James E Willey of Gettysburg, South Dakota

December 7, 1934 – August 21, 2021

Please keep the Willey family in your thoughts and prayers.

Funeral services for James Willey, 86, of Gettysburg will be at 2 PM, Tuesday, August 24, 2021, at the United Methodist Church in Gettysburg. Burial will be at the Gettysburg Cemetery under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge. Visitation will be from 7-9 PM Monday at the church. James passed away Saturday, August 21, 2021, at the Walworth County Care Center in Selby.

James Edward (Jim) Willey was born on December 7, 1934, at Forest City, SD, to Charles and Anna Rose Sternhagen Willey. They lived at Forest City until the spring of 1943 when Charles and Anna purchased the Buchholz place and moved to Fayette Township. Jim attended Fayette School through eighth grade. He started high school at Gettysburg, but came home to take care of the farm after a semester.

Jim met Patricia Austin of Pierre, SD, at a dance in Ft. Pierre in 1955 and they were married in Ft. Pierre by Reverend Weirauch on June 8, 1956. Sons Robert Jay was born March 27, 1957, in Gettysburg and Charles Dean was born in Hoven February 27, 1958. They lived on the farm in a trailer house until 1962 when Charles and Anna retired and moved to Gettysburg. Jim and Pat then moved into the house after remodeling the home.

Jim worked for Jim and Boyd Lake and at the Mobridge Sale Barn for a short time before coming back to help on the farm. He also worked at Gettysburg Sale Barn when Kenny Koops owned it and at the Mobridge and Herreid sale barns over the years.

In August of 1968, a severe wind and hail storm damaged the home at the farm and a new house was built that winter, where Jim continued to milk cows and sell milk for over 20 years until Jim had back surgery. The cows and milking parlor were sold in 1977 and turned into the cow /calf business that winter. In the early 90’s, they switched to buying and selling and backgrounding calves until 2010 when Jim retired due to a stroke. They still reside on that farm today.

Jim very much enjoyed feeding his calves and watching them stand at the bunks and eat. He enjoyed the trail rides back and forth to summer pasture.

Jim and Pat enjoyed trips and tours around the country over the years, visiting most western states. Many hours were spent at the river camping and fishing with his family and friends and coming home to play pinochle when rained out.

Jim was preceded in death by his sisters, Lucille Bliese and Margaret Underwood and their spouses, his brothers, John and Donald and a baby sister at birth.

He is survived by his wife, Pat of Gettysburg, his sons, Bob (Karen) Willey of Gettysburg, 2 step grandchildren, 3 step great grandchildren; Chuck Willey of Pierre, daughter-in-law, Dianne Willey of Gettysburg, granddaughter, Lindsey (Austin) Simon of Aberdeen, SD, and grandson, James Willey of Agar, SD. He is also survived by sister-in-law, Dorothy Willey, nieces, Barb, Candy, and Joanne. Nieces and nephews, Betty and Rose Marie, Mick and Lonny, and Steve and Donny preceded him in death also.