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Joseph B. Willard, 77, of Elma, a World War II veteran and American Legion post commander, died Saturday (Sept. 26, 1998) in Mercy Hospital after a long illness.

A Buffalo native, Willard graduated from St. Agatha's Elementary School and South Park High School. He was wounded while serving with the Army in Italy during World War II.

Willard was a tool and die maker for Houdaille Industries from 1939 to 1970.

He enjoyed music and performed as a clarinetist with the Hamburg Band. He also was a member of the Happy Timers and organized and led a German band called the Sunday Afternoon Chowder and Culture Society.

Willard was a member of Post 735, American Legion, where he had served as chaplain, vice commander and commander. He also was a member of Post 8113, Veterans of Foreign Wars; Post 150, Disabled American Veterans; the Father Baker Council of the Knights of Columbus; and Elma Senior Citizens.

He was an avid bowler and enjoyed fishing and golfing with his brothers, grandsons and friends.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, the former Gerry Otto; a daughter, Jeri McDonald of Charleston, W.Va.; two brothers, Nelson of Williamsville and Dick; a sister, Shirley Lennon of Kenmore; three grandsons; and five great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday in St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Seneca and Rice roads, Elma, after prayers at 9:15 in Paul A. Kloc Blossom Chapels, 4680 Clinton St., West Seneca. Burial will be in St. Vincent Cemetery.


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