He was a Crookston resident.

Willard Leroy Weiss, age 83, of Crookston, MN, died peacefully late Thursday evening, May 2, 2013, at the Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, ND, with his wife, LouAnn, and other family at his bedside.

    Willard was born in Red Lake County on December 2, 1929, and was the second youngest of thirteen children of Henry and Ida (Hinrichs) Weiss. He was baptized and confirmed at the Wylie Lutheran Church and grew up on the family farm near Wylie. He went on to graduate from Lafayette High School in Red Lake Falls.

    Willard entered the US Army on March 18, 1952, and served overseas in Korea during the Korean War with the 49th Battalion. For his service to his Country he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Ribbon with 3 bronze stars, and the United Nations Service Medal. After his honorable discharge on March 13, 1954 Willard returned home and farmed with his brothers. He then went to Buhl, MN and worked in the iron mines for a time before returning to Red Lake Falls. Willard was employed on area farms and worked at a Red Lake Falls implement dealership for a few years.

    On June 18, 1960 he was united in marriage to LouAnn Marie Zutz at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Red Lake Falls. The couple made their home in Crookston and together raised their boys, Craig, Brent, and Kurt, known affectionately as “my three sons”.  

    Willard began employment with the University of Minnesota Crookston in 1960 as a boiler engineer in the heating plant. After 32 years of dedicated service to UMC, he retired on May 2, 1992. While working at UMC, Willard liked to take vacation so he could drive for farmer friends during the beet harvest. He continued to do so for several years after his retirement.

    Willard had many favorite pastimes, including fishing at Lake of the Woods, hunting, playing cards, gardening, and being a loyal fan of the Twins and Vikings. He enjoyed going to his kids' and grandkids' games and activities; attending gatherings with his large relationship of brothers, sisters and their families; and sharing coffee and conversation with friends and participating in events at the Golden Link. Willard and LouAnn also visited friends and family while traveling to Alaska, Arizona, and the West Coast. Making sausage and jerky was his specialty and he proudly passed on his recipe to his sons. Willard was a devoted member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and served on the board. He was also a life member of Crookston VFW Post 1902 and a member of American Legion Post #20. Willard believed in living a life of service to others and was a wise, gentle, and nurturing presence in the lives of his family.

    Willard will be sadly missed by his loving wife of 52 years, LouAnn; three sons and daughters-in-law: Craig and Sarajane Weiss of Moorhead, MN, Brent and Laura Weiss of Pine City, MN, and Kurt and Kathy Weiss of St. Cloud, MN; 7 grandchildren: Erik (fiance’, Kendra Vipond), Michael, Grant, Kayla, Matthew, Nicole, and Justin Weiss; a sister, Lillian Berry of Thief River Falls, MN; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Ida Weiss; and 11 siblings: George, August, Henry Jr., Raymond, Leora Audette, Richard, Viola Iverson, Isabel Melin, Pauline Cooper, Helen Schmitz, and Marvel Klein. May God richly bless Willard’s memory.       

    The funeral service for Willard Leroy Weiss was  held at 10:00 a.m., Monday, May 6, 2013, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Crookston with The Rev. Steve Bohler, officiating. Visitation was at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home on Sunday with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service, and also at the church for one hour prior to the funeral. Interment was at 12:45 p.m., Monday at the Wylie Cemetery, rural Red Lake Falls, MN, with Military Honors provided by the Crookston Veterans Council and the Minnesota National Guard Honors Unit from Thief River Falls, MN.

    Online registry:  stenshoelhouske.com