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William “Will” Ryther

William Henry Ryther passed away to be with Jesus on July 30, 2021. He was born April 18, 1924 in Hubbard County, Minnesota to Lionel and Edna (Wainwright) Ryther.

He attended Park Rapids schools. Afterwards he travelled to California to work in the Kaiser Shipyards before entering the Navy in February 1943. He served in the Pacific on a troop transport ship as a radioman. He was honorably discharged November 1945 and returned to Park Rapids where he met Lillian McDougall. They were married in Hawley, Minnesota on June 1, 1947.

In October 1947 Will started his 35 year career with Northwestern Bell Telephone Company first as a lineman, then an installer and ending as a circuit switchman.

Will and Lil resided in several communities before purchasing a farm in 1959 in rural Anoka, Minnesota to raise their nine children. He was active in his community by serving on the boards of St. Francis School District, Burns Township/Nowthen and Nowthen Alliance Church. In 1987, they moved to a lake home in Park Rapids. They travelled all over the United States during their retirement years. They made their last move to Andover, Minnesota in February 2016 to be closer to their children in their final years.

While working full-time at the phone company, Will also had the farm to manage and maintain. There were cows to milk, pigs, chickens, horses to care for and the crops to plant and harvest. He attended auctions as a farmer, and it became a hobby in his retirement years trying to find that “great bargain.” He was an avid deer and elk hunter and always looked forward to the fall hunts with family and friends. He enjoyed playing his favorite card games, especially cribbage which he was able to play with three generations of family.

Preceded in death by wife Lillian; sisters Maude Brohan, Marjorie Ryther, Amy Anderson, and Lucy Nordberg; and brothers’ infant, Dana, Paul, James, George and Philip; son-in-law Curt Dollansky, grandsons Dana Ryther and David Ryther.

Survived by daughters, Rose (Ross) Ayversone, Virginia Dollansky, Lois (Bruce) Novak, Beverly Ryther (Jim Hayden); and sons William Jr. (Linda), Donald (Jeanine), Larry (Tami), Michael (Sharon), Robert (Renee); 17 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren; along with many other extended family and friends.

Funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, August 6, 2021, at the First Baptist Church, Park Rapids, MN with Pastor Joshua Hawn officiating. Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to All Veterans Memorial, PO Box 569, Park Rapids, MN 56470. Arrangements through the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home, Park Rapids, MN.

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