The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


April 10, 2014

Kermit D. Willard

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Kermit D. Willard died Monday, April 7, 2014, at his home east of Carthage.

He was born April 19, 1928, the son of James Miller Willard and Bertha Violet Spear Willard.

He is survived by his wife, M. Edith Snyder Willard, of the home; his son, Jeff Willard (and wife, Sally Willard), of Van Buren, Ark.; his daughter, Judy Glennon, of Harker Heights, Texas; seven grandchildren, Alicia Willard, Adam Willard (and wife, Lora Willard), Quentin Willard, Ben Willard (and wife, Lacie Willard), Mary Glennon, Matthew Glennon and Sean Glennon; one great-grandson, Matimu Willard; he is also survived by one niece, Gail Willard Lawrence; and two sisters-in-law, Nadine Willard and Ella Willard. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Bill Willard and Paul Willard; and one granddaughter, Dorothy Glennon.

Kermit was a graduate of Carthage High School in 1947 and also Kansas State College in Pittsburg. He was a veteran of the Korean war and served as an Aviation Boatswain's Mate in the U.S. Navy from 1950 to 1956. He was a member of Center Point Christian Church where he was a past elder and teacher. He was also a life member of the Crossroads Southwest MO Disabled American Veterans, Number 41.

Kermit was diagnosed with a faulty heart valve as a young man. While he was able to work he was a refrigeration repairman, working with Coca-Cola Company of Joplin and later with several appliance service businesses in Kansas and Jasper, Mo. He couldn't climb mountains or run marathons. In later life he couldn't walk the grounds of his much loved "homestead" and he often had difficulty just "being". He wanted to do so much, but the body he was gifted with just wouldn't allow it. For a man who wanted to DO rather than just BE, this was excruciatingly difficult and very frustrating, but he did try. He understood that we needed him to be with us as long as possible and he did try, but he never stopped trying to do more for others, mostly out of thanks for all that everyone around him continued to do for him. He never met a stranger. He was quick with a tale, ready with a smile and a handshake and probably the most loving husband, proud father and grandfather we have ever seen.

Give him 30 seconds, and he would regale you with the latest exploits of one of his grandchildren or another, always ready to bust his buttons in pride. Kermit just really loved people. Didn't matter what you did for a living, where you lived, who you "came from", he would bend over backward to help in time of need. So, as our family and friends begin the difficult task of saying goodbye, we do it more as a celebration of a life so well lived, rather than a farewell for one with much left to do. We will sing songs, we will reminisce, we will laugh, we will cry, and we will hold on to the solid assurance that he goes before us but we will see each other again, when it is our turn....when God feels we've finished our task as well as Kermit finished his....when the time is right for God, not for us...until then...we celebrate the life of a remarkable man.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 12, at The Center Point Christian Church, east of Carthage, with burial to follow at Fasken Cemetery. The family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 11, at Ulmer Funeral Home.

Contributions can be made to Center Point Christian Church or to the Crossroads Southwest Missouri DAV in care of Ulmer Funeral Home.

Online condolences may be made at

Arrangements are under the direction of Ulmer Funeral Home.

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