Dech, Thorhildur Gudny (Þorhildur Guðny) Passed away peacefully of natural causes on May 25, 2020. Thora was a wonderful homemaker, wife, mother, Amma (grandmother) and friend. She was very proud of her Icelandic heritage and took every opportunity to teach others about it. Thora was an avid sewer, gardener, an accomplished cook, home decorator and style maven. She was a gracious hostess and known for her warmth and charm. As an infant Thora emigrated with her family from Iceland to Canada. She grew up in an Icelandic-speaking community in Winnipeg, Manitoba, learning English in school. Being raised by a single mother in the Great Depression left a strong impression on her; Thora was always practical, economical, and loved a good bargain. Thora learned to sew as a girl, a skill she perfected and that influenced her path as an adult. She taught friends how to create a stylish wardrobe with just pennies. Following the death of Jack she needed to support herself and her young daughter, so decided to become a high school teacher. She obtained a BA in Home Economics from the Univ of Manitoba in 1964. That same spring while on a blind date, she met Jim Dech of St. Paul, who was performing with the 3M Chorus in Winnipeg. It was love at first sight. They married and moved to St. Paul, where they raised their family. Thora was a loyal friend who maintained friendships for a lifetime. She was close to her high school friends, "the Club Girls" even after she moved to the States. She built a new community of friends in MN, especially with her sisters-in-law, and kindred spirit Patt Boge. She was involved in a range of activities that reflected what was important to her: Church volunteer, Icelandic Hekla Club member (former president), Weavers Guild, Minnesota Home Economists, and Jim's favorite 3M Club, among others. As her children grew up Thora returned to work, doing a variety of jobs, then volunteering, especially to work with the elderly. She had a special place in her heart for the older generation, to whom she would often reach out. Thora was preceded in death by husbands Jim Dech (2016) and Jack McNaughton (1960); parents Helgi Árnason and Sigríður Guðjónsdóttir Árnason; siblings Rebekka, Freyja, and Olgeir; fairy godparents Harry and Eva Mulvena; much loved Dech family members: Jake & Bets (Gillen) Dech, Bill & Dee Dech, Marcia and Vic Berra, Tess & Rob Lodge. Remaining to cherish her memory are children Charlene Dech (Steven Kern) of Ossining, NY, Eric Dech (Darlene) of Sewickley, PA, Kristin Dech Stills (Jay Stills) of St. Paul; grandchildren Eva, Jacob, Max, Gabrielle, Julian, Robbie, and Evan; friend of 55 years, Patricia Boge; Sisters-in-law Pat Ganje, Clare (John) Maturen; Many nieces and nephews. We will plan for a celebration of Thora's life at a later date. Willwerscheid Funeral Home 651-228-1006
Thorhildur Gudny (Þorhildur Guðny) Dech
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