MAYVILLE—Loyal John Villwock, 100, entered eternal life on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at Hope Senior Living in Lomira. He was surrounded by his family.
Loyal was born Jan. 3, 1919, to Alfred and Elma (Dohrman) Villwock in Mayville. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church. At age three, his family moved to a farm just to the west of Mayville. From there, he attended the one-room Fruit Valley School through eighth grade. Loyal graduated from Mayville High School in 1936, at age 17.
Loyal helped his family run their small farm using horses to start, and taking on more responsibility as he grew up. He attended UW Madison Agriculture Short Course as a young man. He also and earned his pilot’s license.
In 1939, he had the opportunity to attend the World’s Fair in New York, seeing many of the inventions and processes that we still see today including the first television.
Following that, he met his future wife, Lydia Zimdahl at a local dance and they married shortly after on April 19, 1941, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Theresa. Settling on the farm to the south of his childhood home, they made a living raising crops such a white clover, sugar beets, hemp and corn and also raising chickens, pigs and cattle as the market dictated. The couple adopted Ricky in 1952, and then Ginger was born in 1961, and Kathy in 1964. They had many apple trees and in later in life, he took pride in his grape vine.
Besides farming, Loyal worked a variety of jobs to help provide for his family. He drove gravel truck, worked in a cheese factory, and did factory work at MEC. He worked many years at John Deere Horicon Works retiring in 1981.
Work did not stop Loyal from being a family man. The family took trips to all corners of the United States and local destinations. They square danced together and enjoyed playing cards and other games. Family was important to Loyal and as his family grew, so did his interests in his childrens’ and grandchildrens’ lives. He was always there to tell his stories to them and to take part in the new stories and journeys they were creating.
In retirement, Loyal and Lydia were snowbirds. They spent winters in Florida making friends, playing shuffleboard and cards, and continuing their square dancing until Lydia’s death in 2000.
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In 2017, he moved to Hope Senior Living in Lomira. Although a change after almost a century of life in Mayville, Loyal enjoyed the care and company of both the residents and the staff. It was a new community that provided him a lot of joy in the later years, including hosting his 100th Birthday party for both the residents, and his family and friends.
Loyal is survived by his children, Ginger (Westley) Reshel of Pittsville, Wis. and Kathryn (Jack) Dobbratz of Mayville; grandchildren, Heidi (Brandon) Olhoff of Madison, Laurel Leisses (partner Matt Phillips) of N.H., John Dobbratz of Mayville and Christy Dobbratz of Minneapolis; and great-grandson, Mason Olhoff of Madison.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Lydia; son, Ricky; and brother, Victor.
Visitation will be held at St. John Ev. Lutheran Church, 520 Bridge St., Mayville on Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 1 to 3 p.m., with the service following visitation with Pastor Allen Behnke officiating. Inurnment will be held at a later date in St. John’s Cemetery, Mayville.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. John Ev. Lutheran Church in Mayville, Hope Senior Living in Lomira or Agnesian Hospice Care.
The family would like to extend their thanks to the staff at Hope, the Agnesian Hospice workers and volunteers, and to Pastors Behnke, Frazee and Weiss for their care for Loyal and family during this time.
The Koepsell Funeral Home in Mayville is serving the family. For online condolences and other information, visit www.KoepsellFH.com.