Obituary of Willard James Brownsworth
Willard James Brownsworth was born July 6, 1930 to Elmer Brownsworth and Esther (Geis) Brownsworth on a farm East of Okeene, Oklahoma. Willard was reunited with his wife in heaven on August 14, 2019.
Willard grew up on a farm Southeast of Okeene, until his family moved into Okeene when he was in high school. Willard attended Okeene High School graduating in 1948. Willard was active in FFA and was awarded a Degree of Junior Master Farmer from the Oklahoma State FFA in April of 1948.
Willard met his lifelong sweetheart, Rita Ann Brown, in 1953, and they were married on October 10, 1954. They resided at their home in Okeene, where they lived their entire married life and raised their family. Willard and Rita were married for 64 years.
Upon graduation from high school, Willard went to work for the Okeene Milling Company. Willard proudly served his country in the United States Army from 1952 – 1954. After basic training at Fort Ord, in California, Willard served his entire tour stationed in Germany with the 7th Infantry Division, obtaining the rank of corporal Upon return home Willard resumed his employment with the Okeene Milling Co. and worked there for 42 years, until his retirement in 1992.
In addition to his full time employment and raising a family, Willard also farmed, raised registered Poland China swine, cattle, and in his spare time also helped put together farm equipment for local farm businesses, and grew a large garden. Upon retirement Willard was able to become a “full-time” farmer, which is what he always enjoyed.
Willard served his community as well. Willard served as a volunteer firefighter for the Okeene Volunteer Fire Department for twenty years. After his retirement he served as Town Councilman for the Town of Okeene from August 2004 to April 2011, and served as Mayor of Okeene for several years during this time. Willard was an active member of Zion Baptist Church of Okeene and over the years served as deacon and treasurer. Willard was a former Lions Club member and served as president for one year. Willard was honored by the local FFA chapter as Honorary Chapter Farmer and was awarded an Honorary State FFA Degree by the Oklahoma FFA Association.
A family vacation was always taken during the summer and upon retirement Willard and Rita were able to travel, including the Northeast, Florida, Canada and a cruise and overland trip to Alaska. However, trips to the mountains of Colorado were his favorite, as well as in later years the annual fishing trip to Lake Texoma.
Willard was preceded in death by his beloved wife Rita Ann, and his brothers Alfred and Lloyd.
Willard is survived by his children: Gregory and Leslie Brownsworth of Lawton, OK; Vicki Brownsworth of Edmond, OK; Gary and Kara Brownsworth of Hugo, OK; grandchildren Kylie Brownsworth, Aaron Brownsworth, Megan Gallagher, Mason Gallagher, and William Brownsworth. Other close family members are his sister Ann Wiederstein, Newton, KS, brother-in-law Talbert Brown, and sisters-in-law Sue Brownsworth and Barbara Brownsworth; plus numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to Okeene Municipal Hospital Foundation.
Funeral services will be Saturday. August 17, 2019 at 10:30 A.M. at the Zion Baptist Church in Okeene, burial will follow in the Roselawn Cemetery of Okeene. Wilkinson Mortuary of Okeene