Darwin D. Willie

Darwin Willie

Darwin Dwayne Wille, 90, of Sun City, AZ passed away on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ.

A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, July 11, 2022, at Ell Township Cemetery in Klemme with Rev. David Boogerd officiating.  Military rites will be conducted by the Klemme Veterans Ceremonial Unit.  Following the service, a luncheon will be served at Immanuel Reformed United Church of Christ in Klemme. Cataldo Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Memorial gifts may be made in memory of Darwin to the Immanuel Reformed United Church of Christ in Klemme;  Banner Health Foundation to support Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2901 N Central Ave, Suite 160, Phoenix, AZ  85012 (note on memo line: Banner MD Anderson, Darwin Wille Memorial); or the charity of your choice.

Darwin was born June 11, 1931, near Klemme, IA to Cornelius and Marie (Thiemann) Wille.  Darwin graduated from Klemme High School in 1948 and served in the United States Army from 1952-1954 in Colorado where he first fell in love with the mountains. He was united in marriage to Opal Weinheimer on June 8, 1958, in Fontanelle, Iowa, and they lived near Klemme, Iowa on the Wille Homestead.  After his time in the Army, Darwin spent his career on the farm, growing corn, soybeans and raising pigs.  

Darwin and Opal raised three children, Todd, Lisa and Sara.  He was a wonderful father in many ways.  He taught them the value of hard work and supported them in all of their sports and other activities throughout the years and continued to do the same with his grandchildren.  Darwin enjoyed serving on various boards in the community and at their church, Immanuel Reformed United Church of Christ in Klemme.  He loved to travel and take his family on camping trips, visiting many states across the country.  He was always planning the next adventure.

Darwin and Opal moved to CO from Iowa in 1986, due to his health.  He loved the Colorado mountains.  After moving there, he began the hobby of woodworking and tole painting, creating many pieces for home and holiday decor.  They continued to travel with their Pleasureway RV and covered many miles, often with a caravan, making lasting friendships nearly everywhere they went.  Darwin had interstitial lung disease, and eventually had to have full time oxygen because of Colorado’s altitude.  In 2013 they moved to Sun City, AZ where he no longer needed the oxygen machine.  He again was active in their community, serving on their church board and as president of their HOA.  He loved Sun City!

Darwin is survived by his wife, Opal; children, Todd (Lynette Michon) Wille of Sacramento, CA, Lisa (Scott) Fetty of Lenexa, KS, and Sara (Jeff) Miller of Kremmling, CO; and grandchildren, Jordyn, Alison and Mark Wille, Canon and Gabriel Marin, Kyle (Heidi) Forland-Fetty, Colin and Jared Fetty, Jamie (David) Church, Jordan (Shea) Miller, Garrett and Audree Miller.  Darwin is also survived by his sister, Adala Bailey of Britt.

He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant daughter, Dona;  and six siblings, five of whom reached the age of 90+.



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The Leader 
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