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Wilma "Billie" Nadeau

Wilma "Billie" Nadeau

Aug. 22, 1918 - June 26, 2013

NEW LONDON - Wilma “Billie” Nadeau, 94 of New London, died Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at the GlenOaks Care Center in New London. Funeral services will be 1:00 p.m. Saturday, June 29, 2013 at First Lutheran Church of Norway Lake near New London. Burial will be in the Colfax Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Friday at the Johnson Funeral Home in New London and for one hour prior to the service at the church.

Wilma “Billie” Nadeau, the oldest of five children and only daughter born to William and Dagny Thorie, was born on August 22, 1918 in Ostrander, Minnesota.

Born to first generation Norwegians, Wilma’s first language was Norwegian, learning English when she started school. The Thorie family moved to Red Wing, Minnesota, where Wilma graduated from high school in 1936. After graduation, Wilma moved to Lake City, Minnesota, where she worked at Collins Drug Store.

When WW II broke out, Wilma decided to follow in the foot steps of her father (who served in WW I) and two brothers who were serving overseas. She was called into active military service in 1943, serving in the Women’s Auxiliary Army Core (WAAC) from 1943-1945. After receiving her basic training in Des Moines, Iowa, Wilma was stationed as a medical supply clerk at the Randolph Air Force Field Hospital in Texas. After a year in Texas, she signed up for overseas duty and was assigned to the Royal Air Force Station in Warrington, England. In her role as a corporal, she worked with classified information regarding the arrival and departure of ships and planes.

After Wilma’s discharge from the military, she relocated to Minneapolis where she worked for an insurance company. Wilma married Byron Nadeau in 1947 and they resided in Minneapolis, becoming the parents of four daughters.

In 1953, they moved to New London, Minnesota. Wilma was always an active church member serving in various roles, teaching Sunday School and participating in women’s groups. She was proud of her Norwegian heritage. Each year Wilma celebrated with her friends Syttende Mai, the Norwegian Independence Day.

Wilma enjoyed her roles as a busy homemaker, wife and mother. Her hobbies included being an avid reader and watching sports. For the past fifteen years Wilma lived on the Glen Oaks Campus. One of her favorite pastimes at Glen Oaks was watching the wildlife and feeding the deer. Billie was so thankful to be living at GlenOaks, because of all the wonderful love and care she received from the staff.

She will be remembered by her friends and family for giving encouragement through her many cards and notes.

Wilma is survived by three daughters: Betty (John) McGuire, Barbara (Mylo) Downing, and Bonnie Jacobs; grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law and brother-in-law; nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Byron; daughter Becky Meis; parents; four brothers: Wendell, Harold, Herbert, and Jennings Thorie.