He was born November 16, 1928 in rural Dale, Wisconsin to Robert F. Laabs and his wife Agnes Neumann. He graduated from Hortonville High School in 1946 and spent most of his life engaged in farming, as well as other pursuits. He served as janitor at Emanuel Lutheran Church and School, operated his own Borden’s dairy products distributorship, worked at R & L Electric and owned and managed residential rental units. He also regularly served the churches to which he belonged. On December 29, 1951 Willard married Marion House of New London and moved to a farm there. Their marriage was blessed with three children: David (Sharon) Laabs of Kiel, Connie (Charles) Cortright of Milwaukee and Terry (Denise) Laabs of Burlington, as well as eleven grandchildren and twenty-three great-grandchildren.
Willard is survived by his loving wife Marion, his three children, as well as eleven grandchildren and twenty-three great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brothers, Melvin of Las Vegas, NV, and Dennis (Caroline) of Hortonville, as well as sisters-in-law, Winnifred Laabs of Appleton and Janice Laabs of Beaver Dam. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brothers, Gilbert Laabs and Donald Laabs, and sister-in-law, Nona Laabs.
A memorial service will be held at Risen Savior Lutheran Church, 9550 West Brown Deer Road, Milwaukee, on Saturday September 17, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. There will be visitation with the family prior to the service at the church from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family invites memorial gifts to the Wil-Mar Scholarship Fund at Wisconsin Lutheran College, 8800 West Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226.