Loiselle Naomi Dahill
Loiselle Naomi Dahill, 97, of Prineville passed December 7, 2021. She was born December 21, 1923, on the family farm to Gustav and Iverine Peterson at Fort Ransom, North Dakota. She was the youngest of eight children: six surviving and two passed away very young. Her sisters were 10 to 17 years older.
Loiselle started school actually walking the three-and-a-half miles to town, with two sisters. The sisters graduated by 1932. Loiselle continued walking to school except for two months of winter when she lived with a friend in town. Her father would take her to town on a horse-drawn sled on Sunday afternoon, and pick her up on Friday afternoon. Loiselle was 10 years old at the passing of her mother. Although she was an active, fearless, tom-boy child, two older sisters returned home to help their father with Loiselle and the farm. Loiselle graduated high school May 1941.
World War II drew her to Seattle in 1943. She was employed with Boeing Aircraft as a bucker for a riveter in the wing section. After six months, she took three weeks' leave to follow her passion for travel, repeating the same six months later to visit a sister in Southern California. When the bus connections didn't fit her travel plans, she hitchhiked across the states to her destination and back again. People were drawn to Loiselle's liveliness and tenacity. She picked up lifelong friends everywhere she went.
In October 1944 she married Henry Dahill (1922-2007) in Seattle, Washington. Henry was a sailor on the USS Grant Transport and Seattle his port. She continued working in Seattle until Henry's port was changed to New Orleans, Louisiana. Loiselle packed up everything, went first to North Dakota and then New Orleans. She arrived in New Orleans the day that the war ended and people were celebrating in the streets.
Loiselle and Henry lived in Menlo Park and Palo Alto, California. raising their three children. The family left for southern Oregon in 1957, moving 12 miles west of Wolf Creek to a home without electricity or running water. Loiselle expanded the 4-H years of her youth into leadership for home economics, goats and entomology in the many communities that followed.
Loiselle's career with the Oregon Department of Forestry began in 1962 when the family relocated to Kinzua. Starting in the lookout tower, she then went to Fossil as a Seasonal Conservation Aide and cook for seasonal crews. She continued as Forest Fire Dispatcher in Monument, later to be classified as Clerical Assistant, retiring in 1985 after 22 years. She also carved out time to serve four years as Monument's City Recorder. Loiselle and Henry retired to Prineville.
Loiselle was an accomplished seamstress of sportswear and attire, a quilter, an upholsterer, anything that used a needle or hook to create, including hardangersøm. Her hobbies expanded into coin and stamp collecting.
She was a member of the Crook County Genealogical Society, volunteering at the Bowman Museum library. A trip to Norway to meet her relatives in 1993 was a highlight in her personal genealogy journey. Loiselle was very proud of her Norwegian heritage and fostered it with the same enthusiasm through her Sons of Norway membership in Bend.
A grand and great-granddaughter gave a heartrending picture of their beloved Nana. "Incredibly strong-willed, resilient and charismatic. And she took no BS! My Nana lived a Full 97 years embracing each era with her family, hard work, and devotion to her Norwegian heritage."
She went on to say, "She was an adventurer. If she wanted to do something, she darn sure would. If someone didn't teach her, she would teach herself! She didn't like to ask for help! She also didn't want (family) history to be lost and worked tirelessly to save it all."
Loiselle and Henry renewed their wedding vows on their 50th wedding anniversary in 1994, surrounded by family and friends in the new Presbyterian Church they dedicated themselves to build. Loiselle is survived by her son, Howard (Loretta), and son, David (Belinda); daughter, Naomi (Larry); grandchildren, Natasha, Alicia, Stephanie, Shannon, Michael, Mark, and 13 great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Prineville Presbyterian Church.