Willard J. Zephier
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Willard J. Zephier, age 53, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at the Golden Living Center in Salem, South Dakota.

Funeral services are 10:30 AM, Monday, December 14, 2015 at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with Reverend Ken Lulf officiating. Burial will be in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Yankton with military honors provided by the Ernest-Bowyer VFW Post No. 791. Visitation is from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, on Sunday, December 13 at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home with a vigil service at 3:00 PM. Visitation continues one hour prior to the funeral service.

Pallbearers are David Blakey, Frankie Blakey, Jesse Blakey, Tony Blakey, Brian Thornton, Joe Thornton, Ted Thornton and Jeff Willman.

Willard was born on February 9, 1962 in Yankton, South Dakota to Willard Mason and Charlene Ann (Thornton) Zephier. He grew up in Yankton where he attended school and then went to the Kicking Horse Job Corp in Montana. In the early 80's, Willard entered the United States Navy and was stationed in San Diego, California. He served aboard several ships traveling throughout southeast Asia and retiring in 1986. Willard worked at Concrete Materials in Yankton and also drove truck for a few years. In the early 1990's, he attended Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell where he studied psychology. Willard enjoyed listening to music, collecting classic cars and spending time with family and friends.

Willard is survived by ten nieces and nephews, including Derrick Zephier of Ft. Thompson, SD, Barry Zephier of Sioux Falls, Nadine Zephier (Marcos Ozuna) of Yankton and Austin Zephier of Yankton; nine great nieces and nephews; two brothers, Devlin (Tracey) Zephier of Rapid City and Delvin Zephier of Las Vegas, NV; and many close friends.

Willard was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Faith Zephier and Julie Zephier.


Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.

My condolences to the family. Willard and I used to hang out at the discos in the late 70`s which at that time were so popular. We had alot of fun back then. I remember cruising Broadway in his Chevy Malibu and he took great pride in that car.

Yes, I have many good memories of Willard and his death hurts much more than I thought it would. He will surely be missed and not forgotten. There were times when we lost contact as I was living in Houston and then Los Angeles. When I moved back to Yankton from L.A., we reconnected and reminisced about the old times alot. One song he really liked was by Eddie Money titled " I wanna go back"........RIP buddy.

Sincerely , Jeff Willman

We want to offer our sympathy to Willard's family. We were his landlords in Yankton. Our son Kevin knew Willard longer, because he was his earlier landlord. Willard is at peace now. We plan to have a Mass said for Willard in Yankton at Sacred Heart Church.

Sincerely, James and Kathleen Koenig

Our sympathy to Derrick, Barry, Nadine and Austin. Support each other, and share the good memories.

Jane and Max

I'm sorry to hear of Willard's passing. I was a year ahead of him at Sacred Heart grade school in Yankton way back when. He was a silent giant but I remember he could always crack a smile.

My condolences,

Pat Kollars

My condolences. Willard and I were buddies as children, and he never failed to stop and talk for a bit when we would run into each other over the years. He was my friend, and I'm sorry to hear that he's gone.

Shelly Grosshuesch

Willard was a good friend of my brother Jeff W. Jeff talked about Willard a lot. I didn't know him real well but I would see him every summer when I cam home from Florida to visit my family. I know Jeff will miss him as Willard meant a lot to my brother. My prayers are with him and his family.

Lori Willman Mastaler

Thoughts and prayers go out to Willard's family. I knew him in high school, and was a kind and always said "hi".

Kelly Voracek-Sparks

I ALWAYS loved seeing Willard. He brightened my day with his smile and his true hugs. I love you, Willard.

I met Willard back in 1991 at Dakota Wesleyan in Mitchell. We became friends that year, and kept friends even after both of us stopped going to that college. I left the state, but we continued to talk for many years at least a few x a week even up until this last December. He was an old friend, and I remember hearing most all of his stories, and he mine, and I was also close with his sister Faith, and his cousin Dee, but he was always present. I know he's in a better place, he was such a kind person, compassionate, and had a very good heart. I miss him alot, and will always remember all the good times we had both hanging out, and being friends. If any family members want to ever connect over Willard, feel free to contact me through the funeral home.

Jeff A. O'Hare

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