Jeanette Dahlquist was born in Taylors Falls, Minnesota on April 29, 1930 as the third child to Jean and Julia Johnson. For the entirety of her life she was a member of Chisago Lake Lutheran Church in Center City, having been baptized, confirmed, and married there. Except for a brief period she was also a life-long resident of the Taylors Falls (later Chisago Lakes) school district, first on the family farm before moving into town. Both of those facts were important in her life.
She grew up with her older siblings Donald and Doris on the family farm which was on the beautiful Saint Croix River in Franconia Township, about four miles downstream of Taylors Falls. Her father Jean was a bus driver for the Taylors Falls schools and the farm was near the end of his bus route. On school mornings Jeanette and her siblings and father would let the cows out of the barn into the lane that led to the bluffs of the river so the cows could water and forage for themselves during the day while Jean tended to his bus route and other farm chores and Julia took care of the home. Letting the cows out became Jeanette’s morning job before school for some years after Donald joined the United States Navy during World War II and Doris had moved to the Twin Cities. Unfortunately near the end of her studies at Taylors Falls High School her father died unexpectedly, making farm life difficult. After graduating from Taylors Falls in 1948 Jeanette followed her sister’s lead and moved to the Twin Cities to pursue a career. She got a job with a company that had just changed its name to Investors Diversified Services, later known simply as IDS, or IDS Financial (most Minnesotans recognize the IDS Tower in Minneapolis). In this position with IDS she certainly helped build the foundation for the company’s future success.
A career in high finance must have seemed too mundane a pursuit for her, so she moved back home to marry Melvin Dahlquist and eventually raise three sons, Randy, Ronald, and Richard, on that same Franconia farmstead. For most of that time she might have been called a ‘homemaker’, as was common for the time. She did, however, occasionally take on part-time work, especially with Montgomery Ward, to earn extra money for Christmas. But she always found the time to attend the boys’ extra-curricular events.
Just because Jeanette was a ‘homemaker’ did not mean she was confined to the home. She did much volunteer and charity work. For years there were those late winter days when she would traverse the gravel roads of Franconia Township, visiting friends and neighbors and newcomers while collecting spare change for The March of Dimes, and maybe being invited in for a cup of coffee. Nearly the whole township knew Jeanette. For a number of years while husband Melvin was an assistant Cub Scoutmaster in Taylors Falls, Jeanette was an assistant Cub Scout den mother. Many of those boys, who are at or near retirement age now, remember her from those Scouting days. Jeanette also participated in bible-study circles and service groups through Chisago Lake Lutheran, thus keeping in touch with many of the church’s members and helping to serve at too many funerals and other events to count them all. Jeanette was also a long-time member of the Taylors Falls Historical Society. She also received a commendation from Green Acres Nursing Home for musical performance as ‘The Country Babes’ with best friend Cleo Stomberg.
One of Jeanette’s most visible volunteer efforts was working with children at the Taylors Falls Scghool. From the late 1950s until the 2000s she was involved in hearing and vision screening for the elementary students at the Taylors Falls School. If you were a student at Taylors Falls during that time period, you met Jeanette. In the 1980s and 1990s she received awards and certificates for her work with Early Childhood Family Services through the school
Jeanette and Melvin, along with his siblings, made a memorable trip to Sweden in the 1980s, visiting relatives of both sides of the family that had remained there. After Melvin’s retirement they traveled cross-country to visit relatives and friends in numerous locations. In her later years, after Melvin passed in 1993 and before it became too difficult, she enjoyed traveling to different parts of the United States with relatives, friends, and senior tour groups. She particularly enjoyed the Calgary Stampede and the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan.
In 2008 Jeanette was named Taylors Falls’ Royal Lady of the Village, an honor for which she was humbled, yet took very seriously. She very much enjoyed riding in the 2008 Lighting Festival and the 2009 Wannigan Days parade as a representative of Taylors Falls.
There are many other remembrances of times with neighbors, friends, relatives and other acquaintances that could span volumes. Jeanette never regretted leaving that position with IDS. She considered her life as a ‘hometown’ girl as rich and rewarding as there could be, once telling the local press, “I’ve had an interesting life.”
Sadly, Jeanette passed from this earthly vale on July 17, 2019 after a brief physical struggle and several years battling dementia while residing at Parmly on the Lake in Chisago City. She was preceded in the trip to the Promised Land by husband Melvin, siblings Donald Johnson and Doris Derner, and recently daughter-in-law Nancy Dahlquist. Remaining to remember her are sons Randy, Ronald, and Richard; daughter-in-law Olga; grandchildren Katy, Jeremy, Allison, and Laurel; great-grandchildren Andrew, Bethany, Xavier, Oliver, and Bridgette, and one great-great-grandchild, and many other relatives and countless friends.
Funeral Services 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at Chisago Lake Lutheran Church in Center City with visitation Monday evening. Interment at Hillside Cemetery in Center City. Arrangements by the Grandstrand Funeral Home in Lindstrom. Condolences may be expressed online at www.grandstrandfh