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Willis “Willie” J. Cambern

Thu, Mar 20th, 2014
Posted in Fountain Obituaries

Willis “Willie” J. Cambern

Willis “Willie” J. Cambern, 73, of Fountain, Minn. died Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at the Chosen Valley Care Center in Chatfield.

Willie was born June 28, 1940 in Preston to Daniel & Evelyn (Smith) Cambern. He attended school in Preston, where he graduated from Preston High School in 1958. He served in the United States Army from 1963-1965 as a cook & baker. During Army service he was stationed in Anchorage, Alaska when the 1964 earthquake took place. On October 23, 1965 he married Leona M. “Beezie” Jech at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Rochester.

Willie & Beezie owned and operated Willie’s Grocery & Locker in Fountain since 1972. Willies warm and inviting smile, gift of gab, and genuine love and interest in his customers made him a community icon. Whether you came for a ring of Bologna, or a conversation full of baloney, chances are you left with a smile on your face after spending time with Willie.

While he was very proud of his store, Willie’s greatest Joy came from time spent with his family. His grandchildren were the light of his life. His is survived by his wife of 48 years, Leona of Fountain; daughter Kimberly (Ken) Anderson of Crosslake, MN and son Darrin (Sarah) Cambern of Fountain. Grandchildren: Alyse, Riley, and Ella, Also surviving are brothers Daniel (Marjorie) of Fountain) and Ernest of Preston and many loving nieces and nephews.

Willie enjoyed polka music, whistling, and helping others. He loved the community of Fountain. He served as the Fountain Fire Chief from 1965-1975. He often connected with children that came into the store, referring to them as future customers.

Willie is preceded in death by his parents, and infant sister.

A Funeral Service celebrating the life of Willie will be held 1:00 PM Sunday, March 23rd, 2014 at the Fountain United Methodist Church with Rev. Deanna Woodward officiating. Willie was a active member the church for many years. Do to limited space at church, an overflow area will be available for friends to gather during the service at the Fountain Community Center. Burial with military honors will be accorded by Fountain American Legion Post 492 at the Fountain Lutheran Cemetery. Following the service a luncheon will be served at the Community Center.

Visitation will be held from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at Riley Funeral Home in Chatfield. Visitation will continue one hour prior to services at the church.

Willie’s family wishes to extend their deepest thanks and gratitude to all the staff at the Chosen Valley Care Center in Chatfield for the outstanding care and support given to Willie and his family during his final days.

Riley Funeral Home in Chatfield is assisting the family with arrangements. 507-867-4310. rileyfuneralhomes.com

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