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Willard “Willie” Adkinson, 81, Ottawa, passed away at 5:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at Olathe Medical Center.

He will be at Highland Cemetery in Ottawa, where friends may join the family for a graveside service. Everyone is welcome to meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, outside Dengel & Son Mortuary to follow the procession to the cemetery, and to celebrate Willie’s life and share beloved memories.

Willie was born June 2, 1931, in LaCrosse, Kan.

He lived in the Pomona area throughout his childhood, and then moved to Merriam after getting married. In 1969, they moved to Spring Hill where he started his own mechanic shop. After retiring in 1996, they moved to Williamsburg then to Ottawa in 2006.

Willie served his country in Korea from 1951 to 1953. He was a lifelong member of the Spring Hill American Legion, and even donated property for their post.

On Dec. 17, 1954, Willie married June Freeman in Tonganoxie, Kan. June survives of the home.

Other survivors include three daughters, Mary Johnston, Tonganoxie, Carol Lang and her husband, Chris, Perry, and Nancy Grillot and her husband, Randy, Olathe; 15 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren. He also left behind several nieces, nephews and many wonderful friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Wesley and Ruth (Waln) Adkinson, Pomona; four sisters, Alice Broast, Geraldine Matteson, Georgia Wallace and Doris Brecheisen; granddaughters, Kim Kaufman and Trisha Shay; and a son-in-law, Mike Johnston.

Willie was best remembered for his “handlebar” mustache. He had a great sense of humor and enjoyed retelling many stories of his life. He rarely sat idle and always was willing to help a neighbor or friend in time of need. He and his wife never knew a stranger and took in countless people through the years when they needed a family, home or kindness. He amazed everyone with his ability to survive and conquer what life had to throw at him, when most of us would have given up. Willie loved spending time with his family, friends and his canine companion, “Buddy.”

The family suggests memorial contributions to Willie Adkinson Memorial Fund through Dengel & Son Mortuary, 235 S. Hickory St., Ottawa KS 66067.

An online guest book is available at

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