Dwight Ewing Willett[RFSS May 2016]
Photograph courtesy of Joy H. Jones, Colorado Springs
United States Social Security Death Index
Given Name: Dwight
Middle Name: E
Birth Date: 21 May 1911
Social Security Number: 482-46-2254
Last Place of Residence: Woodbine, Harrison, Iowa
Previous Residence Postal Code: 51579
Event Date: 18 January 2008
[RFSS May 2013]
Obituary published by Fouts Funeral Home, 501 Normal Street, Woodbine, Iowa, 51579
Dwight Ewing Willett 1911 - 2008
[RFSS May 2016]
Dwight Ewing Willett was born May 21, 1911, on a dairy farm between Woodbine and Logan, Iowa. Dwight was the second child of Harry and Agnes (McCreary) Willett. When he was 12 years old, he was greatly saddened when his mother suddenly died from complications from surgery. His father later married Myra Nourse. Dwight began school at Bostwick Boyer Valley #4 near their farm. He then attended Woodbine Normal School and graduated in 1928 at the age of 16. He waited a year, then in the fall of 1929 he attended Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa. During his college years he had to take breaks from school to earn money, and to gain required work experience in his field of study. To meet his work requirement, he went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to work at Haps Ice Cream Company preparing diary products, selling the products, and taking the money home at night for safekeeping. One night he was robbed of the store's money at gunpoint. He then changed the route that he walked home every night after that! Dwight graduated from Iowa State College in March of 1937 with a major in Creamery Management. He then returned to Woodbine to farm with his dad.
In 1942, Dwight was inducted into the United States Army. He received his basic training at Camp Barclay in Abilene, Texas. He then went to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio for training as a surgical technician. He received desert training in Arizona and California. After his training he was sent to Europe. Since he was good at reading maps, he was assigned as a truck driver for a hospital unit (known today as M.A.S.H. units). His platoon hauled the hospital tents and equipment from place to place, following the combat troops. They set up the tents and took care of the wounded, took the tents down, and traveled to the next location. He finished his tour of duty after the war working in a military hospital in Germany.
Dwight returned to the farm and met his future wife, Della Seyl, a teacher in the Woodbine school. They were married in her home in Belden, Nebraska, on June 21, 1947. Dwight farmed until he retired in 1994. In 1997 the couple moved into a new house they built in Woodbine. Dwight had a remarkable memory, and he fascinated his family with stories and details of how life was when he was young. Their farm lay along the Illinois Central rail line, which had a siding where it stopped by the farm. It showed up on maps of the time as Willett Station. Dwight told stories about the railroad, the building of roads in the area, and the evolution of the dairy farm and the various family members who ran it.
Dwight had a close relationship with the members of his extended family. Through the years, relatives often came to the farm, or Dwight and Della traveled the country to visit them. This included a drive to Alaska to visit his niece who lived there, and trips to explore places where family ancestors had lived. They also went to Germany when Gary was stationed there in the army. While they were in Europe they used Eurail passes to travel all over the continent by train.
Dwight died on Friday, January 18, 2008, at the Missouri Valley Hospital in Missouri Valley, Iowa, attaining the age of 96 years, seven months, and 28 days.
Dwight was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Natalie Stanko of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He is survived by his wife, Della; his son, Gary and his wife, Barbara, of Jefferson, Iowa; one grandson, Brent Willett and his wife, Liberty, of Denver, Colorado; one great-granddaughter, Jeannette Willett; and many other relatives and friends.
Military Graveside Services
Final Resting Place
Headstone of Dwight Ewing Willett 1911 - 2008
Woodbine Cemetery, Harrison County, Iowa
The headstone photograph comes from the Find A Grave website courtesy of pamO
The location is Woodbine Cemetery, Harrison County, Iowa, United States of America.
Link to the Find A Grave site for Dwight Ewing Willett
[RFSS May 2016]
|[ s2907 ]||Social Security Death Index - United States of America - SS#: 482-46-2254|
|[ s4396 ]||Cemetery Marker - Headstone - Woodbine Cemetery, Harrison County, Iowa, United States of America - H2008-18-01-DEW|
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