Menasha, Harry Willems, 63, passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack on Thursday, August 3, 2023. Harry was born May 7, 1960, in Milwaukee, WI to the late Harold Willems and Shirley (Hammond) Willems.
Harry graduated in 1978 from Appleton West High School. He married the love of his life, Brenda Zimmerman, on Brenda’s birthday, July 24, 1981, so he only had to remember one date for presents. They just celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary. In his younger years he was head cook and managed Four Torches Supper Club in Appleton. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Concordia University in 2004. He worked at Kimberly Clark in IT for 33 years before he retired in 2018. Harry was a hard worker, from his job to his home life. He always gave his family the best life he could. He was an amazing husband, father, and grandfather. He enjoyed traveling with his wife, family, and friends; he really enjoyed going on cruises. He liked to have breakfast with the guys, golf with friends, music in the park, and going on bike rides with his wife. Harry was smart, compassionate and generous; many people went to him for advice. He was known for his witty personality and could always make people laugh. He was always a giver, even till the end. Through the donation of his eyes, he was able to let somebody see the world.
Those of you that knew Harry knew that he never rested, he was always looking for the next trip to plan or project to do. God must have thought he needed to rest now.
Harry is survived by his wife Brenda, his daughters, Sara (Al) Barbin, and Kayla (Jake) Johnson; his grandson, his pride and joy, Rowan Johnson; his siblings Jean Petit, Mark Willems, and Sandy (Mike) Hefner; his half sisters Amber Obano and Samantha Hays; his sisters-in-laws Barbara Johnson, Dawn Zimmerman, and Jean (Bob) Woelfel; his brother-in-law Dan Prestridge; along with many other family members including his special uncle, Ed Hammond, who was like a father to him.
Harry was preceded in death by his parents; his in-laws Ernest “Pat” and Bernice Zimmerman; his brother Shawn Willems; his niece Corrina Kronberg; his brothers-in-law Bruce Petit and Jim Gall; and his sister-in-law Sandy Prestridge.
Dad, you were always my rock. They say, “If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever”. Well, that is true for you. I don’t know how there can be a world without you. I can’t thank you enough for being my dad and all you have done for me. I will love you forever. Love, Sara
Grandpa, you were great. We are all going to miss you and I will make sure Grandma follows Rule 1. Love, Rowan
I love you with all my heart and I will make sure to follow Rule 1! Love, Brenda PS: Who is going to cook my supper??
The Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, August 20, 2023, at the Menasha Senior Center (116 Main St., Menasha, WI 54952) from 1-5pm. Please bring your stories about Harry, we look forward to celebrating what a wonderful life he lived and the positive impact he had on so many.