Foster County Independent - The Official Newspaper for Foster County

Obituary: Howard Willyard


August 1, 2022

Howard "Jerry" Willyard

Howard Willyard

Howard "Jerry" Willyard hails from the sturdy stock of North Dakota. Born on March 2, 1930, in Carrington, N.D., Jerry died on July 7, 2022, at the age of 92, at his residence in the senior living community of Arlington Place, Oelwein, Iowa.

Jerry was the salt of the earth; an unpretentious, strong, direct, steady and contented man. He raised two exceptional children and enjoyed an enviable, lifelong, loving marriage. He understood there are no greater rewards in life.

Jerry's passions were his family, golf, friends, cribbage, poker, Euchre and more golf. He also enjoyed woodworking, taking care of his yard and building an HO model railroad for the enjoyment of his friends and grandkids.

He was a member of the North Dakota National Guard, a veteran of the Korean War (1951-1952) and was awarded two Purple Hearts and various other commendations. Jerry is also the much-envied holder of three Aces (holes-in-one), and played in the storied, annual Waukon Golf Invitational for 30 years.

His 39-year profession in the LP gas business took his family to Carrington, N.D.; Lewiston, Minn.; Rushford, Minn.; Waverly, Iowa; New Hampton, Iowa; Waukon, Iowa and back to Rushford, where he retired from Cenex/Land O' Lakes in 1992.

After retirement, the Willyards moved to Oelwein to be closer to family. Jerry looked forward every spring and fall to helping his son-in-law, Ronnie Graf, with the planting and harvesting of corn and beans.

Jerry won the lottery when he met and married Arliss Aldrich from Carrington, N.D., on November 9, 1952. Arliss died on October 9, 2019, and she and Jerry have been patiently waiting to be reunited. With Arliss, is when Jerry has always been most at peace.

Jerry is survived by daughter, Sandra Graf of Oelwein; son, Montel (Lori) Willyard of West Des Moines, Iowa; granddaughter, Jennifer (Ron) Worrell of Cedar Falls, Iowa; grandson, Shane Galligan of Ankeny, Iowa; great-grandchildren, Samantha (Jason) Grill of Aplington, Iowa; Jamie Worrell of Cedar Falls; Henry and Claudia Galligan of Ankeny; great-great-grandchildren, Orion, Juniper, Birdie and Flora Grill of Aplington; brothers, Alan (Cynthia) Willyard of Carrington, N.D., and James (Mary) Willyard, of Anoka, Minn.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Arliss; son-in-law, Ronnie Graf; brothers, Edward, Wells and George and his parents, Warren and Edythe (Zink) Willyard.

Visitation was from 9:00-11:00 a.m. on Wednesday July 13, 2022, at the Geilenfeld-Buehner Funeral Home in Oelwein. Military honors were at 10:45 a.m., with funeral services at 11:00 a.m., with Pastor Josh Schunk officiating.


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