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Harris "Bill" Linder

Harris "Bill" Linder May 5, 1921 - Oct. 1, 2013

WILLMAR - Harris "Bill" Linder, 92, of Willmar, died Tuesday, October 1st at Bethesda Pleasantview. His funeral will be 3:00 pm, Sunday, October 6th at Bethel Lutheran Church in Willmar. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery. Visitation will be from 3-6 pm Saturday at Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar and continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Sunday. The family prefers memorials to Bethel Lutheran Church, 411 Becker Ave SW, Willmar, MN 56201.

Bill was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 15, 1921, the son of Harry and Irene (Peterson) Linder. He grew up in Minneapolis, graduating from Washburn High School in 1939 as valedictorian. He continued his education at the University of Minnesota until moving with his family to Willmar in 1940 to help his father and mother start KWLM.

In 1942, Bill enlisted into the United States Navy, serving at the Naval Research Lab in Washington D.C. He was honorably discharged in 1946. Bill returned to the family business with his father, mother and brother to build the Linder group of radio stations.

On September 16, 1949, he was united in marriage to Helen May Anderson at Bethel Lutheran Church. They continued to live in Willmar, raising their children until moving to their home on Green Lake in 1985. Bill was honored to be inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Bill and Helen enjoyed spending several winters in Arizona and Florida after retiring.

He was a member of Bethel Lutheran Church where he had served on several committees and was especially proud of Bethels downtown ministry and always supported the mission of the church. He truly appreciated people who do "the real work of God" helping others.

There were many organizations and charities that Bill belonged to and supported including the YMCA, where the Y Book Club challenged him for several years; Club Bethesda, where he enjoyed keeping his body physically fit and healthy and he could be heard encouraging others to do the same; and Willmar Area Community Foundation. Bill and his family were honored in receiving the Award in Philanthropy by the Willmar Area Community Foundation.

Bill was a humble person full of vigor, life and humor, who knew and realized that his many blessings and strength came from God. His entire life was about faith, family and service, and even at the end, he hoped and wanted to do more for the community and his God. He gave it his all, every step of the way, and will be remembered as a humble and faithful servant.

Surviving are his children, Steve (and Nancy) Linder of Willmar; Dave (and Laurie) Linder of Duluth; Nancy (and Gary) Alsaker of Benson and Paul (and Lisa) Linder of Eden Prairie; daughter-in-law, Joan Linder of St. Cloud; eight grandchildren, Ben, Brian, Dan, R.J., Michael, Katie, Mariah and Jasmine; four great grandchildren, Helen, Isabelle, Preslie and Owen. Also surviving is his brother, Don Linder of Mankato.

He was preceded in death by his parents, loving wife, Helen and son, Ron.