Dorothy Ellen (Eaton) Ahlgren age 93, of Prescott, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully on January 24, 2022 in the Memory Care unit at Woodland Hill in Hudson, Wisconsin.
Dorothy was born on January 18, 1929, in Ellsworth, Wisconsin to Curtis Eaton and Dora (Husfloen) Eaton. At age four she moved with her family to Prescott, Wisconsin. She graduated from Prescott High School in 1946, and subsequently graduated from the University of Wisconsin—River Falls in 1950 with a Bachelor’s Degree in biology and a double minor in math and German. She worked at Mayo Clinic’s research labs before marrying Gordon Dean Ahlgren in 1950, raising six children and running a family farm together on the bluffs of the Saint Croix River north of Prescott.
Dorothy returned to school in 1965 and earned a Master’s in Library Science with honors from University of Wisconsin—River Falls in 1968. She was employed 1968-1989 by the Dakota County Library System as Branch Librarian at the Hastings, Minnesota Library, where she was Head Librarian for many years. After retirement Dorothy continued with the Dakota County Library System for a year or two to transfer files and assist in setting up a computerized file system. She and her life-long friend Mary (Cotter) Beeler also began writing A History of Prescott, Wisconsin at this time.
Dorothy was an avid volunteer. She served as President of both the Prescott Chapter of the Pierce County Historical Association, and the county-wide Pierce County Historical Association. She was instrumental in the establishment of Prescott’s Welcome and Heritage Center on Main Street and worked with the committee to keep the building as a Historical Center.
Dorothy Ahlgren served on the board of the Great River Road Interpretive Center at Freedom Park and gave one of the first donations to kickstart fundraising for the restoration of the native plants on the bluffs at Freedom Park, aided recently by goats to remove hearty invasive plant species.
Dorothy aided in the rebirth of the Prescott Area Garden Club, established a flower garden at the entrance to Pine Glen Cemetery, and was instrumental in the downtown hanging basket and planter beautification projects.
In 1996, Dorothy and Mary Cotter Beeler published their co-authored A History of Prescott, Wisconsin, a six-year volunteer effort that won the Wisconsin Historical Society Book Award of Merit. Pioneer Log Houses of Pierce County, their second history, is currently in preparation for publication.
In recognition of their civic contributions, Dorothy and co-author Mary Beeler were selected as 1997 Prescott Daze Grand Marshals. In 2016 they were selected as two of seven inaugural inductees into the Prescott Hall of Fame.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband Gordon, sister Marlys Fiedler (Leland), brother Clair Eaton (Dorothy), daughter Carol Ahlgren-Mueske, son Chris Ahlgren, grandson Nicholas Ahlgren, and daughter-in-law Roxanne Harer. She is survived by her brother Harley Eaton (Charlotte), daughter Susan Ahlgren Van Sant, son Richard Ahlgren, daughter Mary Ahlgren Taylor, son Jon Ahlgren, son-in-law Mark Mueske, as well as grandchildren Mary and Samantha Van Sant, Michael Ahlgren, Mallory Taylor, Joseph, Jesse, and Leah Ahlgren, and great-grandchildren Gordon Van Sant, Rembrandt Dantuma, and Paige Ahlgren.
A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 pm April 30, at United Church of Christ, 206 Locust St. N, Prescott, Wisconsin. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Interment at Pine Glen Cemetery, followed by fellowship at Freedom Park picnic pavilion.
Memorials in honor of Dorothy Ahlgren can be directed to the Prescott Area Historical Association, Freedom Park (Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center), or an organization of a person’s choice.
Services are entrusted to O’Connell Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Prescott, www.oconnellfuneralservices.com, 715-262-5404