Willard Kennedy McCulla
He was born Aug. 26, 1931, in Waukegan, a son of Willard K. and Regina Miller McCulla.
A graduate of Quincy College (now University), Willard served in the U.S. Army's 14th Armored Cavalry Division in Germany in 1953 and 1954. He was affiliated with the Catholic faith.
Willard was a star catcher on the Quincy College baseball team and came to the attention of major league scouts. He eventually signed a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies and was sent to a farm team. However, his playing days were brief. The Korean War was under way and Willard was drafted and assigned to Germany.
After completing military service, Willard decided not to return to baseball but to pursue an interest in business. Nevertheless, he maintained his love for the sport and spent numerous hours coaching. Throughout his life, he was both teacher and student of the game.
Willard held a variety of positions in the Chicago area until returning to Quincy where he founded McCulla Crafts. In 1987, he and his son founded Bear Creek Inc. of Quincy, a woodworking business that for more than 20 years sold its products in the stores of some of the country's best known chains.
Willard is survived by two sons, Michael McCulla and his wife, Linda, and Pat McCulla, all of Quincy; a son-in-law, Terry Hall of Broken Arrow, Okla.; six grandchildren, John, Katie and Timothy Hall of Broken Arrow and Sean, Alaina and Alex McCulla, of Quincy; two brothers, James W. McCulla of McLean, Va., and Daniel A. Green of Toronto Canada. His brother Robert is deceased. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive.
Willard's daughters, Mary Grace McCulla Hall and Julieanne McCulla, an infant, preceded him in death, as did an infant grandson, Andrew McCulla. Also deceased is his daughter-in-law, Margie McCulla.
SERVICES: A Mass of Christian burial will be at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in All Faiths Chapel at the Illinois Veterans Home. Interment will be in Sunset Cemetery.
VISITATION: 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the chapel.
MEMORIALS: Great River Honor Flight or the Quincy Catholic Youth Organization (CYO).
ARRANGEMENTS: Duker and Haugh Funeral Home.