Obituary: Willard Hugo Dhein

Willard Hugo Dhein, 92, of Sturgeon Bay, passed away Monday morning, April 3, 2017 at Whispering Pines CBRF.

He was born April 9, 1924 in West Bend, the son of the late Henry and Amanda (Bock) Dhein. Willard graduated from West Bend High School in 1942. Willard served his country for two years with the United States Army 4th Division during WWII, helping to liberate Paris and seeing combat in the Hürtgen Forest and the Battle of Bulge. He earned a Bronze Star, Oak Leaf Cluster, and five battle stars. Upon his return home, Willard studied at Ripon College where he met Annette Solway of Sturgeon Bay. They were united in marriage on September 23, 1950 at the Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church and celebrated over 66 years of marriage.

Willard returned home to West Bend with Annette, and, after a stint at the West Bend Aluminum Co., he began working for First National Bank (later M&I Bank). Annette spent many summers in Sturgeon Bay with her mother and children in the Bay Shore Drive cottages next to the house where she was born. Willard joked that he was allowed “visiting privileges” on weekends. He retired from the bank as Vice President in 1986 after 34 years. That same year, Willard and Annette built a house adjacent to the cottages and moved to Sturgeon Bay.

Willard’s dry sense of humor served him well as master of ceremonies for his annual high school class reunions and bank Christmas parties, which were never the same after he retired. As a member of the West Bend Rotary Club, he presided over the annual fish boils for many years. Willard attended Immanuel United Church of Christ in West Bend, and Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay. He volunteered at the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay, helping hang the exhibits. Willard enjoyed exploring the country on car trips, making sure to avoid the big cities. But his favorite pastime was taking care of the home property; he enjoyed mowing the lawn, gardening, fighting grapevines, and having bonfires on the beach. Willard liked to say that he married Annette for her property.

He will be missed by his wife Annette; children Cindy (Jack) Follick of Sturgeon Bay, Steve (Debbie) Dhein of Green Bay, and Edie (Greg) Chmielewski of West Bend; grandchildren Julia and Andrew Follick, and Justin, Reed, and Blake Dhein; nieces, nephews; and friends.

Willard was preceded in death by his brother Henry Dhein and wife June; sister Dorothy Dhein; and sister-in-law Jean Solway Walker and husband Jim.

A memorial gathering to honor Willard’s life will be held in summer 2017. Interment will be in the Hope Memorial Gardens.

Memorials may be given in Willard’s memory for the Hope Memorial Gardens (mail to Hope Church, 141 S. 12th Ave., Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235).

Huehns Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Sturgeon Bay is assisting the Dhein family. Condolences may be offered at

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