Draper Mortuary

811 North Mountain Ave, Ontario, CA


Ida Mae M. Dresen

May 29, 1923July 13, 2019

Ida Mae completed her journey on earth July 13, 2019 at the age of 96. She was born 29 May 1923 in Manitowoc, Manitowoc County, WI. She was the eldest child of Nels Nordahl Peterson and Susanna (Susan) Maria Karolina Prehn Bleichwehl Peterson. Her siblings were Suzanne Marcella (Sue) Peterson Anderson and brother Robert Nordahl (Bob) Peterson. Her Bleichwehl brothers and sisters were Norris, Helen, Walter, Elenor, Wilhemena (Minette), Erhardt (Gay) and Florence (Flo) Bleichwehl and Norris Theodore Peterson. They all preceded her in death, including her beloved husband Bill of 41 years.

Ida Mae was born prematurely at 8 months and often talked about her childhood. Her mother died when she was 13, so childhood days ended at an early age. Being the oldest at home, her duties became a caregiver for her younger siblings and most household chores fell on her. Money was is in short supply, so she soon left home to work and live at residences where she was employed. She had a work permit and attended school at the same time.

When she was 15 years old, Ida Mae met William "Bill" Howard Dresen at a bowling alley in Racine Wisconsin which she said changed the rest of her life. Ida Mae was working for a family as a maid and one evening she and her girl friend had walked to a local bowling alley where her girl friend bowled and that is where she was first introduced to Bill by her friend. Bill walked her to what he initially thought was her home, and was very impressed at her apparent prosperity, but he was quickly informed of the facts. She saw her girl friend later and told her to have him call, which he did and from there the relationship grew. WWII had just broken out and Bill got his notice to serve his country. After a few months Bill got a leave and came back to Wisconsin where they married 25 Mar 1944 and went to Deming New Mexico where Ida Mae got pregnant with her first child. Bill shipped out for overseas duty while Ida Mae returned to Racine to live with Bill's parents.

Bill served overseas in Japan and the Philippines. After his discharge in 1946, he returned to Racine and they had their second child and then moved to California in September of 1949, following his folks who had moved there earlier. They lived with Bill's parents at their chicken ranch in Upland California in the general area of San Antonio Hospital in Ontario California. After a few years, they moved to 730 East J Street in Ontario, and with two more children they moved into a larger home at 5563 Berkeley Street in Montclair. Bill and Ida Mae retired and then they moved into Casa Volente Mobile Home Park in Rancho Cucamonga. A few years after Bill's death in 1985, Ida Mae moved to Valencia Commons in Rancho Cucamonga. In 2008 Ida Mae moved to Sunny Acres Retirement Home in Thornton Colorado to be close to her two youngest children and she also resided in Elms Haven Center in Thornton Colorado. At the time of her passing, she was a resident of Avamere Malley in Thornton Colorado. She was widowed for over 30 years.

Ida Mae and Bill had four children, 3 who survived her. Nancy and husband Paul Hinson of Evening Shade Arkansas, Gregg and wife Terry Dresen of Hartsel Colorado, Sharon Long of Boulder Colorado and Matt Long of Texas. Suzanne (Sue) preceded her in death, her husband Bob MacKain of Rancho Cucamonga California survives. She was a loving grandmother, great grandmother and great great-grandmother. She was grandmother of 9 (Jeff, Kevin, Keith, Todd, Erik, Nichole, Ashley, Katie, Ryan,), 7 great-grandchildren (Tyler, Zack, Gloria, Nathan, Jonathan, Delaney, Luca, Gianna, Charolette, Jameson), 4 step great grandchildren (Bryan, Jason, Sienna, Daniel), 2 great-great- grandchildren (Jaelyn, Marley) and 2 step great-great grandchildren (Troy, Emily).

A homemaker for many years, she worked for Western Union in Racine Wisconsin as a teletype operator. She worked as a book keeper at International Harvester in Pomona California, at Sears in Pomona in the collections department, at Graber Olives in Ontario during the Christmas holidays and retired from David & Margret Home in La Verne California. She also worked for Stark Reality in Rancho Cucamonga and volunteered for Travelers Aid Society at the Ontario Airport.

She was a devoted Lutheran, being a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Ontario California, Trinity Lutheran Church in Montclair California and Shepherd of the Hills in Rancho Cucamonga California.

She loved plants, flowers, many church activities, sewing and crafts including toll painting. Her family was the most important thing in her life.

Interment will be at Bellevue Mausoleum, with her husband William (Bill), On Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 12:30p.m.

Donations can be made to your favorite charity in Ida Mae's name.


  • Graveside Service

    Saturday, July 27, 2019


Ida Mae M. Dresen

have a memory or condolence to add?


Learn more about the Dresen name