years before moving to Thief River Falls in the 1960s.
    He then began working at the Ben Franklin Store. He and a partner built a new dime store on Main Street in Thief River Falls next to the Times building. That store closed and Bill and Doris bought Florence’s Café and he and his wife owned and operated that for eight years. He helped build a little restaurant at Northland Foods Grocery in Thief River Falls and ran that for some time. In Bill’s later years, he worked at Ace Hardware in Thief River Falls.
    Bill was an avid stamp collector and served as President of the Historical Society. While living in Detroit Lakes he was active with many civic organizations. In Thief River Falls he was proud to support school projects and events. He helped with the TRFANette’s.
    Bill is survived by his wife of 63 years, Doris, of Thief River Falls; five children: Dennis (Char) Dee of Milwaukee, Wis., Nancy (Johnny) Whitley of Lambsborn, Germany, Jim Dee of Las Vegas, Nev., Susan Dee of Dilworth, Joseph (Marlyn) Dee of Atlanta, Ga.; nine grandchildren: Carly (Erick) Thompson, Nick (Rosa) Dee, Shelley Smith, Jamie (Bo) Durbin, Hank Dee, Jack Dee, Joe Dee Jr., Sina Kingsbury, Samantha Whitley; seven great-grandchildren: Maren, Wade, Audrey, Drew, Molly, Audrey, and Billy; four brothers: Bob (Bernadette) Dee, of Faribault, Donald (Ruth) Dee, of Mesa, Ariz., Thomas (Joan) Dee of Faribault, Gerald (Kathy) Dee of Apple Valley; sister: Kathy Peterka of St. Paul, sister-in-law: Susan Dee of St. Paul, brother-in-law: Chester Smiley, of Dayton, Ohio, and several nieces and nephews.
    Bill was preceded in death by one daughter: Barbara Smith in 2006; grandson: Billy Dee, sister: Jeanne Smiley, brothers: James Dee and Richard Dee, brother-in-law: Francis Peterka.