Richard LeRoy “Gator” Willuweit
Richard LeRoy "Gator" Willuweit, 64, of Sturgis, went to be with his Lord on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, at Fort Meade VA Medical Center after a lengthy illness.
Richard was born December 14, 1947, in Philip, SD, to Christian and Marjorie (Guethlein) Willuweit. The first couple of years, the family lived west of Philip before moving to Quinn, SD, and finally settled in Wall, SD, in 1956. He started his education at Wall Public School where he went through all twelve grades graduating in 1966 with a perfect attendance, an honor that earned him a plaque that he always pointed at with pride.
After graduation, he went to the Denver Automotive Institute through April, 1969. He moved back to Wall after graduation where he worked at the Wall Auto Livery. He was drafted in 1969 and was stationed at Ft. Lewis, WA, where he spent his two years. After he served his service term, he returned to Wall and the Wall Auto Livery until the fall of 1977.
Richard then worked for Estes Brothers Construction Company. This is where he earned his nickname "Gator" from Kelly (Cobb) Lambert. This was a nickname he carried with pride and everyone who knew him called him by this nickname. To "Gator" no one was a stranger.
Gator and two of his daughters moved back to Wall and lived in the family home. He worked at the Two Bit Saloon at night and for John Clements Refuse Service in the day. On January 16, 1990, he again went to serve his country by going with his National Guard Unit to Operation Desert Storm. After returning from Desert Storm, he married Kathy Pearson on July 13, 1991. This marriage lasted till October 1999.
He moved to Sturgis where he worked in the Sturgis Sawmill until February 2009. Richard retired in December, 2010.
Grateful to have shared his life are daughters, Amber Willuweit, Spearfish, SD, Correna (Daniel) Templar, Black Hawk, SD, and Priscilla (William) Sams, Gillette, WY; son, Chris Willuweit; sister, Delila (Matthew) Hughes, Hot Springs, SD; nine grandchildren, William, Christian, Autumn, Travis, Billy, Kylie, Jacob, Raeanna, and Joseph; his pal and sidekick, Scoobey; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Memorial services were held Friday, May 4, 2012, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Sturgis with Rev. Lloyd Lemke officiating. Inurnment followed at Black Hills National Cemetery with military honors provided by the Sturgis Veterans Honor Guard.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals. com.