Gordon Willts

November 7, 2018

obit Willts Gordy photoJuly 2, 1936 – Oct. 28, 2018

Gordon D. Willts, age 82 of Tyler, passed away Sunday, Oct. 28 at Avera Hospital in Tyler. A funeral service was held Saturday, Nov. 3, 2 p.m. at First Eng­lish Lutheran Church in Tyler with visitation one hour prior to the service. Burial will be held at a later date at Gilman Cemetery in Ashton, Iowa. Hartquist Funeral Home in Tyler was entrusted with arrange­ments. To sign an online registry or view Gordy’s full life history, please visit www.hartquistfuneral.com.
Gordon Dean Willts was born July 2, 1936 to Henry and Hattie (Pater) Willts in Ashton, Iowa. Gordy was raised and attended school in Bigelow, Minnesota. He graduated from high school in Worthington. On June 21, 1957 he married Jeanine Johnson in Wor­thington. This union was blessed with two children, Pamela and Lisa. Gordon served in the Army Nation­al Guard and later attended Sioux Falls Barber College. After moving his family to Watertown, South Dakota, he began his barbering ca­reer. In addition to barber­ing, Gordy also drove truck long-distance throughout the United States. Since 1968, Gordy and Jeanine had made their home in Ty­ler. Though he retired from barbering in 1998, he con­tinued to work part-time for several years at Tyler Lumber Company and CHS in Ruthton. After retire­ment, the couple enjoyed travelling to visit family and friends, and especially cherished trips to Arizona and Washington to visit their daughter. On Sunday, Oct. 28, Gordon passed away at Avera Hospital in Tyler at the age of 82 years, three months and 26 days.
Gordy appreciated many things in life. He was a con­firmed member of First English Lutheran Church in Tyler, and a member of the American Legion for 36 years. He always main­tained a large garden and enjoyed sharing the fruits of his labor with others. Always a cowboy at heart, Gordy loved everything that spoke of the Old West. He also enjoyed fishing, trips to the casino, and driving to the farm near Ashton, Iowa, that had been owned by his family for over 100 years, to see the crops. Gordon’s life was so richly blessed with his family and many friends. He rarely missed a day going into town to have coffee and visit with his buddies at the station. Gordy was so very proud of his three grandchildren and loved spending time with them. He especially cherished their weeklong visits during the summers.
Gordon is survived by his wife Jeanine of Tyler; daughters— Pamela and her husband Todd Juber of Sibley, Iowa, and Lisa Willts and her significant other, Don Gonser, of Vancouver, Washington; grandchil­dren— Gretchen, Matthew and his fiancé Josie Hyland, and Grant Juber; and his sister Elaine Reitsma of Tea, South Dakota. He was preceded in death by his parents Henry and Hattie, parents-in-law Anna and Myron Johnson, and many aunts, uncles and friends.