Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Willard James Withers 1919-2009

Willard James Withers, of Dixon, was born on November 8, 1919, at Dixon, a son of James Riley and Pearl Evelyn (Slone) Withers, and departed this life at 12:05 A.M., Tuesday, February 24, 2009, in the St. Johns Hospital, Springfield. Mr. Withers had attained the age of 89 years, 3 months and 16 days.

Mr. Withers was united in marriage on July 20, 1941, at Crocker to Miss Beulah Lea Long and to this union four children were born. He was preceded in death by his wife on June 4, 2003; his father on August 23, 1977; his mother on January 4, 1994; three brothers, Louie Dean Withers, Carl Withers and Ralph Withers; and one sister, Opal Amick.

Mr. Withers was a World War II United States Navy veteran, a member of the Santee Community Church, near Dixon and the American Legion Post No. 298, Dixon. He retired from Civil Service as a heavy equipment operator. One of his fondest memories was working in Hawaii helping build back the airstrip after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Those left to mourn the passing of Mr. Withers include: three sons and daughters-in-law, Luther and June Withers, Strafford; Russell and Carlene Withers, Springfield; Randall and Kay Withers, Dixon; one daughter and son-in-law, Patricia and Mark Wagganer, Centertown; one brother, Robert “Bob” Withers, Springfield; eleven grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and many other relatives and friends.

A loving father, grandfather, brother and friend, precious memories will long be remembered in the hearts of his dear family and all who knew and loved him.

Funeral services were conducted for Mr. Withers at 11:00 A.M., Friday, February 27, 2009, in the Long-Gilbert Funeral Home, Dixon, with Pastor Dors Wilson, Santee Community Church, Dixon, officiating. Harold Rowden sang “The Old Rugged Cross” and the hymn, “Beulah Land” was played for the service.

Interment with full military honors was in the Dixon Cemetery under the direction of the Long-Gilbert Funeral Home. Pallbearers for Mr. Withers were Aaron Withers, Kyle Copeland, Toby Withers, Mark Withers, Jeff Withers and Rusty Moles. Honorary pallbearers were Paul Jones, David Wagganer and Don Wilson. The American Legion Post No. 298, Dixon provided graveside honors.

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