Willard Charles Greene, age 95 of Hager City, Wisconsin, went to be with the Lord on October 30, 2018 due to multiple health complications.
He was born June 25, 1923 to Lester and Grace (Sanford) Greene. Willard was united in marriage to Ruth (Lombard) on August 25, 1950. She was the love of his life for 68 years. They were blessed with four children: Sandra, Mary, Audrey and Mark.
Willard grew up in La Farge, Wisconsin where he attended school. During his last few months of high school, he filled in as a band director. Following graduation from High School, he went to La Crosse Vocational School to acquire education and skills as a machinist. His first job was at Rock Island Arsenal as a machinist.
On February 6, 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the 88th Infantry Division, called the Blue Devil Division, and served as a Rifle-Marksman. His military deployment took him to Anzio and Cassino, Italy. While in Minturno, Italy, Willard sustained two combat injuries. As a result of these injuries he was transferred to Schick General Hospital in Clinton Iowa for about 6 months.
For his service he was awarded 2 Purple Hearts, Croix de Guerre, Combat Infantryman Badge, Cross of Lorraine, Bronze Star, Meritorious Unit Emblem, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Honorable Service Lapel Medal, and Medaille Commemorative de la Campaign d’ Italie.
He worked at Tomah VA Hospital, Camp McCoy as a Technical Instructor and then transferred to La Farge Post Office as a Rural Mail Carrier. After 30 years of civil service, Willard had to retire on disability because of his war related injuries.
The family enjoyed taking vacations to the western states in the summer and to Florida in the winter.
Willard enjoyed many hobbies after retirement including clock repair, fishing, hunting, woodworking and water skiing. Being active in church he served on the board, drove bus and played guitar in the orchestra. They spent 10 winters in Florida near Audrey and family.
Willard and Ruth moved to Rapid City, South Dakota in 1985 and enjoyed living there very much. They returned to Wisconsin in 2006, settling near Hager City.
On September 22, 2012 he went on the “Freedom Honor Flight” to Washington DC with his son Mark as “Guardian” to visit the war memorials. This was a special day!
Willard leaves behind his wife Ruth, 4 children, 13 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and a cousin Harold Green. He was preceded in death by his parents and 2 brothers, Theron and LaVerne Green.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to missions through Valley View Assembly of God, 305 W. Grant Street, Lake City, MN 55041
A Funeral Celebration of Life for Willard Greene will be held at 10:30am on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at the Valley View Assembly of God, 305 W. Grant Street in Lake City, MN with Pastor Orin Sandberg officiating.
Visitation will be held one hour prior to services at the church, and also from 5:00-7:00pm on Friday, November 9, 2018 at the O’Connell-Benedict Funeral Home, 130 N. Grant Street in Ellsworth, WI.
On Saturday at 2:15pm, Willard will be buried at the Trenton Cemetery in Hager City, WI. Full military honors will be provided.
Services have been entrusted to the O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home of Ellsworth, WI. 715-273-4421