William “Bill” Garland, 82, of Fergus Falls, passed away peacefully at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Fergus Falls on November 18, 2021. Funeral services for Bill will be held on Friday, November 26, 2021, 11:30 a.m., at the Iten Funeral Home in Browerville with Pastor Del Moen officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Military honors will be held at the Hewitt Cemetery.
William LeRoy was born July 25, 1939, at Larimore, North Dakota, to Ralph and Rose (Nash) Garland. His early years were spent on the family farm near Straubville, North Dakota where he attended a one-room country school. Later he attended Brampton, North Dakota public school until October 1955, when he and the family moved to a farm 4 ½ miles east of Browerville. He attended the Browerville Public School.
In February 1957, Bill joined the navy, later transferring to the Army in April 1958. He served in Germany, Korea and did four tours in Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star Metal, Senior Aircraft Crewman Badge and numerous other metals, badges, and commendations during his service time. Bill’s service years were all dedicated to aviation, mechanics’ repair, and heavy truck driver.
Bill married Bette Jane Davis Royal July 18, 1963. It was while he was based in Georgia in 1979 that his wife passed away. Later he married Virginia Bruce on May 19, 1981.
After William’s retirement, 21 years, 2 months, and 16 days of military service, he was employed at E-Systems, a company that manufactured Air Force One jets, as a mechanic and inspector. He would mention on what America’s First Lady’s wishes were for the jet’s décor.
Bill retired in 1990 due to health issues. He returned to Minnesota and in the fall of 2007, he became a resident of the Fergus Falls Veteran’s Home. Bill enjoyed many activities provided including deer hunting, fishing trips, Bingo, cards, and home outings. He loved going out for breakfast, lunches, and spent many hours on his computer, TV, and DVR. At his 50th year Browerville High School class reunion, he received a hard copy of his high school diploma.
Bill is preceded in death by his parents; wife Bette, sons, Steven and Randy; brother John; brother-in-law James; and two nephews. He is survived by his wife Virginia; stepson John (Sylvia) Royal of Texas; sisters, Carolyn (Daniel) Wolf of Eagle Bend, Patricia Steuck of Long Prairie; three grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
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