Carolyn Dondelinger, 79, beloved wife and mother, passed away peacefully on the evening of Wednesday, January 15, 2020. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday, January 24 at St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Bemidji, MN. The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service at the church.
John and Margreite (Schneider) Struthers welcomed the first of their three children, baby Carolyn, into their family on June 17th, 1940. After moving to Brainerd in 1951, Carolyn completed her initial education at St. Francis of Assisi elementary school and Washington High School. She cemented a lifelong interest in education and literature at the College of St. Benedict where she graduated with a BA in 1962. She started teaching promptly after graduation and then married Wayne Dondelinger a year later on August 24. They settled in Bemidji in 1974.
Carolyn felt her most important accomplishments were her 56 year marriage to Wayne, raising her three children, and showering her grandchildren and great grandchild with love. She loved reading, art, cooking, crafts, golf, skiing and travel and planning the trips she and Wayne took with their friends, children and grandchildren.
She dedicated her whole life to sharing her love of God, goodness, truth and beauty with those she met--especially in her volunteer work. At St. Philip’s school she helped serve lunch, started junior great books, and helped with PTA. At St. Philip’s parish, Carolyn served as a Eucharistic Minister, lector, Ladies’ Guild, St. Theresa’s Circle, funeral choir, and funeral hospitality.
She served on the board of directors for the Courage Center in Minneapolis for 15 years and Bemidji United Way for 12 years. But, her favorite and most fulfilling experience was spending time with hospice patients and their caregivers through North Country Home Care and Hospice.
She is survived by her husband, Wayne; children, Julie (Tom) Halberg, Tim (Susan) Dondelinger and Linda (Scott) Pigg; 11 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild; brother, John (Phyllis) Struthers. She is preceded in death by her parents, John and Margreite and brother, Richard Struthers.
Carolyn preferred Memorials to St. Philip’s Catholic School Scholarship Fund, Bemidji.
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