Anny (Annie) Bærheim Dunn was born on September 18, 1928 in Sola, Norway to Ingvald and Anna Helene (Askeland) Bærheim. Annie attended school until April 9, 1940, when, while walking there, her and her sister were shot at by German airplanes that were flying over them. The Germans not only occupied the country, but the home that Annie and her family lived in. Annie and her family were dislocated and had to live with relatives. They were 18 people in one small home. For the next few years, the only schooling the children had was by their parents. She was confirmed the Sunday before her pastor was imprisoned for not teaching what the German soldiers wanted him to. When the war ended in Norway on May 9, 1945, Annie was living with her brother in Haugesund and working in a yarn factory. Shortly after, at a family gathering, the group was asked if anyone wanted to go to America. Annie did not want to go through another war in Norway, so she volunteered. At the age of 17, and speaking no English, she boarded a ship for New York. She traveled to the tiny town of Taopi, Minnesota to live with her father’s aunt. For the next year, Annie worked to pay for her passage to America and had no contact with her family back home. Her aunt sent her trunk back to Norway, so her family thought she was dead. Almost a year later, Annie was able to get a letter out through a sister-in-law of an uncle to let her family back home know she was safe. While working for her aunt, Annie met the Dunn family that lived nearby. Once her year was up, she was taken in by the Dunn’s and on June 5, 1949 she married their oldest son, K. Douglas Dunn. This union would be blessed with three children. In 1959, the family moved to rural River Falls, Wisconsin. Here the Dunn’s added two more children to their family. Annie farmed alongside her husband until 1967 when Annie took a job off the farm. Her first job in the U.S. was at the Coachman Supper Club in Baldwin where she cooked. Then when the LaBon’s Truck Stop opened at Exit 4 of I-94 in 1969, Annie began working at the adjacent restaurant, the HiWay Inn. Annie worked there until her retirement in 1987 both as a dinner cook and as the kitchen manager. She loved her work there and the people who hired her, Kenneth Bonneville and Frank LaPlante. Throughout the years, Annie and Douglas traveled back to her native Norway, as well his native country, Great Britain, many times. They also hosted many relatives at their home here. Sadly, Douglas passed away in 1981. In 1985 Annie moved to Roberts. In 1987 she married Martin Paglusch. Her and Marty traveled and danced over the next year and a half until Marty passed away late in 1988. In 2000, she sold her home in Roberts and moved to Baldwin where she lived until she died.
Annie loved doing all kinds of baking and crafts. She spent thousands of hours knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, and ceramics. She even owned her own ceramics business in Baldwin with her friend, Marian Tillbury. Annie knitted caps for newborns for a St. Croix Falls hospital, over 1500 caps for cancer patients, donated afghans for auction for her church, gave area schools mittens, caps and scarves, crocheted Last Supper and Lord’s Prayer hangings for area churches, made lap robes for nursing home residents, made dishrags and potholders for Connecting Connection in Red Wing, and was always quick to give away freebies at the many craft sale she participated in. This past summer, the staff at Birchwood Apartments entered an afghan she had made into the senior class at the St. Croix County Fair where she earned a Blue Ribbon.
In addition to her crafting abilities, she also volunteered at the Baldwin Care Center, dancing with people in wheelchairs. She worked for some time with Aurora Residential Alternatives, taking a local lady who resided in a group home on shopping trips and excursions. Her favorite pastime in her later years was dancing. She was a regular customer at the Shoreview Supper Club in Amery each Wednesday evening and New Year’s Eve, dancing to the music of Jim Armstrong.
Annie loved her large family as well as her God. She was a faithful member of Marshall Lutheran Church in Adams, Minnesota, Rush River Lutheran Church in rural Baldwin, Cross Lutheran in Roberts, and finally, Peace Lutheran in rural Baldwin. She participated in the women’s groups as well as Bible studies. She often would be the first one at church on Sunday morning to make sure Pastor John had the paraments perfectly symmetrical.
Annie didn’t know how to swim and was actually scared of the water, but for the last years of her life she exercised by going to the therapeutic pool at Western Wisconsin Health 2-3 times a week until months before she died. She loved her pool family!
Annie was the only one of her immediate family to immigrate to the United States. She was a brave, generous, witty, sassy, creative, loving, caring, beautiful mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and friend.
Annie will remain in the hearts of her children, Helen (Dale) McKay of Woodville (formerly of Bellechester, MN); Karla (Dan) Solberg of Hudson, Darrell (Robin) of River Falls, Lisa (Kevin) Knutson of Baldwin and daughter-in-law, Sherry Peters of New Richmond. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Sarah (Celeste) Calkins, Travis (Desiree) McKay, David (Bridget) Solberg, Alesha (Keith) Butterfass, Ashley (James) Wilman, Heather Russell, Emily (Drew) Pierson, Brian (Rachel) Dunn, Joseph (Mary) Dunn, Rachel (Justin) Johnson, Douglas Dunn, Erik (Tristan Schwiechkowski), Bradley and Tyler (Kayla Pabst) Knutson. Annie leaves great-grandchildren, McKenzie and Trey McKay, Lexie, Alayna and Brekken Solberg, Cianna, Tovah, Rhilynn and Vaughn Butterfass, Shelby and Kolton Wilman, Haven and Quinn Russell, Ed and Myla Pierson, Owen and Logan Dunn, Declan Dunn, Tyson and Zoey Johnson. In Norway, she leaves one brother, Jakob of Sandnes and a sister-in-law, Lillian Bærheim of Stavanger. She leaves behind many nieces and nephews, both here and abroad, and a special cousin of Douglas’ in England, Stella (Tony) Jaques. She will be greatly missed by many friends, including her coffee group at Ann Crider Villa and Birchwood Apartments in Baldwin.
Annie is preceded in death by her parents, her husbands, K. Douglas Dunn and Martin Paglusch, her son Kenneth, her grandson, Roger McKay, her siblings and their spouses, Johan (Else) Bærheim, Selma (Gudmond) Storesund, Solveig (Johan) Amdal, Ingebret (Inger) Bærheim, Kristian (Liv) Bærheim, Lillian (Mangne) Vistnes and Ivar Bærheim and infant sister, Johanna, sister-in-law Margaret (Jim) Cook and brother-in-law, Lyle (Darlene) Dunn.
The family would like to thank the staff at Baldwin Care Center for her care in the past years. She had the opportunity to stay at all three facilities associated with the care center and their staff is caring and helpful to both residents and their families. The family would also like to thank the staff at Adoray Home Heath and Hospice for their care as well. Her last days were peaceful and free from pain.