Willard Snook of Newton peacefully passed away at home surrounded by his family on Monday, May 11, 2020, after a brief battle with cancer. He was 84. At a later date, a celebration of his life will be held at his home as well as a burial of his ashes in Decorah Prairie, Galesville, WI. Memorials to the Jasper County Historical Museum may be mailed to the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory.
Willard was born April 8, 1936 in Newton to Verne and Coleen (Guessford) Snook. He grew up in Newton and was a graduate of the class of 1954. He was an owner operator of Snook Trucking and worked with many local companies like Brady, Home Oil, Mid 7, and Bisom Truck Lines where he was known by his handle “Shaky”. He married Marilyn Warner in 1954 and they had four children together. They divorced in 1983. He married Gloria Alvarez in 1991 and helped raise her four children in Illinois.
Willard loved working on his Farmall tractors, riding his Harley motorcycles, playing cards, and vacationing with his family. He was infamous for cannonballing in his swimming pool and for his quick dry wit. He could name the best place to get pie in any county he had visited and could not pass a Whitey’s Ice Cream without stopping in for a black cherry shake. Since retiring, most mornings he could be found having coffee with the boys at McDonald’s or tinkering in his garage. Old Westerns were his favorite to watch, but he also enjoyed SpongeBob Square Pants even without any grandchildren present. Willard was a friend to everyone because it was impossible to meet him and not like him. His unwavering calm demeanor and gentle guidance in any situation will be greatly missed, but the wisdom he passed on to others will live on forever.
Survivors include his wife, Gloria; his children, Kim (Mike) Balmer, Bob (Angie) Snook, Chris Snook, Barb (Scott) Caravello, Tony (Rachel) Alvarez, Lisa (Trent) Schaeffer, Tina (Doug) Mattan, and Angela (Tonie) Hayes; sister, Phyllis (JD) Wood; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Bobby; and a sister, Bev Nearmyer.
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