Willard W. Obie, 74, passed away April 14, 2007. He was born Oct. 30, 1932, on the family homestead north of Joplin, Mont., to Edwin and Ann Y. Obie.
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Leaving Joplin, the family moved to Bozeman and bought a farm in the Hyalite Canyon area. After graduating from Gallatin County High School in 1951, he served in the U.S. Army in Korea.
He worked for his brother, Gordon Obie, at Obie Sign Company in Bozeman as a neon tube bender and sheet metal worker. Later he worked in sales, leasing and managing for other outdoor advertising companies, including his own, in California and Oregon.
He married his wife, Marlene, in 1959. They moved from Great Falls to Havre, and later to Medford, Ore., where they raised their three children. They lived in San Jose for 12 years before moving to the Seattle area in 1998. Since 2005, he was a resident at Foss Home & Village.
Willard enjoyed fishing, crabbing, playing the harmonica and violin, fixing things, listening to and telling jokes, hanging out and making friends at cafes and being with family. He was well known for being a good dancer at the country dances in his younger years.
He is survived by his wife, Marlene; son, Gene and his wife, Wendy of Medford, Ore.; his son, Tim and his daughter, Lana, both of the Seattle area; brother, Gordon and wife, Mildred, and brother, Laurence and wife, Carol of Eugene, Ore., sister, Rose Groven of Corvallis, and sister, Gillette and husband, Rolland Ritter of Bozeman. Survivors also include Willard's granddaughter, Meredith of the Seattle area, daughter of Tim; grandson, Brady, son of Gene and Wendy; along with many cousins, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
Willard had another brother, Norman, who preceded him in death, many years ago, while still living on the homestead north of Joplin.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, April 20, at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Kirkland, Wash.
Memorial contributions may be made to Foss Home & Village Foundation, 13023 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98133.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at 7956-A Simonds Rd. N.E., Kenmore, WA 98028.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 20, 2007