On August 29, 2015, after 91 years of dedicating his life to his family and to the Lord, Willard Christian was taken home to be with our heavenly Father.
Willard Christian was born September 17, 1923 in Hobert, Okla., to Edward and Ethel Christian. Growing up, his family was poor and he would often miss school to work in the cotton fields to help the family survive. He attended rural school and graduated from Hobert Oklahoma High School in 1943.
Willard was drafted into the Navy in 1944 during WWII and was stationed in the Philippines. He was honorably discharged in 1946 when the war ended.
In 1948, Willard and his family moved to Draper, S.D. He married Florence Mary Volmer May 22, 1954. Willard and Florence had four children.
After getting married, Willard and Florence ranched for 10 years before moving to Kennebec, S.D., where they ranched for another 16 years. In 1980, they moved to Rapid City. Willard worked at the Chevy Garage until he retired. From Rapid City, they moved to Pierre in 2008 where they have lived for the past seven years. Willard and Florence enjoyed spending winters in Arizona for the past 15 years.
Willard and Florence were married for 61 years. Willard is survived by his wife, Florence, four children and spouses, and six grandchildren: Denise Christian, now residing in Arizona; Denny Christian, now residing in Pierre; Diane Tschetter (married to Brian Tschetter) residing in Arizona; and Darrell Christian (married to Kathy Trost) residing in California. He was blessed with six wonderful grandchildren, Ashley, Jennifer, Lindsey, David, Isaac and Joshua.
Willard loved taking care of his garden, fruit trees, and yard. He spent many hours putting puzzles together with an amazing amount of patience. Willard loved holidays with the family. He loved sharing stories of his time in the Navy, picking cotton, and being “look out” as his father made liquor during prohibition.
Our beloved husband, dad and grandpa will be deeply missed.
Visitation will be 6-7 p.m., Friday, September 4 at Isburg Funeral Chapel with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. Services will be 1:30 p.m., Saturday, September 5 at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church with burial at Riverside Cemetery. Following the burial, join the family for sandwiches back at the church.