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Willard Carl Parpart, 84, Lester Prairie

Willard “Willie” Carl Parpart, 84, of Lester Prairie, died Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017.
Visitation took place Thursday, Nov. 2, at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie. On Friday, Nov. 3, there was a private celebration of life with interment in the church cemetery. The Rev. Eric Nelson officiated the service, and Jane Holasek was the organist. Special music was Chuck Thiel recordings of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” and “God’s Family Waltz.” Congregational hymns were “Because He Lives,” “Old Rugged Cross” and “Just a Closer Walk With Thee.”
Honorary urn bearers were Jenni Steingas, Jacki Rightler, Josi Boll, Madi Ruesink and Sydney Ruesink. Urn bearer was Jon Schwartz.
Willie Parpart was born June 11, 1933, in Lester Prairie, the son of Wilhelm and Emilie Parpart. He was one of 12 children and, at the time of his death, was the only surviving member of his family. He was baptized July 2, 1933, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie, and was confirmed on March 30, 1947, at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie. He graduated from Lester Prairie High School in 1951. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Korea and Tokyo, Japan, from 1953 to 1955.
On Aug. 20, 1955, he married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Thiel of Lester Prairie, at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church. The couple made their home in Lester Prairie and shared over 62 years of love and friendship.
Mr. Parpart attended Dunwoody Institute, Hennepin Technical College and Minneapolis Vocational School. He owned his own business for several years before retiring in 1995 from Metro Engineering.
He was an active member of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, where he served as elder and chairman. He also was a member of the Lester Prairie American Legion Post 463 since 1959.
He loved to golf and spent many days on the link. If not on a golf course, he could be found at the “19th hole” — the family cabin in Annandale. He enjoyed the lake views, boat rides, yard games and bonfires with his kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, extended family and friends.
Willie and Barb Parpart’s travel adventures took them to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Hawaii, Italy and several islands in the Caribbean. They also enjoyed spending several winter months in Texas and Arizona perfecting his golf game, shuffleboard and cards.
His greatest love was time spent with his family. Whether it was singing songs to the grandkids on the guitar he taught himself to play, teaching poker to his then 6- and 4-year-old granddaughters, fixing the sons-in-law a perfect Manhattan, golf with his grandsons, watching hundreds of sporting events and school events of his family, long pontoon cruises, cabin projects where there was more laughter than work getting done, bean bag toss contests, card games, silly jokes and hearing him laugh — to being there for every one of his family members — always.
His spirit lives on through his wife, Barb; daughters, Patti (Don) Schwartz, Sherri (Rick) Ruesink and Kelli Parpart; grandchildren, Jenni (Charlie) Steingas, Jacki (Jesse) Rightler, Josi (Wes) Boll, Jon (Jenny) Schwartz, Madison Ruesink and Sydney Ruesink; and great-grandchildren, Zach, Will, Ben, Nora, Harper, Lydia, Henry, Meredith, Graham and Natalie.
Arrangements were with the Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel in Lester Prairie. online obituaries and guest book are available at www.mcbride