Willard James Hoelscher of Hollister, California passed away on July 10, 2019 at the age of 87. He was born on March 14, 1932 in Rowena, Texas, a son of Elo Ben (E. B.) and Laura Ernst Hoelscher. Willard was the tenth of eleven children in a family of cotton farmers. He helped the family, picking cotton before school as well as after school. After he graduated from high school Willard joined the military, serving in the Air Force during the Korean War. He learned how to be an electronics technician during the war and joined Lockheed Space and Missiles, initially working in Southern California and then relocating to West San Jose after starting a family. After thirty years of service with Lockheed, Willard retired and moved to Hollister where he lived out most of the remainder of his life.
He was predeceased by his first wife Ruth Ann and more recently by his second wife Maxine. He will be dearly missed by two daughters and two sons: Teresa Wiegman, Brenda Westlund, Kevin Griffith and Patrick Hoelscher. He was Grandpa to Kevin Griffith II, Christopher Griffith, Amy Maddox, Hannah Smith, Annie Wiegman and Brian Wiegman. He had 4 great grandchildren and numerous friends and relatives. Willard is survived by his younger brother William.
Willard enjoyed gardening. He could turn a large patch of dirt into a small fruit tree orchard and a garden of numerous vegetables, growing them almost year around. Willard also had a passion for collecting recyclables and redeeming them for “fun money”. He also volunteered for the local food bank, driving his truck to collect “day old” goods from supermarkets and delivering them to the local food bank.
Willard was also Maxine’s square dancing partner. Besides belonging to many square-dancing clubs, they also hosted square dancing parties at their house in Hollister. They often traveled to various hoedowns around the country. Speaking of traveling, they traveled to every state in the country, most of them by truck and trailer. They visited most of the provinces in Canada. They especially enjoyed their road trips to Alaska and Mexico. Willard will always be remembered as a kind and generous soul.
Committal and military rites will be on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 11:30 AM at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Santa Nella, CA