A public visitation for Willard Victor Lakela, 89, of Palo, will be from 1:00pm-3:00pm Monday, December 28, 2020 at Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Aurora. Military honors by the Aurora/Hoyt Lakes Color Guard will be at 1pm. Current COVID mandates including masks and social distancing must be followed. Burial will be at a later date in the Rauha Cemetery in Palo.
Willard died Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at Essentia Health Convalescent Care Center in Virginia, Minnesota.
He was born April 9, 1931 in rural Gilbert, Minnesota to Victor and Mayme (Vietanen) Lakela. Willard was a 1949 graduate of Aurora High School and began working for Erie Mining Company. He was drafted into the US Army and served during the Korean Conflict.
Following his military service, he returned to Erie Mining Company and retired from there as a furnace operator with over 30 years of service. On June 15, 1957 he married Dorothy Trygstad and have resided in Palo for many years.
Willard was a member of the Aurora American Legion, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and the Palo-Markham Senior Citizens. He was an avid hunter and fisherman who enjoyed the outdoors.
Survivors include his wife, Dorothy; son, Jeffery Lakela; daughter, Carol Jane (Michael) Miner; grandchildren: twins, Michael and Michelle and twins, Jennifer and Jonathan; three great grandchildren; sisters: Delores Anderson of Hudson, WI and Margie Craft of Park Rapids; several nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents; two sons in infancy and sisters, Ruth & Shirley.