Fern Marie Willis

Fern Willis Obituary

Fern Marie Frye Willis passed away peacefully at her residence at Our House in Richland Center WI on July 6th, 2022, at the age of 97 years.

Fern was born in Loyd, Wisconsin on the February 24, 1925. Her parents were Buford and Gertie Frye who owned the grocery store in Loyd for many years. She eloped with Leslie ‘Leck’ Willis and they married on July 21, 1941 in Kahoka, Missouri.

Fern and Leck ran a dairy farm on Smyth Hollow Road in Willow Township and raised their family there. Fern was a very active farm wife helping with milking and feeding calves as well as keeping a very neat home and enjoying her garden and mowing the lawn. After their son Vince and his wife Donnabel took over operation of the farm in 1972, Fern and Leck moved to Lime Ridge where they built a new home. Fern was a member of the United Brethren / EUB / United Methodist Church in Loyd where she was active teaching Sunday School and Bible School; singing in the choir and was a member of a close-knit group known as The Friendship Circle Class. After Fern and Leck moved to Lime Ridge, they transferred their membership to the UMC in Lime Ridge.

Fern was also active in ‘Helping Hands’ and 4H and enjoyed some upholstering and ceramics classes at Weston school where she made a beautiful Ceramic Nativity set that is still cherished today. Fern earned her GED at Weston and her certificate is dated on her birthday in 1978. She also managed the Senior Lunch Program for several years in Lime Ridge.

Leck and Fern enjoyed several bus tours in the US with some of their dear friends to include Bob and Phyliss Hanko, Gordon and Mildred Wastlick, and Ike and Elaine Smelcer. Lots of laughter could be heard when they were together. After Leck passed in 1991, Fern travelled to Spain with her daughter Linda to see her grandson, Bruce. She also made a trip to Singapore with her granddaughter Brenda to visit her son Don and his family.

Fern was preceded by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. B.K. Frye and by her beloved husband, ‘Leck’, brothers Donald, Gail, and Gilbert, and brother-in-law Gilman.

Fern is survived by her sisters, Darlene Moe, Beverly (Lemuel Jr.) Miller and Shirley (Arnold) Ludwig; sister-in-law: Jane Frye; son Vincent (Donnabel, nee Fritz) of Willow Township; her daughter Linda Kay (Raul) Garcia of Coolidge AZ; and her son Don (Shirley, nee Hildebrandt) of Menomonee Falls, WI; grandchildren: David, Dan (Marj), and Tim (Kris) Willis; Brenda Kay Harper Schuelke (Chris) and Bruce Harper (Vero); and Joel (Sara) and Molly Willis Bries (Ryan); great-grandchildren: Cody, Sawyer, Stephanie, Nell, Sarah, Logan, Carissa, Isaiha, Wyatt, Leslie and Will; great-great-grandchildren: Gavin, Landen, Taylor, Payton, Maisyn, Russ and Audrey.

A special thanks to the ‘Angels’ of St Croix Hospice and Our House who cared for Mom and loved her.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, July 15, 2022 at 11:00 AM at the Pratt Memorial Chapel. Burial will be held in the Loyd Cemetery at a later date. Visitation will be held on Friday, July 15, 2022, at the Pratt Memorial Chapel from 9:30 AM until the time of the service at 11:00 AM. If you wish to honor Fern with a memorial, please give to the church or charity of your choice in her memory. The Pratt Funeral and Cremation Service is assisting the family with their arrangements.