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Willard M. Holcomb

Willard M. Holcomb

April 28, 2017

Willard M. Holcomb, age 91 of Elmwood, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 28, 2017 at the Heritage of Elmwood Nursing Home in Elmwood.

Willard was born March 16, 1926 in Minneapolis, MN.  He was the adopted son of Alvin and Bessie (Garfield) Holcomb and grew up in the Rock Elm Township, rural Elmwood.  Willard graduated from Elmwood High School in 1945.  Willard spent most of his life in the Rock Elm Township as a farmer.  He married Roberta Welch on June 11, 1948 at the Rock Elm United Methodist Church.  After marriage, they raised their family on the farm where a favorite activity was making maple syrup. They moved into the Village of Elmwood in 1985, where he remained the rest of his life.

Willard was a devoted and active member of the Rock Elm United Methodist Church and contributed to the making of hundreds of gallons of homemade ice cream of which many of you have enjoyed over the years.  He also spent many years as the caretaker of the Poplar Hill Cemetery and took great pride in caring for it. He loved making Christmas come alive for children. For over thirty years, he helped Santa (brother-in-law, Herb Husby) deliver presents to homes all over the countryside on Christmas Eve.

He had many hobbies including woodworking, making Heath Kit Radios and anything mechanical that had an engine.  He loved airplanes and was very close to obtaining his pilot’s license when a heart attack prevented that from happening, so he sought out small plane owners in the area who would take him flying.  Willard enjoyed taking his grandchildren and anyone who would go with him to ride the miniature trains in River Falls.  He loved old cars, John Deere tractors, camping with the family at Nugget Lake and chocolate! He had a wonderful sense of humor, loved to tell stories and laugh, but most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.

Willard is survived by his wife Roberta of 68 years, his children, Odell Portz (fiancé` Jim Evans), David (Tricia), and Ronald (Denise) Holcomb, Kay (Mark) Ellingson; 12 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.  He is preceded in death by his parents, a son Scott in 1983, and Scott’s wife, Laura Holcomb (Don) Bergelin in 2014.

Memorial services will be 11:00 AM Friday, May 5, 2017 at the Rock Elm United Methodist Church, rural Elmwood with Rev. Michael Weaver officiating.  Burial will be in the Poplar Hill Cemetery in the Township of Rock Elm.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 PM Thursday at the Rhiel Funeral Home in Elmwood and one hour prior to services at the church on Friday.


4:00 to 7:00 PM Thursday May 4, 2017 at Rhiel Funeral Home in Elmwood and one hour prior to services at the church on Friday


11:00 AM Friday May 5, 2017 at the Rock Elm United Methodist Church, Elmwood, Wisconsin