Windom Raymond Dale Willard, age 80, went to be with Jesus on Feb. 18, 2017 at The Good Samaritan Home in Windom. He was born July 9, 1936 on the Hudson farm near Rodman, Iowa, in Pocahontas County, to Raymond and Luella (Buck) Willard.
In 1944 they moved to the Mears farm near Mountain Lake. He attended Sanborn Lutheran School, Mountain Lake Country School, and Comfrey High School.
Ray (Bubby) was the third of seven children. His sibling are Donald, Lydia, Dennis, Linda, Lois and Keith.
In 1956 Ray joined the U.S. Air Force. On June 6, 1959, while he was home on leave to visit his dying father, he married Edith Mueller, whom he met through letter writing. They were married in the Old Country Church near Mountain Lake. Ede went with him to Petaluma, California, when he returned from his leave. Their first child, Rebecca, was born there in May 1960. Ray was wounded in Formosa, Taiwan during the Korean Conflict while serving as an aircraft mechanic. Some of his friends were killed in the attack.
When Ray's enlistment was up, he and his family moved back to Minnesota. Ray worked for Harry Marks on a farm near Delavan for two years and then worked with Albert Hermann as his hired man for twenty years. Ronald was born in 1962, Annette was born in 1967, and Stephen was born in 1972. When Albert Hermann retired in 1980, Ray, Ede, Ron, Annette and Steve moved to Butterfield, where Ray worked for Nels Pierson for a short time. He worked for Balzer, Inc., in Mountain Lake and then People's Express until he retired. Ray loved his wife, enjoyed being with his family, and had many friends.
He was very involved in the churches they attended. He served as Deacon, Trustee, and Sunday School Teacher. Ray and Ede sang many duets together through the years at the Delavan Baptist Church, in Delavan, First Baptist Church, in Blue Earth, and Cornerstone Bible Church, in Mountain Lake. He was also a member of the Mountain Lake VFW.
Ray is survived by his wife of 57 years, Ede; daughter, Becky (Steve) Robbins, son, Ron (Leslie), daughter, Annette Wilson, and son, Steve (Robyn); grandchildren, Dan (Mandy) Robbins, Jennie (Darren) Esser, Danielle (Rusty) Larson, Heather Jo (Ryan) Creighton, Kylie (Louis) Norell, Faith Willard, Madison Willard, Cody Willard, Kate Wilson, and Kelsey Wilson; great-grandchildren, Bella and Javen Larson and Grace Robbins; siblings, Lois (Jerry) Matthews, brother, Keith Willard; sisters-in-law, MaryLou Willard and Linda Willard; cousins, nieces and nephews, and numerous friends.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Don and Dennis and sisters, Linda and Lydia.
A Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at Cornerstone Bible Church in Mountain Lake. Visitation will be held on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 from 4-7 p.m. and one hour prior to the service at Cornerstone Bible Church, 1019 Prince Street, Mountain Lake. Burial with military honors will follow the service at EMB Cemetery.