Norb was born in Watertown, at his aunt and uncle’s home, on March 27, 1933, the son of Robert and Marie (Kropf) Willing. He graduated from Watertown High School in 1951. On October 16, 1955 he married Irene Ruehlow at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lebanon, WI. They resided together in Ixonia for 58 years.
Norb served in the US Army from 1953-1955 during the Korea conflict. He was honored to be chosen for the Honor Flight in October 2014. Norb was an active member of Dr. Martin Lutheran Church in Oconomowoc, where he served as an usher and also on Church Council. He loved to bowl, play horseshoe, and watch the Packers, Bucks, NASCAR and Brewers. He was a Charter member of the Ixonia Lion’s Club, serving in various board positions and was a cornea transport carrier together with Irene. He also was a member of the Watertown American Legion Post #189 and a nine year member of the Silver Sneakers Exercise Group in Oconomowoc. Norb was a volunteer fireman with Ixonia Fire Department and served as the driver of the ambulance for many years. He also served as President of the Ixonia Sanitary District #1 for many years. Norb loved fishing and going up north along with many travels taking him all over the country and Europe. He served as a volunteer with the American Red Cross Blood Drive and served as an Election Worker for the Town of Ixonia.
Norb’s true joy was his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He and Irene attended many of their functions including athletic events, concerts, plays and dance recitals.
Over the years Norb worked mainly in the automotive field beginning at Else Oil – Ixonia, NAPA Auto Parts – Oconomowoc & Pewaukee, Payne & Dolan – Waukesha. He began his work ethic when he delivered the Watertown Daily Times in Watertown. Currently, he was working for the Town of Ixonia at the Recycling/Transfer Site and maintaining the grounds at the Town Hall.
Norb is survived by his wife of 59 years, Irene; his children; Nancy (Dale) Zastrow, Lisa (Glenn) Nagel, and Karen (Bill) Devlin; grandchildren Michelle (Joshua) Wegner, Matthew (Elissa) Zastrow, Melissa (Jim) Thoma, Bethany (Andy) Babinec, Kimberley Nagel, Nathan Nagel, D.J. (Samantha) Devlin and Jason Devlin; great-grandchildren Lincoln & Brooklyn Wegner, Britin & Braeden Zastrow, Brett & Hailey Thoma, and Elianna & Josiah Babinec. He is further survived by his brother, Elden (Ethel) Willing, sisters-in-law, Elaine Langholff, Marion Maas and Marcella Pfeifer, a brother-in-law Melvin Klug, nieces, nephews and many close friends. Norb was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws, Ortwin & Verona Ruehlow, a sister, Delores Klug, brothers-in-law Ortwin Ruehlow, Lester Langholff, Curtis Maas, Don Key, Marvin Pfeifer and sisters-in-law Viola Key and LouAnn Ruehlow.
A Christian Funeral will be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at Dr. Martin Lutheran Church in Oconomowoc. Visitation will be on Tuesday from 3:00 – 7:30 p.m. at Hafemeister Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Watertown, and at the church on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Entombment with full military rites will be conducted by the Watertown American Legion Post #189 at Glenview Memorial Gardens in Ixonia. Memorials, if desired, may be directed to Dr. Martin Luther Church Building Fund, Stars & Stripes Honor Flight, Wisconsin Lions Camp or to the charity of one’s choice. The Hafemeister Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Watertown is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at www.hafemeisterfh.com.
The family would like to thank the staff at Aurora Summit Hospital and Aurora Hospice. Special thanks to Lisa, our nurse angel who helped us fulfill Dad’s wish.
“Everyday is a Bonus”