Willard J. Bartels


Willard J. Bartels, 86, of Wakefield, died Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 at the Wakefield Health Care Center in Wakefield.  

Visitation will be held Wednesday, Sept. 29, from 5 until 7 p.m. at the Bressler – Munderloh – Smith Funeral Home in Wakefield, with a prayer service at 7 p.m.  Services will be at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wakefield; Pastor William Bertrand will be officiating.  Burial will be in the Wakefield Cemetery in Wakefield.  

Memorials are suggested to the family for future designation.

Arrangements are with Bressler – Munderloh – Smith Funeral Home in Wakefield.

Willard was born July 17, 1935 at Wakefield, the son of Ervin and Lucille (Walter) Bartels. He was baptized on Aug. 4, 1935, and confirmed in 1949 at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Wakefield, where he was a lifelong member.  He attended the Park Hill Country School and graduated from Wakefield High School in 1953. He served in the United States Army from 1955 until 1957, where he served for 18 months as a military policeman in Tokyo, Japan. On Feb. 2, 1958 Willard married Wilma Temme at Grace Lutheran Church in Wayne.  Willard was a farmer his entire adult life. He served at St. John’s Lutheran Church in several positions throughout the years. He was also a member of the LLL-Lutheran Hour Ministries. He also enjoyed being involved with the Gideon’s.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Wilma of Wakefield; children, Loren of Wakefield, Jolene of Wymore, Bruce (Lisa) of Firth and Brian of Wakefield; grandchildren, Erin Fleury, Evan (Ashley) Bartels, and Claudia and Joshua Bartels; great-grandchildren, Taylor, Jordyn and Rhett Fleury and Blakely, Cole and Demi Bartels; brother, Eugene (Tootie) Bartels of Wakefield,; sister, Verna Mae Krause of Winfield, Kansas; in-laws, Esther Brader and Fritz (Joann) Temme of Wayne, Caroline Caauwe and Roland (Hiroko) Temme of Lincoln, and Gladys Juhlin of Norfolk; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; eight brothers-in-law; three sisters-in-law and two nieces.