Willard Andrew Bielinski, age 88, passed away on Wednesday, September 19, 2018.
He was born November 30, 1929 to the late John & Clara (Watzka) Bielinski. He married Josephine Leiterman on June 8, 1955; she preceded him in death on April 10, 2018
Willard graduated from Denmark High School in 1947 and started work at Steve’s Cheese Company. He worked in the factory, drove milk truck and eventually cheese delivery truck. He helped construct the legendary 17 ton cheese wheel for the 1965 World Fair. In 1953 he enlisted in the United States Army where he served until 1955, stationed in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri as Sergeant. After returning home, he joined the American Legion Post 363 and served as its Commander and finance manager among other roles during his 58 years of membership. In 1959 he joined the Denmark Volunteer Fire Department where he served for 50 years – retiring as an honorary member in April, 2009. He held the office of President for 30 years, relinquishing that role in 2001. In 2010 he, along with three others from the Denmark Fire Department were honored as “Citizen of the Year” for their years of service to the community. He was a member of All Saints Catholic Church and Holy Name Men’s society, the “22” Club in Denmark, served on the Denmark Non-Profit Housing Board of Directors and coached boys Little League for many years. After his retirement, Willard spent time traveling with his wife cross country to visit his family in California, and other trips – including frequent stops at the Casino to try his luck on the slots-throw in a $20 and see what comes out. He spent summers traveling with his son-in-law Mike to various Horse Pulls around the state on weekends, and you could find him at the Concession stand nightly volunteering his time between the Legion and Fireman food stands. He also attended almost every sporting event the grandchildren were in over the years- they were his pride and joy. The visits from his great grandchildren brought a smile to his face every time!
He is survived by his children: David (Jayme) Bielinski, Mike (Sue) Bielinski and Barb (Mike) Larsen, grandchildren; Brandon (special friend Christina) & Lyndsey Bielinski, Chad Bielinski, Emily (Kyle) Peterson, Derek Larsen, Ashley (Jared) Post and great grandchildren Daisy and Raymond Post.
He is also survived by his siblings, sister Dolores Daros and brother Lonnie (Marketta) Bielinski, brother-in-law Don (Dorothy) Leiterman, and sister-in-law Dorothy (Gayle) Derricks and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Along with his wife Josephine, his parents and in-laws Louis and Ella (Hoffman) Leiterman, he was preceded in death by his siblings and their spouses, Bob and Viola Bielinski, Leo and Betty Malewiski, brother-in-law Henry Daros, and in-laws Alvin and Virginia Leiterman and Lorraine and Frank Sekora, Nephew John Bielinski and Great-Nephew Jim Malewiski
Family and friends may visit at All Saints Catholic Church, Denmark, on Saturday, September 29, from 9:00am until 10:45am. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:00am with Fr. John Dombrowski officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Cotter Funeral Home of Denmark is assisting the family.
The family would like to thank Scandinavian Court and Southern Care Hospice and the many family and friends for their support during this time.