Wanette Bills Aug. 25, 1934 - April 24, 2013 | West Central Tribune

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Wanette Bills Aug. 25, 1934 - April 24, 2013

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Wanette Bills Aug. 25, 1934 - April 24, 2013

WILLMAR - Wanette Bills, 78, of Willmar, died Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at Willmar Care Center in Willmar. Her funeral will be 11:00 am, Monday, April 29th at First Covenant Church in Willmar. Burial will be in Lebanon Cemetery in New London. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service on Monday. Arrangements are with Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar, www.hafh.org.

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Mary Wanette was born on August 25, 1934, in Ellsworth, Iowa, the daughter of Ernest and Emma Leoan (Gorman) Freeman. Her family lived in the Ellsworth and Woolstock area before moving to Buffalo Center where she attended her elementary years of schooling. In about the 8th grade, her family moved to Willmar and she attended District #62 North. Following her schooling, she worked for Willmar State Hospital before moving to California where she met her husband to be, Frank R. Bills. They were united in marriage on September 17, 1954 in Arizona. They returned to Willmar before moving to El Paso, TX and in 1977, they moved to Spicer. Frank preceded her in death in 1978. In the early 1980’s, Wanette suffered a brain tumor and surgery which left her blind, but her perseverance as a single mom enabled her to fight on. She enrolled in college, University of Minnesota-Duluth, where she earned her degree in chemical dependency counseling. She returned to Willmar State Hospital and worked as a counselor, before retiring in the mid 1990’s.

She was baptized as a young child and confirmed at Bethel Lutheran Church in Willmar. Wanette has been a member of First Covenant Church for the past several years.

Surviving are her children, Frank (and Connie) Bills of Salt Lake City, UT; John (and Deb) Bills of Spicer; Catherine (and Mike) Smith of Austin, TX; Celeste (and Lonnie) Vogelsang of Milbank, SD; Naomi (and Kim) Sweep of Savage; 10 grandchildren, Tiffany, Tonya, Zachary, Crystal, Wayne, Michelle, Jason, Joshua, Lisa and Angela and 8 great grandchildren. Also surviving are her sister, Geraldine (and Gary) Lee of Decorah, IA and sister-in-law, Jane Freeman of Spring Harbor, MI.

Besides her husband, Frank; she was preceded in death by her parents, brother, John and sister, Virginia Sweep.

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