Cover photo for Willis Robert Goodman's Obituary
Willis Robert Goodman Profile Photo
1933 Willis 2023

Willis Robert Goodman

April 22, 1933 — June 23, 2023


Willis R. “Bill” Goodman, 90, of Wanamingo, died on Friday, June 23, 2023, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester. A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 7, 2023 at 11:00am at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wanamingo with Pastor Kris Ferkin officiating. Visitations will be held on Thursday, July 6, 2023 from 4:00 to 7:00pm at Trinity Lutheran Church and for one hour prior to the service on Friday. A private family burial will be held at Pleasant Prairie Cemetery at a later date.

Willis Robert Goodman was born on April 22, 1933 at home in rural Rochester, MN to Glenn and Helen (Rossi) Goodman. He grew up in rural Rochester, raised rabbits,  learned to farm, and to drive trucks. After graduating from Rochester Senior High School in 1951, Bill worked for a neighboring farmer until he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was inducted to the Army Signal Corps in 1953. He was stationed in Alaska, again driving big trucks among his many roles as a Corporal. Though he completed his service in 1955, he maintained Reserve status after and remains a member of the Wanamingo VFW Post 186.

Returning to farm work in the Rochester area, Bill married Eloise Ann Koelsch on November 12, 1955 at Hauge Lutheran Church in Kenyon. They farmed west of Wanamingo from 1962 to 1973 before moving into Wanamingo when Bill went to work for Farmers Co-Op Oil / Cenex. Though he initially worked in the Co-Op station, he again returned to driving trucks, delivering propane throughout the rural Wanamingo and Cannon Falls area as well as anhydrous ammonia for the Soil Center and setting Cenex LP tanks. Bill retired from Cenex, leaving him more time for breakfast and coffee downtown with friends, playing cards, woodworking projects, fishing, assisting others with farm work, and vacations with family among his many interests and hobbies. Additionally, Bill joined the volunteer Wanamingo Fire Department in 1974, and was honored to serve (again driving big trucks) until 2000. His grandchildren fondly remember waving and knowing Grandpa would blow the firetruck horn in reply during the annual 4th of July parade.

Bill is survived by his wife, Eloise; five children, Ruth Travis of Chaska, Rita (Dean) Kyllo of Kenyon, Bob (Annette) Goodman of Rochester, Linda (Pam) Goodman of Tucson, Laura Stubbe of Bemidji; twelve grandchildren, Sarah (Simon McCarthy) Travis, Abby Travis, Robert Kyllo, Grant Goodman, D'Angello (Lizzy) Williams, Brooklyn (Brandon) Peterson, August Williams, Patrek Williams, Julius Williams, Donald Dewey, Amber (Chris Nelson) Dewey, Jason Stubbe; and four great-grandchildren, Willow Dewey, Domanic Shuck, Evelyn Williams and Maverick Williams. Bill is also survived by his brother Maurice “Brownie” (Roberta “Bobbie”) Goodman of Wanamingo, sister-in-law Mary Goodman of Zumbrota, brother-in-law Allen (Dorothy) Koelsch, and many cherished nieces and nephews.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Glenn and Helen, sisters Margaret “Peg” Kyllo and Barbara Goodman, brother Kenneth Goodman, brother-in-law Walton Kyllo, and sons-in-law Bill Travis and Jerry Stubbe.

Memorials are preferred to the Wanamingo Firefighters Relief Association, P.O. Box 304, Wanamingo, MN 55983-0304.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Willis Robert Goodman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, July 7, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Friday, July 7, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Trinity Lutheran Church (Rochester)

222 6th Avenue Southwest, Rochester, MN 55902

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