Willis J. Iffert, age 72, of Willmar, died Thursday, December 30, 2021, at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis.
His Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, January 5, 2022, at the Church of St. Mary in Willmar and will be streamed on the church’s website. Interment will be at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Arrangements are with Harvey Anderson Funeral Home, www.hafh.org.
Willis Joseph Iffert was born August 3, 1949, at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar, Minnesota, the son of Elmer and Mable (Niemeyer) Iffert. He grew up near Gluek, Minnesota and attended country school. After his parents’ divorce in 1957, he lived with his father and attended school in a number of communities throughout Minnesota. He began working in Fergus Falls as a janitor for several businesses. In 1967, he moved to Raymond to live with an aunt and uncle. He worked at his aunt and uncle’s restaurant and also for Tebben Manufacturing in Clara City. He later moved to Willmar and worked for Knigge Roofing.
In January 1969, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in California and Washington State and served two tours in Vietnam. After his discharge in December 1972, he attended the Willmar Vo-Tech and earned his degree in industrial welding. On September 20, 1974, he married Betty Marie Pillatzki and two children, Jennifer and Brian were born to their marriage. They made their home in St. Cloud for a short time, before returning to Willmar. Willis worked as a welder for Willmar Manufacturing for 26 years. He then was self-employed as a welder and also drove taxi for a few years before retiring.
Willis was a member of the V.F.W. and American Legion Posts in Willmar. He loved his dog and took it everywhere he went. He enjoyed walking, gardening, watching movies and listening to music; and nearly always had his headphones in. He also enjoyed riding bike, searching for roadside “treasures”, and tinkering in the garage; and especially enjoyed doing these activities with his grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife: Betty Iffert of Willmar; two children: Jennifer Kidrowski of Willmar and Brian (Lisa) Iffert of Clara City; seven grandchildren: Kali Kidrowski, Brandon Kidrowski, Peyton Kidrowski, Sarafina (Sean) James, Timothy James, Anton Trujillo, and Ryder Iffert; his siblings: Warren Iffert and Lucinda Gavere; and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father: Elmer Iffert; his mother: Mable Ruesch; his stepfather: Lloyd Ruesch; and a grandson: Jeremiah Kidrowski.
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