SAN ANGELO Willard Giffin Shriver passed away Thursday, July 18, 2013, in a nursing home in San Angelo, Texas. He was 91 at the time of his death. Willard was born Oct. 26, 1921, at home in Jerusalem, Ohio, to Albert and Alta (Mann) Shriver. He was the second born of three children. His sisters were Fleta Knox and Mary Wilson. Willard attended school till the seventh grade at which time he took up working for a local farmer to help support the family. Willard was drafted into the Army in 1942, where he served in the Battle of the Bulge, World War II. During his time in the service, Willard had earned an honor with three Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Medal and the Purple Heart. Willard served in the 99th Infantry. On Dec. 23, 1944, he had both legs frozen in battle. These injuries never prevented him from a full life. On June 16, 1946, Willard married Miss Mary Belle Lemaster, his wife of 65 years, until her passing in 2011. Willard was a man of determination, devotion and hard work. He also had a love for horses and bluegrass music. He and Mary did many things throughout their lives, which consisted of bluegrass festivals, traveling and raising two sons. After retiring, Willard and Mary came to reside in Christoval, Texas, where they attended the Church of Christ there. Willard had a hand in the construction of the newest church building there on Hwy 277 and was very proud of that. Once Willard's mobility declined, he and his wife moved to Eldorado where they had a son who could help with their day to day life. Of course Willard adapted and transitioned well because he was always easy going and if Mary said let's do it, he was on board no questions needed. Willard always had a story to tell and a song to sing. As a matter of a fact, until he was disabled by strokes, you would find he was sitting with anyone who would listen telling one of his stories. None were boastful but of tender memories of his life. Once his disabilities prevented him from much speech, you may not hear him say "Good Morning", but you would hear him singing "I'll Fly Away" with a passion in his heart and voice. We always knew as long as we heard that, everything was okay with Willard. His singing and his stories will be truly missed. Willard is survived by his two sons, Don Shriver and wife Penny of Axtell, Texas, Dan Shriver and wife Dana of Eldorado, Texas; nine grandchildren, Dawn, Jeremy and wife Esther, Mikayla, Lindsey, Levi, Aaron, Brian, Dustin and Rylee; one great-grandchild, Haylee; nieces and nephews who loved him dearly and he was known to them as Uncle "Woogey". Willard was preceded in death by parents Albert and Alta Shriver; sisters Fleta and Mary; and his beloved wife, Mary Belle (Lemaster) Shriver. Graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 20, 2013, in Lawnhaven Memorial Gardens. Family and friends may sign an online register book at johnsons-funeralhome.com.
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Published in GoSanAngelo from July 20 to July 21, 2013