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Willard Ratz

October 31, 1921 — December 16, 2017

Willard Ratz

Willard Ratz Sr. was called to live with God, at the age of 96, on Sat. Dec. 16, 2017,after a battle with Congestive Heart Failure and Dementia, while surrounded by his family at St. Anne's Extended Health Care. Willard was born on the family farm near Fountain City, WI on Oct 31, 1921 to Conrad and Augusta (Mussell) Ratz. Willard was confirmed at St Michael's Lutheran church, Fountain City. He was the youngest of six siblings and went to school at the one room school house in Eagle Valley where his cousins, brothers, sisters and his daughter and son also went. As he was growing up he learned to do many chores, which today are unheard of, such as making mortar for stone walls and shocking corn. At the age of five he was already helping with the field work, cultivating potatoes with the horse. In 1942 Willard purchased a farm in Eagle Valley; three years later he married Minerva Oesau on Oct. 10, 1945. They farmed there and raised their two children there until moving to town. After, moving to Fountain City, WI in 1972, Willard worked at the Winona Industries, Winona Monument, Hot Fish Shop and twelve years at the Winona Country Club, where he developed his love for flowers. Willard's pastime was filled with planting a huge garden, which he did until he was 93 years old, and making toy farm machinery. He served on the church council at St Michael's Lutheran Church in Fountain City for several years. Much time was also spent enjoying his grand children and great grand children. Socializing and traveling was a passion of his. They traveled to Austria, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Bahamas, Nova Scotia, Mexico, Canada, and every state in the union except Hawaii. In Jan 2016 his wife Minerva fell and broke her hip preventing her from climbing stairs, so on Jan 18, 2016 they moved into Callista Court Assisted Living in Winona, MN .On Jan 18, 2017 Willard moved into St. Anne's Extended Health care. Minerva walked over to be with him everyday. At Callista Court and St Anne's he loved playing Bingo. Winning a stuffed animal playing Bingo brought him great joy. In the short time at St Anne's his collection of stuffed animals grew to more than 60, Willard is survived by his wife Minerva of 72 Years, daughter Ruth (Carl) Parnow, son Willard (Sally) Ratz Jr., grand children Greg (Tara) Parnow, Tracy (Byron) Wesley, Laurie Ratz, Joel (Krista) Ratz, and great grandchildren Harlee Vaughn, Hannah and Hope Parnow, Christopher, Jayden, and Tia Wesley, and Emma, Lucy and Zoey Ratz. He was preceded in death by his parents, (brothers) Elmer, Norman, and Arthur, and (sisters) Edna Guenther and Inez Hertsfeldt, and several nieces and nephews. Willard will be greatly missed by family and friends. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 11:00 AM at St. Michael's Lutheran Church in Fountain City. Burial will follow at Fountain City Public Cemetery. A visitation will be held on Wednesday, December 20 from 9:00 AM until the hour of the service.
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Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

9:00 - 11:00am (Central time)

St. Michaels Evangelical Lutheran Church

38 South Hill Street, Fountain City, WI

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Service

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Starts at 11:00am (Central time)

St. Michaels Evangelical Lutheran Church

38 South Hill Street, Fountain City, WI

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Cemetery

Fountain City Public Cemetery

Fountain City, WI

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