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Willis W. Wessman, 88

Chaplain (Ret. Col.) Willis Warren Wessman, age 88, of Topeka, KS, formerly of Cokato, died Sunday, July 26, 2009, at his home.

He was born Oct. 18, 1920, in Cokato, the son of George and Beda (Lindberg) Wessman.

Willis was a graduate of Augsburg College in Minnesota, and Bethel College and Seminary in Minnesota.

He served in the US Navy from Oct. 1944 to June 1946. He later served in the Army as chaplain from Feb. 1951 until his retirement in March of 1979, having served during WW II, Korean War, and Vietnam War eras.

Willis married Dolores Poole Aug. 30, 1946. She preceded him in death Oct. 8, 2003.

Willis was an avid sports participant and fan.

He is survived by his son, Kim Wessman of Bay City, WI; daughter Kathleen and her husband, Norman Bacon of Topeka, KS; granddaughter Rachel and husband, Jordan Slusser of Lawrence, KS; and two grandsons, Michael Bacon of Topeka, KS, and Elliot Field of Bay City, WI.

In addition to his wife, Willis was preceded in death by six brothers, Clarice, Vern, Maurice, Rodney, Eldon, and Delbert Wessman; and one sister, Inez Nyquist.

Funeral services were Friday, July 31 at 10:30 a.m. at the main post chapel at Fort Riley Military Base, Fort Riley, KS. Interment with military honors conducted by Fort Riley Funeral Detail took place at Fort Riley Cemetery.

Penwell-Gabel Southeast Chapel in Topeka, KS handled the arrangements. To leave a special message for the family online, visit www.PenwellGabel.com.