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Willard Lee Nyquist, 96, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on December 30th at La Posada in Green Valley, where he and his wife of 74 years, Marian, have lived since 1994.

Willard grew up in a small, predominantly Swedish Lutheran farming community in central Nebraska. He graduated from Axtell High School and Kearney State College (now the University of Nebraska-Kearney), and attended graduate school at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, before beginning a long career in retail management (Sears) in Chicago.

He served in the Navy during WWII and was stationed at Pearl Harbor later in the war. Work-related moves later took the family to Wichita, KS; Council Bluffs, IA; Salina, KS; Homewood, IL; and Evergreen, CO.

Willard was actively engaged in local civic and church organizations wherever he lived. He was a clarinetist and lover of classical music, and cultivated many varieties of roses. During his early retirement years he raised Morgan horses, which reconnected him with his farming roots in Nebraska. He was an avid sports fan for many years with a special fondness for Nebraska Cornhusker football and University of Arizona basketball. Willard and Marian were long-time members of Desert Hills Lutheran Church in Green Valley.

Willard is survived by his daughter Judith Nyquist (Tryg Ager) from Silver Spring, MD; daughter Kathleen Ford (Solomon Ford); two grandchildren; and two great-grandsons from Kapolei, HI; and son David Leo-Nyquist (Kathryn Leo-Nyquist) and two grandsons from Shelburne, VT. He was predeceased by his parents, Solomon and Velma Nyquist from Axtell, NE.

The family wants to thank the staff at La Posada and particularly at La Hacienda for the loving care they provided at the end of his long and happy life. The family requests that any memorials be sent to Desert Hills Lutheran Church in Green Valley (Desert Hills Lutheran Church, 2150 S. Camino del Sol, Green Valley, AZ 85622-8352) or to the La Posada educational scholarship fund (La Posada Scholarship Fund, 350 E. Morningside Rd., Green Valley, AZ 85614). A memorial service will be held at a later time.

Published in Green Valley News & Sun on Jan. 12, 2014
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