Gordon Willson, age 93, of Rice Lake, WI, died Monday, March 1, 2021.

He was born on June 2, 1927 in Cresco, Iowa to Leo and Mary (Hyberger) Willson.  Gordon attended school at Hesper #4 in Hesper, Iowa and Catholic School in Cresco, Iowa, helped on the family farm and then was drafted in the United States Army, served in the Korean Conflict and later Honorably Discharged with a Purple Heart. He was married to Dorothy Farnsworth on August 23, 1950 in Decorah, Iowa.  

Gordy owned Willson Construction from 1955-1970 in Appleton, WI.  He moved his family to Rice Lake, where he and his brother-in-law, Al Schissel started Shadow Plastics in Rice Lake and later became Vice President of operations.  

Gordy was an integral part of getting the Aquafest off the ground in the early 70’s. He was a proud member of the Golden K, on the board of directors for RCU in Rice Lake, Knights of Columbus and Rice Lake Elk’s Lodge.  

Gordy was very proud that he went on the Honor Flights to Washington D.C. and was also very active in the Rice Lake Veteran Honor Guard and VFW.  He loved baked beans, square dancing and woodworking (carvings, outhouses and furniture). Gordy volunteered at the Lakeview Medical Center in the Dialysis Department and installed Lifeline services for the handicapped and elderly.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Willson of Rice Lake; six children, Pete (Mary Pat) Willson of Barronett, WI, Janet (Byron) Binstock of Sarona, WI, Mary (Michael) Romportl of Rhinelander, WI, Wendy Willson (Lori Luedtke) of Phoenix, AZ, Trisha (Michael) Willger of Pensacola, FL and Amy (Scott) Samp of New Richmond, WI; 12 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; eight step-grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; a brother, Dennis (Mary) Willson of Marion, Iowa; two sisters, Marion (Al) Schissel of Rice Lake and Martha Samuelson of Decorah, Iowa; many nephews and nieces.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Mary Willson; three sisters, Rita Lansing, Maddy Wise and Gretchen Bucheit.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:00 p.m. Friday, May 28, 2021 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rice Lake, Father Ed Anderson officiating, with interment and military rites accorded him by the Rice Lake Veteran Honor Guard in Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spooner, WI.  

Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on Friday, May 28 at the church.  

Appleyard’s Home for Funerals in Rice Lake is in charge of the arrangements.

The family wants to sincerely thank the amazing staff at Dove Health Care for their wonderful, loving care.

In lieu of flowers, memorials would be appreciated to the Rice Lake VFW, 1404 Macaulay Ave., Rice Lake, WI 54868.

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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