A memorial service was held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Atwater with Pastor Dan Belgum-Blad officiating. Visitation was from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday at Johnson-Hagglund Funeral Home in Litchfield. Interment will be at Eagle Lake Cemetery in Willmar at a later date; military honors will be provided by the Litchfield Military Honor Guard.
Baxter William "Bill" Lease was born July 6, 1937, to William and Lottie Lease in York, Penn. He grew up and received his education in Anaheim, Calif. In high school he excelled in sports, including baseball and football. He enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served as a radar technician for 10 years at various stations around the world.
Bill met Beverly Pierce in Willmar, and they were married Sept. 15, 1957, at the Little Brown Church in the Vale in Iowa. She preceded him in death in 1985. In 1990 Bill married Terry Howard in Grove City.
Bill was a self-employed master craftsman for many years. He enjoyed working in construction and with wood. He also was an over-the-road truck driver and, most recently, the operations manager for the Lease Companies in Litchfield.
Bill was a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church of Atwater. He enjoyed spending time with his family and grandchildren, golfing, fishing, shooting pool, camping, and sports. He also enjoyed cooking his specialties, making home-made donuts, watching television, and playing video games. Bill was always willing to lend a helping hand, and he will be remembered for his good-hearted jokes.
Bill was preceded in death by his first wife Beverly, parents William and Lottie Lease, sister Darlene, and grandfather Glen.
He is survived by his wife Terry Lease of Grove City; children Michael (and Chick) Lease of Watkins, Mark (and Darcy) Lease of Litchfield, Jonathan (and Penny) Lease of Litchfield, Daniel (and Heather) Lease of Litchfield, David (and Deanna) Lease of Eden Valley, Steven (and Heather) Lease of Grove City, and Sarahann (and Blaine Adams) Lease of Grove City; stepsons David (and Tanisha) Olson of Grove City, and Kevin (and Bridgett) Olson of Grand Forks N.D.; 13 grandchildren: Kelly, Amber (and Brett), Joshua (and Amanda), Christopher, Mathew, Joshua (and Stacey), Taylor, Ashley, Austin, Ethan, Kierra, Mitchell and Mariah; five great-grandchildren: Wyatt, Ryder, Jack, Carter and Olivia; stepfather Gerry Butler of Calif.; stepsister Michaelyn Mize of Calif.; grandmother Sara Lease of Penn.; aunt Charlotte Lease of Penn.; and many nieces and nephews.