(portrait)

David William "Billy" Willett

Last updated 11 Sep 2021 in Spear–Johnson Family.

Individual

Born: 27 May 1930 in Tulare, Spink County, South Dakota, United States

Died: 13 Feb 2017 in Redfield, Spink County, South Dakota, United States

Father: George William Willett (1889 – 2007)

Mother: Mary A. Spear (1896 – 2007)

Supporting evidence for:
name

misc-spear-date-notebook: Spear birth and death date notebook; multiple contributors; privately held

Additional detail for reference: Page 5 - May Births

Comment: Source includes name (David William Willett).

obituary-david-willett-2017: Obituary for David William Willett (2017); Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home (https://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 25 Apr 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), published after 13 Feb 2017

Comment: Source includes name (Daid William Willett).

obituary-suzy-willett-2016: Obituary for Suzuko “Susy” Ameku Willett (2016); Hyke Funeral Home (http://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 23 April 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), after 15 Jan 2016

Comment: Source includes name (David Willett).

obituary-leonard-willett-2009: Obituary for Leonard R. Willett (2009); “Leonard R. Willett,” Rapid City Journal (Rapid City, South Dakota), 11 Feb 2009 (Wednesday), page A4, column 1

Comment: Source includes name (David Willett).

memorialcard-emilie-price-2007: Memorial card (funeral program) for Emilie Ruth Price (2007); privately held

Comment: Source includes name (David Willett).

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,
birth

misc-spear-date-notebook: Spear birth and death date notebook; multiple contributors; privately held

Additional detail for reference: Page 5 - May Births

Comment: Source includes date ([May] 27 [...] 1930).

obituary-david-willett-2017: Obituary for David William Willett (2017); Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home (https://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 25 Apr 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), published after 13 Feb 2017

Comment: Source includes location (farm west of Tulare [, South Dakota]) and date (May 27, 1930).

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,
death

obituary-david-willett-2017: Obituary for David William Willett (2017); Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home (https://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 25 Apr 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), published after 13 Feb 2017

Comment: Source includes location (Redfield, SD) and date (February 13, 2017).

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,
father

obituary-david-willett-2017: Obituary for David William Willett (2017); Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home (https://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 25 Apr 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), published after 13 Feb 2017

Comment: Source identifies George Willett as a biological parent of David William Willett.

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,
mother

obituary-david-willett-2017: Obituary for David William Willett (2017); Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home (https://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 25 Apr 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), published after 13 Feb 2017

Comment: Source identifies Mary (Spear) Willett as a biological parent of David William Willett.

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Family

Spouse/Partner: Suzuko "Suzy" Ameku (1937 – 2016)

Married: 2 Feb 1956 in Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan

Supporting evidence for:
marriage

obituary-suzy-willett-2016: Obituary for Suzuko “Susy” Ameku Willett (2016); Hyke Funeral Home (http://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 23 April 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), after 15 Jan 2016

Comment: Source includes location (Fukuoka, Japan) and date (February 2, 1956). The location is assumed to be the city, not the entire prefecture.

obituary-david-willett-2017: Obituary for David William Willett (2017); Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home (https://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 25 Apr 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), published after 13 Feb 2017

Comment: Source includes date (February 2, 1956) of marriage of David Willett and Suzuko Ameku.

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Child: <private>

Child: <private>

Miscellaneous Facts

Events

Graduation: (high school) 1948

Military Induction: (Air Force) Sep 1948

Military Rank: (Sergeant (Air Force)) 2 Feb 1956

Degree: 1962

Military Discharge: Oct 1976 at Rapid City, Pennington County, South Dakota, United States

Funeral: (Tulare United Church) 17 Feb 2017 at Tulare, Spink County, South Dakota, United States

Cemetery: (Tulare Cemetary) at Tulare, Spink County, South Dakota, United States

Supporting evidence for:
events

obituary-david-willett-2017: Obituary for David William Willett (2017); Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home (https://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 25 Apr 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), published after 13 Feb 2017

Comment: Source includes year of high school graduation (1948).

obituary-david-willett-2017: Obituary for David William Willett (2017); Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home (https://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 25 Apr 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), published after 13 Feb 2017

Comment: Source notes branch (Air Force) and date (September 1948) of his initial training.

obituary-suzy-willett-2016: Obituary for Suzuko “Susy” Ameku Willett (2016); Hyke Funeral Home (http://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 23 April 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), after 15 Jan 2016

Comment: Source includes branch and rank (Air Force Sergeant) and date (February 2, 1956).

obituary-david-willett-2017: Obituary for David William Willett (2017); Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home (https://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 25 Apr 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), published after 13 Feb 2017

Comment: Source notes he received a bachelor's degree from Dakota Wesleyan University [, Mitchell, South Dakota] in 1962.

obituary-david-willett-2017: Obituary for David William Willett (2017); Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home (https://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 25 Apr 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), published after 13 Feb 2017

Comment: Source notes David retired from the Air Force at Ellsworth AFB at Rapid City [, South Dakota] in October 1976.

obituary-david-willett-2017: Obituary for David William Willett (2017); Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home (https://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 25 Apr 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), published after 13 Feb 2017

Comment: Source includes location (Tulare United Church in Tulare [, South Dakota]) and date (February 17, 2017).

obituary-david-willett-2017: Obituary for David William Willett (2017); Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home (https://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 25 Apr 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), published after 13 Feb 2017

Comment: Source includes cemetery (Tulare Cemetery [, Tulare, South Dakota]).

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Attributes

Residence: Aug 1965 at , , Tokyo, Japan

Residence: 1992 at Rapid City, Pennington County, South Dakota, United States

Residence: 1993 at Tulare, Spink County, South Dakota, United States

Residence: 26 Oct 2007 at Tulare, Spink County, South Dakota, United States

Residence: 11 Feb 2009 at Tulare, Spink County, South Dakota, United States

Supporting evidence for:
attributes

periodical-leave-for-japan-1965: “Leave For Japan,” local news; Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com: accessed 29 Apr 2018) > “United States of America > South Dakota > Huron > The Daily Plainsman > 1965 > 08 > 26” page 6; citing “The Daily Plainsman (Huron, South Dakota), 26 Aug 1965 (Thursday), page 6, column 4”

Comment: Source includes rank and implied name (A1C and Mrs. David Willett) and location (Yukato Air Base, Tokyo, Japan).

obituary-david-willett-2017: Obituary for David William Willett (2017); Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home (https://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 25 Apr 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), published after 13 Feb 2017

Comment: Source includes location (Rapid City [, South Dakota]) and year (1992).

obituary-david-willett-2017: Obituary for David William Willett (2017); Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home (https://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 25 Apr 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), published after 13 Feb 2017

Comment: Source includes location (Tulare [, South Dakota]) and year (1993).

memorialcard-emilie-price-2007: Memorial card (funeral program) for Emilie Ruth Price (2007); privately held

Comment: Source includes reference date (26 Oct 2007) and location (Tulare, SD).

obituary-leonard-willett-2009: Obituary for Leonard R. Willett (2009); “Leonard R. Willett,” Rapid City Journal (Rapid City, South Dakota), 11 Feb 2009 (Wednesday), page A4, column 1

Comment: Source includes locatoin (Tulare [, South Dakota]).

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General Notes and Anecdotes

David was actually born on the farm west of Tulare. According to his obituary, he was nicknamed "Little Billy" by the attending nurse, a neighbor that knew his grandfather William. Since David's cousin (also named David) was sent to live with the family for a few years, David Willett continued to use the nickname Billy through his school years. [obituary-david-willett-2017]

Supporting evidence for:
general notes

obituary-david-willett-2017: Obituary for David William Willett (2017); Thelen-Hyke Funeral Home (https://www.hykefuneralhome.com: accessed 25 Apr 2018), single location (Redfield, South Dakota), published after 13 Feb 2017

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Research Notes (Conflicts/Spelling/Followup)

FOLLOWUP

The cousin "David" noted in the general notes is <private> who was sent to live with the Willetts when his own mother died shortly after he was born. He went back to live with his father after he remarried.

Sources

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