Gradon Willard

June 14, 1921 - June 10, 2007


Formerly of Ross Twp.,
born 1921 in Waco, TX., was called to be with his family in heaven on June 10, 2007. He is survived by his wife, Ellen Willard, children, Margaret Van Fossan, Mary Joan Willard, Cathy Snyder Montague, James Willard, Nan Willard Cappo, and Beth Miller, 14 grandchildren, a brother, Nevin Willard and a sister, Ellen Jeanne Adair.
Raised in Corsicana, TX., he earned a degree in chemical engineering from Univ. Of Texas. He served in the Navy during WWII and the Korean War, as a commanding officer of the Naval Reserve in Cumberland, Maryland, and retired from the service as a Lt. Commander. He met his wife, Ellen, who was serving as an Army Nurse, during WWII at an officer’s dance. They married after the war and raised 6 children in the Catholic Faith both being active for 44 years in St. Teresa of Avila Parish, Perrysville. Gradon served in many positions including as the last President of the Church Council. He earned a Masters Degree in chemical engineering while working full time, and by virtue of hard work, integrity and business acumen, rose from a position as assistant plant production manager to Vice- President of USS Chemicals. He and his wife Ellen moved to Village on the Green in Longwood, Fla. In 2004 to be closer to their youngest grandchildren. Gradon was known for his calm demeanor and logical approach to everything from family life to golf. A talented athlete, he played tennis, danced with his wife and all his daughters and granddaughters at family gatherings, and won the Pennsylvania Sr. Amateur Golf Championship during his retirement. He was a longtime member of Shannopin Country Club, where he shot his age at 76. He wanted his golfing buddies to know he never rolled the ball over unless it was allowed under the rules. Gradon’s lifelong goal, to care for his family in a supportive and moral fashion, was well met. He gifted his wife, children, and grandchildren with absolute confidence in his integrity, unfailing love, and support. Visitation with the family Saturday June 16, 9 AM – 10 AM, at the T.B. Devlin Funeral Home, 806 Perry Hwy. North Hills, followed by Graveside Service at North Side Catholic Cemetery.

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