Willard O. Vetter

August 23, 2022
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Woodland Hills Funeral Home

(507) 387-5504

Willard O. Vetter, age 96, of Mankato, died August 23, 2022 at home. 

Celebrate Willard's Life with the Vetter Family, please join us at 2 P.M this Saturday, September 24, 2022 at Woodland Hills Funeral Home in Mankato. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Mankato or to Mayo-Mankato Hospice.

Willard O. Vetter was born on May 30, 1926 in Kasota, Minnesota, the third of four sons of Paul John and Anna Grace (Binder) Vetter.

He graduated from Kasota High School in 1944, and served in the Navy during World War II. Upon release from World War II service, he attended Northwestern University, graduating in 1947.  He served as a Naval Intelligence Reserve Officer until 1966.

He became a purchasing agent for Boustead Electric and Manufacturing in 1947.  In 1950, he joined the Toni Division of the Gillette Company in St. Paul as a buyer until 1955 when he assumed duties as a co-founder of the Vetter Stone Company of Kasota, Minnesota along with his father and three brothers.

He became well known within the stone-marble-granite industry of the United States and had the unique opportunity to head the two largest trade associations of the industry-the Building Stone Institute and the Marble Institute of America.  He particularly enjoyed assisting architects and contractors with the use of stone products.  He retired in 1996.

He married Doris Eileen Turner of Spring Hill, Kansas on April 22, 1950, exactly four years after her release from service as a World War II Army Nurse.  Their marriage was blessed with a daughter and son.  They both served and led numerous youth and community organizations.

Willard was active in many civilian roles.  He served as mayor of the city of Skyline for 22 years.  In that role, he served as co-founder of the Minnesota Association of Small Cities, along with the mayors of Lake Crystal, Fertile, and Lindstrom, Minnesota. During his service as president of this group, it grew to a membership of over 450 of the States’ cities.

Active in the Boy Scout program, he served as chairman of a troop committee, and – in addition to other duties – he served progressively as the Chairman of the 3 ½ county Great Bend District Committee, President of the 15 county Twin Valley Council, and Vice President of the multi – State Many Waters Area.  Among his scouting awards are the Silver Beaver and St. George awards.

He served for over 30 years on numerous committees of the Mankato Area Vocational Technical Institute, including serving as the first president of their Foundation.  He also served as chairperson of the ISJ-Mayo Health System Foundation.

He was a member of the Exchange Club for over 55 years and was awarded their 1980 Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds.  He was also a life member of the Knights of Columbus, as well as a member of the Professional Business Fraternity – Delta Sigma Pi.

He is survived by daughter Dr. Marsha L. Vetter and significant other Don Grazulis of Oak Park, IL., and son Stephen M. Vetter and wife Lisa of Herndon, VA.  He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, grand nieces and nephews, and great grand nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, father and mother, stepmother, Ethyl, his brother Walter and wife Berniece, his brother Paul and wife Shirley, and his brother Howard and wife Joyce, nephew James and wife Nancy Vetter, and niece Ann Vetter.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Willard O. Vetter, please visit our floral store.

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Celebration of Life
September 24, 2022

2:00 PM
Woodland Hills Funeral Home
1605 Woodland Ave
Mankato, MN 56001

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