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In Memory of Paul Willink


Visitation will be Friday, September 15 from 4 PM to 6 PM at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home in Baldwin as well as one hour prior to the service at the church Saturday afternoon

Funeral Services

2 PM, Saturday, September 16 at the First United Presbyterian Church in Baldwin

Paul Charles Willink passed away peacefully at the Baldwin Care Center on Monday, September 4, 2017 in Baldwin, Wisconsin at the age of 87. Paul was born on February 5, 1930 in Baldwin, Wisconsin, the son of Arnold and Dorothy Willink. He graduated from Baldwin High School in 1948, attended Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and then transferred to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduating with a degree in music education. He married Thelma Erickson of Hudson in December of 1953. Over the next few years, Paul and Thelma welcomed two children, Mark and Paula, into their home. Paul taught both choral and instrumental music in Siren, Elmwood, Waunakee, and Baldwin. While teaching in Waunakee, he completed his Masters of Music degree at University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1960, he returned to Baldwin and taught music at the middle and high school levels until 1974. At that time, he opened Willink Music Center, which he owned and operated until his retirement.

Paul was an accomplished musician, artist, set designer, sign painter, woodworker and picture framer. He served his community by establishing a community band and men’s chorus. Paul was a church organist from the time he was a teenager well into his later life. His greatest pleasure came from sharing his music with others and bringing his creative talents to life. Paul was a gentle man full of compassion and welcomed everyone. His sense of humor brought a smile to those around him.

Paul is survived by his children, Mark (Debbie) Willink of Baldwin and Paula (Phillip) Klacan of River Falls; grandchildren, David (Susie) Willink, Jonathan (Mary) Willink, Katherine (Dain) Schilling, and Grant Klacan; great-grandchildren, Greta, Charlie, Francesca, Louisa, Dorothy, Ingrid, and Amelia; loving companion, Ida. He is preceded in death by his loving wife, Thelma; parents, Arnold and Dorothy (Snoeyenbos) Willink; and brothers, Donald and Robert.

Celebration of Paul’s life will be 2 PM, Saturday, September 16 at the First Presbyterian Church in Baldwin. Visitation will be Friday, September 15 from 4 PM to 6 PM at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Baldwin as well as one hour prior to the service at the church Saturday afternoon. Burial will be in the Baldwin Cemetery. Memorials received will be directed to the Paul and Thelma Willink Scholarship fund at Baldwin-Woodville High School.

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Paul's Tribute Wall

Tributes (7):

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    • I will not forget the musical foundations Paul provided when he started me in piano lessons and directed our 5th-6th grade band. Even his occasional subbing for the high school choir was so notable, I distinctly remember it. Only a few people probably knew how amazing his set building skills were, particularly in BW’s production of Wizard of Oz. His abilities were so diverse—he was skilled as an organist, visual artist, carpenter and business owner. Those who had their piano tuned by Paul would hear his amazing rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow as the finale. I remember listening as a ten year old and thinking, “I want to be like that.” Baldwin will deeply miss one of the most remarkable people it has ever known.

    • May the God of all Comfort be with you at this difficult time. Keeping all family members in my daily thoughts and prayers. I enjoyed watching Paul play the organ/piano and sing in the First Presbyterian Church throughout my childhood years. Paul’s music store was always a great adventure I shared with my mother. Later in life, he also helped restore my mother’s childhood piano. His passion for music was contagious and know that his is enjoying heaven’s great music right now. Deepest sympathies.

    • I have so many wonderful memories of this special man; a family friend, my band teacher, father to my friend Paula, and a loving community member who shared his musical gifts with so many. His impact was great. My sympathy to his family, he willl be so missed.

    • Paul and Thelma were both my favorite teachers. Wonderful mentors that believed in me. They live on not only in the memories and hearts of their family that love them, but also in the many, many they taught in love. God bless.

    • My sincere condolences to the family and friends, so sorry for your loss. Please find comfort in knowing that Jehovah God will soon resurrect our dear loved ones (John 5:28-29). Oh how we long for the time when pain, suffering and death will be no more, these former things will have passed away (Revelation 21:3-5).

    • “The Biggest Little Town in Wisconsin,” lost one it’s community Pillars!

      May you Rest In Peace, “Mr. Willink.”

      Condolences and God’s Speed, to the family.