William E. ‘Bill’ Willard, of Cassopolis

Published 9:50 am Thursday, April 7, 2016

Oct. 22, 1941 — April 5, 2016

William E. “Bill” Willard, age 74, of Cassopolis, died Tuesday, April 5, 2016, at his residence.

William E. “Bill” Willard

William E. “Bill” Willard

He was born Oct. 22, 1941, in Niles, Michigan to Jesse “Dick” and Leona (Bickel) Willard. He married Laura Lee Fitzgerald June 5, 1999, in Cassopolis, Michigan. She survives.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Ed Willard.

Bill loved his kids and grandkids. He lived his entire life in Cassopolis and “wasn’t going anywhere else.” He was an all-around athlete, playing football, basketball, and baseball in high school.

Bill was a known for helping anyone in need. The family loves teasing about Bill mowing everyone’s lawn on M-62 from Cassopolis to Edwardsburg. He retired from Mobile Facility Engineering in Cassopolis. He loved spoiling his dog, Shooter, especially when he took him through the drive through at McDonalds for a burger and a shake.

Bill will be greatly missed by family and friends. He is survived by his wife, Laura (Fitzgerald) Willard of Cassopolis; one daughter, Christina (husband, Gary) Baker of Grand Junction, Michigan; one son, William A. Willard of Niles; four grandchildren, Robert William Kocsis of Chandler, Arizona, Sara (husband, Joshua) Leary of Hastings, Michigan, Kailey (husband, Brendon) Noble of Mattawan, Michigan, Erik Baker of Battle Creek, Michigan; four great grandchildren, Kallie Leary, Tristen Leary, Olivia Leary, Hallie Noble; his step mother, Juanita (husband, Russ) Poehlman of Ocala, Florida; one half sister, Virginia (husband, Robert) Lach of Warren, Michigan; two half brothers, Guy “Butch” (wife, Theresa) Willard of Niles, Jack (wife, Debra) Willard of Georgia; four half siblings in Florida; a host of nieces and nephews; and his dog, Shooter.

Family and friends will gather Saturday, April 9, 2016, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. for a time of sharing memories and telling stories in Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, 202 North Broadway Street, Cassopolis.

The family prefers contributions be made in Bill’s memory to Cass County Council on Aging, Post Office Box 5, Cassopolis, Michigan 49031.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, Cassopolis. Please share a memory or a message online: wagnercares.com.