Raymond Dale Willard, 93, of Hoopeston, IL, formerly of rural Rossville, IL, passed away at 6:08 A.M. Saturday September 1, 2018 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. He was born on February 1, 1925, at his family’s home in rural Rossville, IL, the son of Dale H. and Edna (Heaton) Willard. He married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Ann Morgan, on January 20, 1946, at the bride’s home in Rossville. She survives in Hoopeston.
He is also survived by one daughter, Ann (Charles) Potter of Henry, TN; two sons, Steve (Jane) Willard of Rossville, IL and Mark (Susan) Willard of Rossville, IL; 9 grandchildren, Matt (Nichole) Willard, Allen (Trisha) Willard, Sarah (Carey) Aubrey, Charles “Bud” (Kristina) Potter, Molly Potter, Robert (Kristin) Potter, Thomas (Rebecca) Potter, Andrea (Dan) Buechsenschuetz, and Allison Willard; 11 great-grandchildren, Evan, Aryn, and Dane Willard, Mason, Morgan, and Oliver Willard, Torin Willard-Hays, Amelia and Isaac Buechsenschuetz, Kaitlyn and Elliott Potter, and Emery and Madeline Potter.
He was preceded in death by his parents; 2 sisters, Alice Tuggle Culbert and Jeanne Rife; one brother, Donald Willard; and one great-grandchild, Andi Mae Willard.
Ray farmed the family farm for 42 years. In 1976, he started a farm partnership with his sons. He served in the United States Army Air Force from October 1943-November 1945 in Italy as a nose gunner on a B-24. He was a member of the Antioch Church of Christ in rural Rossville. He served on the Rossville School Board for 13 years and was instrumental in the unification of the Rossville and Alvin school districts. Ray also helped form the Rossville Fire Protection district. He was a past 4-H leader of the Antioch 4-H Club and volunteered at the Rossville Historical Society. He enjoyed fishing, golfing, and woodworking. Ray especially enjoyed making barn siding creations.
A visitation will be held 5:00 – 7:00 P.M. Tuesday September 4, 2018 at Anderson Funeral Home 427 E. Main St. Hoopeston, IL. The funeral service will be held at 11:00 A.M. Wednesday September 5, 2018 at the funeral home, with Pastor Kevin Purdy officiating. Burial will follow in Rossville Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Rossville American Legion Post #733, the Rossville Historical Society, or the Rossville Fire Protection District.
Please visit www.anderson-funeral-home.com to view Ray’s eternal tribute page and to send the family condolences.
Anderson Funeral Home in Hoopeston is handling the arrangements.