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Published August 28, 2012, 11:57 AM

Willard "Swede" Dietz

Willard "Swede" Dietz, 87, Otter Tail Lake, MN, formerly Wolverton, MN, passed away Sunday, August 26, 2012 at Emmanuel Nursing Home, Detroit Lakes, MN. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, August 30 at 2:00 P.M. Faith Lutheran Church, Wolverton, MN with Rev. Clay Ellingson officiating.

Willard "Swede" Dietz

Willard "Swede" Dietz, 87, Otter Tail Lake, MN, formerly Wolverton, MN, passed away Sunday, August 26, 2012 at Emmanuel Nursing Home, Detroit Lakes, MN. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, August 30 at 2:00 P.M. Faith Lutheran Church, Wolverton, MN with Rev. Clay Ellingson officiating. Visitation will be held Wednesday at the Willow Creek Chapel (920 3rd Avenue North) Wahpeton, ND from 5:00-7:00 P.M. with a 7:00 P.M. Prayer Service. There will also be visitation at the church on Thursday from 1:00-2:00 P.M. Military rights will be provided by the Wahpeton Military Honor Guard and North Dakota Military Honors. Vertin-Munson Wahpeton Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Willard "Swede" Dietz was born July 21 1925 in Wahpeton ND to William and Marion (McCullough) Dietz. He enlisted in the USMC in 1943 following graduation from Wahpeton High School. Swede was honorably discharged November 1945 following active duty in the Pacific area where he was wounded in action, receiving a Purple Heart. Swede was likely the only WWII soldier to successfully smuggle a war dog home. After returning home from the service, Swede worked in the family business Home Cash grocery and attended the North Dakota State College of Science, where he lettered in football.

Swede married Elizabeth "Lyd" (Carlson) July 20, 1948. They made their home and raised their children in Wahpeton. Swede engaged in various occupations that included construction, clothing salesman, manager of the Wahpeton VFW / American Legion Club, and resort owner. In 1973 they moved to Wolverton MN, where Swede was co-owner / operator of the Carlson IH Implement Dealership. Following retirement he worked part-time at the Wolverton Elevator. Swede's favorite job was as a prominent fishing guide on Otter Tail Lake.

Swede was a friendly engaging man who paired his gruff voice with a warm smile and a teasing style. Swede loved children, dogs, fishing, football, and sharing a cup of coffee with friends. He was a member of the Wahpeton VFW.

Swede is survived by his daughter Vicki McGranahan, Detroit Lakes, son Val Dietz (Paula), Otter Tail Lake, granddaughters Angela (Dan) Erickson, Detroit Lakes and Anne (Brendon) Powell, Nashville TN, and great grandchildren Ryan & Kathryn Erickson and Evelyn and Cora Powell.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Lyd, precious daughter, Julie, brothers, William and Valentine, and sister Bernice, and numerous devoted dogs.

Please feel free to visit our online guestbook at www.vertinmunson.com

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