Dec. 28, 1925 - Sept. 29, 2012
Willard Fenderson, a long-time Prineville minister, passed away at his home on Saturday, September 29, 2012. He was 86. Born on December 28, 1925, in Edgeley, North Dakota, Willard was the first-born of four sons born to Berma and Howard Fenderson. Willard spent most of his youth in the St. Paul area of Minnesota before enlisting in 1944 in the U.S. Navy at the height of WWII. As a signalman in the Navy, Saipan and Tinian were but two of the islands where Willard was stationed before he left the Navy as a SPC Y3C in 1946. After the service, Willard attended the University of Minnesota and St. Paul Bible College and he would later earn a theology degree from Bible Baptist College.
Willard came to Oregon in the early 1950s where he worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a district clerk and manned the Acker Rock lookout tower in Tiller, OR. During this time he met and married Lois Lundell on June 25, 1954. This past summer they observed their 58th wedding anniversary.
While at Tiller, Willard was the boys dean and a teacher at Canyonville Bible Academy and he pastored the Umpqua Community Church for two years before accepting the pastorate at the Brookings Bible Church where he served for nine years.
In 1967, Willard became the pastor of the Prineville Community Church, a position he held for 27 years before retiring in 1994. While in Prineville, Willard became an avid fossil hunter. He loved hiking the hills of Central Oregon, enjoyed rockhounding, and spending time with his wife, Lois.
For many years before and after retirement, Willard gave his time as a Visitation Director for Prineville Funeral Home, he was a chaplain for the hospice program, and for twenty years he served on the Crook County Selective Service Board.
Willard is survived by his brothers, John of Murietta, CA; Douglas of New Brighton, MN; and David of LeMars, IA. His children are Wendy Knottingham (Dennis) of Yuba City, CA; Brian Fenderson (Ann) of Salem, OR; Laurie McAlister (Randy) of Tualitan, OR; Heidi Feely (Donald) of Canby, OR; Kathy March (Monte) of Prineville, OR; Rose Lopez (Greg) of Dundee, OR; and Kevan Fenderson (Wendolyn), of Dallas, TX; 19 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Willard was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Lois.
A private graveside service for the family will be held at Juniper Haven Cemetery and a Celebration of Willard's life will be held Wednesday, October 3, at 11:00 a.m., at Prineville Community Church with a reception to follow.
In memory of Willard, the family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Prineville Habitat for Humanity, 1427 NW Murphy Ct. Prineville, OR 97754 or Prineville Pioneer Memorial Hospice, 1201 NE Elm St., Prineville, OR 97754.
Arrangements are in the care of Prineville Funeral Home. Please visit www.PrinevilleFuneralHome.com to share your memories or express your condolences by signing the on-line Guest Book.