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Dice Ganje

June 17, 1932 ~ June 15, 2018 (age 85)

Delores “Dice” Ganje

June 17, 1932 – June 15, 2018  (85)

 

Delores “Dice” Ganje was the youngest of nine children born to John and Ann Starkey Maloney.  Dice was born on a farm outside of Forada.  She grew up in Alexandria, graduating from Alexandria High School in 1950.  Dice furthered her education by earning her nursing degree at St. Gabriel’s in Little Falls. 

Dice and Bennie Ganje were joined in marriage in 1953.  Dice and Bennie lived in Alexandria their entire lives, raising three children:  Gregg, Lynn, and Gary.  They had a loving relationship built on respect and trust.  Together, they created a family space that was nurturing and full of love.  Dice and Bennie were the epitome of a husband and wife.  They supported and cared deeply for each other. 

Dice spent the years while her children were growing continuing her nursing career.  She served as a private duty nurse, taught for the Alexandria Technical School, and served Knute Nelson Memorial Home for 33 years as charge nurse, Assistant Director of Nursing, and Director of Nursing.  Under Dice’s leadership at Knute Nelson, multiple building projects were undertaken that included numerous expansions to Knute Nelson, the construction of the Senator, and the construction of Nelson Gables.  Dice was known to set high standards to ensure the delivery of quality, compassionate care. Besides working full time, Dice spent countless hours volunteering serving her community, church, and profession.  She taught phy-ed at St. Mary’s School when it first opened, was one of the founders of the CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) program, and served on multiple church committees.  She was known as a pioneer in long-term care.  Dice was a founding member and the first president of MNDONA (Minnesota Director of Nursing Association) and recognized by her peers as the Nursing Director of the Year in 1998.   Dice also enjoyed participating in her longstanding bridge club, Zetetic club, monthly birthday club, Alexandria Fire Department Auxiliary, Daughters of Isabella, and the St. Mary’s Women’s Guild. 

Dice had many interests.  You could always find her following her favorite sports teams.  The Vikings, Twins, and Gophers have lost a faithful fan.  Dice cherished her time playing cards and games with her children and grandchildren.  For Dice, family came first and trumped everything else.  To her, time with her grandchildren was sacred.  Dice savored summers on Lake Miltona.  She delighted in planning parties and activities for the grandchildren, preparing a family meal, sharing a burger in Leaf Valley or planning a family outing to Chets Lake Side Inn.  Her Irish heritage was an important part of her life.  Dice often played Celtic music and always prepared a St. Patrick’s Day meal of only green food.  She was a master present wrapper.  Many people would drop off Christmas presents for Dice to wrap because you could never see a piece of tape and all of the paper patterns were aligned. 

Dice is survived by her children Gregg (Toni O’Toole) Ganje, Lynn (Steve) Irons, Gary (Janet) Ganje; her grandchildren Chelsea (Jameson) Spooner, Ben Ganje, Ashley Irons, Kellan Ganje, Megan (Eddie) Rogosheske; great-grandchild Marie Spooner, and sisters-in-law Mary Rajdl and Rose Ann Maloney.

Dice is preceded in death by her husband Bennie, her parents, and siblings:  Agnes Moe, Elizabeth (Liz) Olson, Mary Quast, John Maloney, Al Maloney, Gene Maloney, Marian Maloney, and Margaret Torgerson.

The family would like to thank the staff of Nelson Gables, and Knute Nelson Hospice for the kind care shown to Dice over the past three years.  The family is also grateful for Rita Winters as a lifelong friend to Dice and Bennie. 

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM at the Anderson Funeral Home with a Parish Prayer Service at 4:00 PM.  Visitation will continue on Thursday, June 21, 2018, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM at St. Mary's Catholic Church with a Mass of Christian Burial at 4:00 PM at St. Mary's.  Inurnment will be at St. Mary's Cemetery.

Comments from Dice’s retirement are a tribute to her legacy:  To some she was a teacher, to some she was a counselor, to some she was a nurse, to some she was an executive director, to some she was an advocate, and to three fortunate people she was a mother. 

 

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