Harry William Willmott, 79

Published 8:02 am Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Harry William Willmott, 79, of Austin, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on Aug. 18, 2017, after a courageous six-year battle with lung cancer.

Harry William Willmott, 79

Harry was born on Dec. 12, 1937, in Watertown, South Dakota, to Harry Thomas and Mary Ellen (Smith) Willmott, the fifth of 11 children. He graduated from White High School in White, South Dakota, in 1955 and ran the family farm for five years.  After working in Alaska, he attended South Dakota State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1966. Harry worked for McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1966-1970, L.E. Myers Co. in Marshalltown, Iowa, from 1970 to 1973, and Hormel Foods in Austin, from 1973-2000, retiring in 2000.

Harry married Delores Ellis (Painter) in 1965 and adopted her son, Rick. They had four additional children, Doug, twins Lori and Larry, and Charles (Chuck). He was widowed in 1987 and later married Brenda Copley (Kirchner) in 2007.

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Harry had a passion for the great outdoors and supported many conservation organizations.  His love for hunting, fishing and watching Minnesota sports teams was shared with his children, family and friends. From construction projects to home repair, Harry could fix just about anything. You always got the “straight answer” from Harry and if you disagreed he was happy to explain why/how you were misinformed. Later in life, he cultivated new passions, playing tennis and golf.  He enjoyed studying, practicing and playing the game, and occasionally taking a few dollars from his competition along the way. He enjoyed traveling and spending part of the winter in Palm Desert, CA, relaxing with friends and enhancing his golf game. Harry cherished hosting family events and his Roman Catholic faith. He touched many lives with his generosity. His bigger than life personality was a blessing and will truly be missed.

Harry is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Delores; sisters, Ellen Dempsey, Myrna McCulloch, Mary Ann Radermacher, Janice Buechler, Kathy Gilfillan; and brothers, S. Tom Willmott, Charles Willmott.

Harry is survived by his wife, Brenda Willmott, Austin; children, Rick (Connie) Willmott, Platte, South Dakota, Doug Willmott, Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, Lori Willmott, Rapid City, South Dakota, Larry (Sarah) Willmott, Rosemount, Minnesota, and Chuck (Colleen) Willmott, Indianola, Iowa; brother, Ray Willmott, Owatonna, Minnesota, sisters, Patricia Landsman, Elkton, South Dakota, Carol Covrig, Brookings, South Dakota; 10 grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 3 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at Mayer Funeral Home in Austin, with a prayer service at 5:30 p.m., lead by Deacon John Kluczny, followed by a celebration of life gathering at the Austin Country Club at 6:30 p.m.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. with visitation one hour prior, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Brookings, South Dakota, with Father Terry Anderson officiating supported by Deacon John Kluczny. Interment will be in Fairview Cemetery, White, South Dakota, followed by a luncheon at the McKnight Community Center in White.

In lieu of flowers donations preferred to St. Augustine Catholic Church in Harry’s name.