MANNSVILLE — John D. Willard passed to his heavenly home, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at 8 a.m. John was 90 years old. Graveside services will be held at Mannsville Cemetery at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, with Brown’s Funeral Home of Madill officiating.
He was born to Leslie and Beatrice (Smith) Willard Oct. 22, 1926, in Plainview, Ark. His family moved to Greasy Bend in 1936, when he was 10 years old. He attended a one-room classroom at the Greasy Bend School. He attended Mannsville High School until he was drafted into United States Army at the age of 18. John served in the United States Army during WWII and was being trained to invade Japan at Fort Chaffee, Ark., but the war ended and John was sent as an Engineer as part of Occupation Forces to Japan in 1945. After the war, John returned to Ardmore and worked as a bottler for the Double Cola Bottling Co. for four years.
He married Imogene Ellen Brown, Oct. 6, 1951. This October they would have been married 66 years. Out of that union was born two sons, Gary and Philip.
John worked as a trained carpenter for Roy Bowman and various contractors for 35 years around the Ardmore area. He retired in 1988. John was also an accomplished gardener after his retirement. He enjoyed growing vegetables and melons. His pride was his tomatoes. He had great pleasure in sharing his garden produce with neighbors and family.
John’s hobbies included hunting, fishing and camping with family and his life-long friend Edgar Webb. Also, John was an avid OU Sooner fan and looked forward to college football every season. He was an active member of Mannsville Church of Christ up to his passing. He had many Christian friends that will sorely miss him.
He is preceded in death by his parents and all his siblings: Lena Willard, Oscar Willard, Sybil Willard Thompson, Hattie Willard Monroe, Elliot Willard, Norman Willard, Dortha Willard Phillips.
Survivors include his wife Imogene; son Gary Willard and wife, Vickie; son Philip Willard and wife, Bettie; one grandchild Adrianne Sharrer and husband, Philip; two step-grandchildren Captain John Croy and wife, Lesile, of Ft. Augustus, Ga.; and Michelle Tippit, of Paris, Texas; two great-grandchildren Kaiya and Aria Sharrer; four step-great-grandchildren include: Haley, Mabrey, Marley and Heidi Croy; as well as several nephews and nieces.
Pallbearers include: Clyde Ashford, Gary Don Hall, Bob Ayres, Jackie Pilgrim, Morris Nalls and Ronnie Peoples. Honorary pallbearers include: Randy Cumbie, Eldon Stevenson, Jeff Jantz and Edgar Webb, his life-long friend.