Willard LaMarche

NORWAY – Willard J. LaMarche, 94, passed away with his wife by his side on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at Hyland Nursing Home in Iron Mountain.

Willard was born on March 23, 1919, in Hurley, Wis., the son of the late Albert and Elizabeth (Gardner) LaMarche.

He graduated from Hurley High School and joined the Army Air Corps, serving his country for five years during World War II.

He married the love of his life, Crystal Marshall on Jan. 20, 1943, in Ironwood and the couple just celebrated 70 years of marriage.

Willard and Crystal moved to Stambaugh in 1953, and lived there for 50 years before moving to Norway to be near their daughter. The couple raised their family in Stambaugh and Willard opened LaMarche Decorating in Iron River where he worked as a painter/decorator until his retirement in 1981.

Willard was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Iron River for more than 50 years where he taught adult Sunday School and served as a lay leader and member of the United Methodist Men.

Willard enjoyed spending time with family and friends and was a great storyteller. He especially liked to tell stories about growing up in a large family of nine children and tales of his days in the Army.

He is survived by his wife, Crystal; one son, Fred (Phi) LaMarche of Northfield, Minn.; three daughters, Patricia (John) Dedo of Norway, Kathleen (John) Pieper of Munising, and Carol LaMarche (George Hamlin) of Green Bay, Wis.; 10 grandchildren, Emily, Brian, LeeAnne, Nathan, Ryan, Matthew, Rebecca, Luke, Chad and CJ; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Willard was preceded in death by three sisters and five brothers; his granddaughter, Laura; and his great-grandson, Cal.

Visitation will be held on Monday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Grace United Methodist Church in Norway.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the church with Pastor Irene White presiding.

Interment will be held at the Stambaugh Cemetery.

Condolences to the family of Willard LaMarche may be expressed online at

Arrangements announced by the Ortman Funeral Home in Norway.