Willis Merrill Gustafson, son of Edwin and Myrtle (Finley) Gustafson, was born September 10, 1929, in St. Peter, Minnesota. He died at home in the loving arms of his wife Elizabeth on Willis Merrill Gustafson, son of Edwin and Myrtle (Finley) Gustafson, was born September 10, 1929, in St. Peter, Minnesota. He died at home in the loving arms of his wife Elizabeth on February 9, 2017.
Memorial service will be held 11:00 am, Monday, February 13, 2017, at First Lutheran Church in St. Peter, with visitation at 9:30 am until the time of the service at the church. St. Peter Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Bill married Rosemary Lindberg in 1949 and they had three children, Laurie, Randy, and Vickie. He later married Elizabeth Skillings on September 9, 1988, and together they traveled the world.
Bill’s childhood dream was to become a lawyer. After attending St. Peter High School and Gustavus Adolphus College, he earned his law degree at William Mitchell Law School in Minneapolis. He returned to St. Peter to practice law with Norman C. Gault. He later opened his own practice with partner Malcolm MacKenzie. He served as Nicollet County Attorney with the continued support of Jerry Lucas, Mike Riley, and Paul Tanis. He was recognized by the Minnesota Bar Association for 60 years of dedicated service.
Bill was proud to be a part of his community in various roles – St. Peter Ambassador, Mason, Rotarian, Nicollet County Fair Secretary, Nicollet County Bank Board, and legal advisor to St. Peter Public Schools and Gustavus Adolphus College. He was a long-time member of First Lutheran Church.
Bill is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; his children, Laurie (Frank) Burg, Randy (Judy), and Vickie (Tom) Michels; Elizabeth’s children, John Skillings, Jean Bender, Julie Leiferman, Laura Hardy, Paul Skillings, Susan McCoy; brother, David (Linda); his grandchildren, Heather Brandt, Ryan Gustafson, Megan Deane and Elizabeth’s 17 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; and many friends.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Myrtle; brothers, Harris, Bob, and Jim; a stillborn sister; and grandsons, Nicolas Gustafson and Matthew Burg.