Cover photo for Ron  Willems's Obituary
Ron  Willems Profile Photo
1935 Ron 2022

Ron Willems

April 18, 1935 — November 28, 2022

Ronald “Ron” H Willems, 87 of De Pere, the son of Mark A Willems and Blanche “Bunny” (Van De Hei) Willems passed away peacefully on Monday, November 28, 2022 after losing his fight with lung cancer surrounded by his family. Ron was born April 18, 1935 and graduated from St. Francis Grade School and St. Lawrence Seminary High School and attended St. Norbert College where he was also in the ROTC. Ron was a proud military veteran and served in the United States Navy from 1956 to 1959 as a Corpsman and Chaplain’s Assistant and also played the trombone in the United States Navy Band and then served 1 year in the Marines 10th Artillery during the Lebanon Crisis and was honorably discharged as a disabled veteran.


Ron grew up in his family landscape and floral business “Willems Landscape Service” which was started by his father around 1941. Ron took over as President and CEO of Willems Landscape Service when he returned from service and decided to further develop the landscape part of the business and sold the greenhouse business which proved to be a great move as his business grew and thrived over the years with the theme of “utmost importance to customer satisfaction.” On February 16, 1963 he married Bonita “Bonnie” L Wellens at Old St. Joseph’s Church in De Pere. They celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary this year. Of all of Ron’s accomplishments he was most proud of his family. He counted each one as a true blessing and never missed a birthday or holiday and could put Hallmark out of business with his card writing skills.

He is survived by their six children and their spouses Wendy (Willems) Townsend and David Townsend, Jeff Willems, Brian Willems and Mary Van Dommelen, Perry Willems, Joanne Willems, Randy Willems and Tricia Willems. His eight grandchildren and their spouses: Blake Neuburg and McKenzie Neuburg, Nicholas Neuburg and Tarin Buol, Adam Van Dommelen and Anne Hohensee, Matthew Willems, Ethan Willems, Michele Townsend, Christine Smith and Noah Smith, Amanda Massaway and Michael Massaway and his nine great-grandchildren, Thomas Van Dommelen, Evelyn Van Dommelen, Evan Massaway, Maxwell Massaway, Gavin Massaway, Layne Massaway, Phia Smith, Griff Smith and Kitra Smith. His brothers and sisters-in-law Tim and Sheila Willems, Clyde and Marlene Willems, his sister and brother-in-law Karen and Charles “Chuck” Hockers and late brother Daryl Willems, his brother-in laws and spouses Jerry and Kathy Wellens, Dan and Andrea Wellens, Jim and Nancy Wellens and sister-in-law Debra Wellens.


Ron was very active in the community and was a member and volunteer of St. Francis Xavier Church, Knights of Columbus, VFW - Funeral Service and Color Guard, Brown County Home Builders, Past President of Green Bay Landscape Contractors, Baylander Barbershop Chorus and delivery driver for Meals on Wheels. One of his many passions was kids and he helped fund raise and build the De Pere Ice Center where he was also a youth hockey coach. No story would be complete about Ron without mentioning his love for the Packers, Brewers and Badgers. He cheered for the Packers right until the end. Another of his all-time favorites was the time spent “Up North” at the family cottage at beautiful Lake Lafave in Goodman, WI. Many happy memories of fishing, boating, water skiing, bon fires, deer hunting and storytelling along with long pontoon rides up and down the Fox River will live forever in our hearts.


Friends may call at Cotter Funeral Home, 860 Webster Avenue, De Pere, from 3:00 -7:00 pm on Sunday December 4, 2022 with Knights of Columbus Prayer Service to conclude the evening. On Monday December 5th friends may call at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 220 S Michigan Street, De Pere from 9:30 to 10:45 am. Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 am. Due to construction at the church, parking is being offered off site at the Swan Club at 875 Heritage Road, De Pere with shuttle service to and from St. Francis Church. Friends are invited to continue the celebration of Ron’s life following the services at the Swan Club in De Pere.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ron Willems, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, December 5, 2022

9:30 - 10:45 am (Eastern time)

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church

220 South Michigan Street, De Pere, WI 54115

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Mass

Monday, December 5, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church

220 South Michigan Street, De Pere, WI 54115

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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