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In Memory of Fern Willson

Fern M. Willson, age 76, of Hudson, WI, passed away on March 10, 2021.

Fern was born on April 21, 1944 in Ames, IA to Frank and Freda (Heeney) Riecken. She grew up in Ames and graduated from Ames High School, the class of 1962. She later went on to begin her studies at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA. In 1977, she met Larry Willson II, and later that year, on March 17, 1977, they were united in marriage. They relocated to Minnesota, where Fern finished her undergraduate degree in Social Work at Normandale Community College and the University of Minnesota, eventually obtaining her Masters in Social Work from the University of Minnesota. She obtained her License of Social Work and worked for over 20 years as a Children & Family Therapist for Dakota County.

Fern and Larry were blessed with a son, Mark, and together they enjoyed traveling to the warm destinations of Florida, Palm Springs, and La Quinta. Later, when Mark moved to California, she enjoyed trips to visit him and his family.

When not working, she was an avid reader of mysteries and biographies. She cherished trips to the library and her weekly book clubs, until her health declined and she was no longer able. Fern was very into physical fitness and exercise, taking great care of her physical appearance. She enjoyed going for walks with their Labrador Retrievers, and the emphasis she placed on her health allowed her to successfully manage her Type I diabetes, complication free. She was also an accomplished seamstress, creating beautiful quilts and even some of her own clothes. She enjoyed watching movies, theater, fine dining, and cooking Italian food with her husband.

Fern was an intellectual introvert, relishing in quiet time spent at home with her family and close friends. She was a skillful listener from her many years in social work, and achieved respite from a stressful job through relaxing, home-cooked meals, and quality time with those she loved most.

She is survived by her husband, Larry of Hudson, WI; son, Mark (Leslie) Young of Torrance, CA; and granddaughter, Molly Marie Young. She is preceded in death by her parents.

Per the family’s request, no formal services will be held.

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