Melvin Everette Willard, 88

Melvin Everette Willard, son of the late Rev. Leo Melvin and Floy (Clark) Willard was born February 5, 1929 in Van Buren, Mo., and departed this life on August 9, 2017 with his family by his side.  He had attained the age of eighty-eight years, six months and four days.

Melvin had resided in Van Buren, Mo., since moving back in 1991 and lived in Arizona from 1966-1991.  The family lived in several towns in Southeast Mo., and moved to South Carolina where they lived until he was sixteen.  Then the family returned to Van Buren when his father passed.  Melvin graduated from Van Buren High School, played Basketball, and remained a loyal Bulldog.  At the age of eighteen, he joined the United States Air Force; he was very involved in sports and even played Basketball for the Air Force Base teams in South Dakota and in England. After the Air Force, he attended Southeast Missouri State College where he lettered in Tennis.  He was a champion Trap Shooter.  He had a varied work history; Ambulance Driver, Bus Driver, Police Officer in the City of Globe, AZ., and worked at Cities Service Mining Company in Arizona until retirement.  He was a devoted husband and father with a good-natured spirit, and loved a good joke. 

On August 27, 1954, he was united in marriage to Doris Jean Van Winkle, in Van Buren, Mo., she survives of the home.  

Survivors include one son, Wade Willard of Van Buren, Mo; one sister, Devota Elaine Burrows of Seal Beach, CA; three granddaughters, Jenifer Winslett (Kevin), Amber Dean (Aaron) and Megan Tober (Randy); nine great grandchildren, Alyssa, Zander, Landyn, Dustin, Macie, Gavin, Kadance, Tessa and Braxton all of AZ; and many relatives and friends who mourn his passing. 

In addition, to his parents Melvin was preceded in death by one brother, Derald Dean Willard.

A Memorial Service will be held in the Eastwood Cemetery on Friday, August 25, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. Rev. Jim Cooper will be officiating. Burial will be in Eastwood Cemetery.

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