Willard Harte "Bill" Burnap, age 97 of Houston, Texas passed away peacefully on May 26, 2014. A private family memorial service and interment will be held at Riverside Cemetery in Monticello, Minnesota. Funeral arrangements are being made through Peterson-Grimsmo Chapel in Monticello, Minnesota.
The Guest Book is expired.
Bill was born in Monticello, Minnesota on November 16, 1916, to Sherburne M. and Ada M. Burnap. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in business administration. Commissioned an Ensign on November 1, 1944, Bill went on to serve as a Naval Aviator in the U.S. Navy during WWII.
On October 31, 1941, he was united in marriage to Josephine "Jo" Forbes. They were married for 57 years when she passed away in 1998. A few years after Jo's death, Bill married Mae Dean Wheeler.
He spent his early years growing up in Minnesota and working in the family business, Western Oil and Fuel Company, in Minneapolis. Following its 1959 sale to Conoco, Bill moved to Houston in 1962 and joined Conoco as Manager of Affiliated Marketing. He retired from Conoco in 1976 as Vice Chairman of the company and a member of its board of directors.
Following his retirement from Conoco, Bill and Jo's primary Texas residence moved from Houston to their JWB Banner Hill Ranch in Independence, Texas. For many years he enjoyed a summer home in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and a winter home in Naples, Florida. His hobbies included flying, golf, fishing, traveling, and ranching (raising miniature horses and Sicilian donkeys).
After Conoco, Bill continued to be very active in business activities. He was a member of the team that led Commonwealth Oil Refining Co. out of bankruptcy as well as a member of Diversified Resources Group.
Bill was a member of the Houston Country Club as well as Horseshoe Bay Golf Club in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin and Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
He is survived by his son Walter (and wife Jane) Burnap of Houston, Texas; daughter Russella Burnap Garrett (and husband Neil Russell Garrett) of Edmond, Oklahoma; granddaughters Jennifer Garrett Couffer (and husband Joshua Lee Couffer) of Norman, Oklahoma and Bonnie Garrett McGuire (and husband Joseph William McGuire) and great granddaughter Shiloh Jade McGuire of Norman, Oklahoma.
The family wishes to thank Johannah Wilkenfeld and all of his friends and poker buddies at The Hampton at Post Oak. Thank you also to his friend and companion, Clevester King. A special thanks to his doctors and caregivers for their excellent medical care and compassion.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorials in the name of Willard Burnap may be made online at www.nmcrs.org/donate or mailed to Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Attn: Development, 875 North Randolph Street, Suite 225, Arlington, VA 22203.
250 East Broadway
Peterson-Grimsmo Chapel - Monticello
250 E. Broadway P.O. Box 815 Monticello, MN 55362
Published in Houston Chronicle from May 31 to June 1, 2014