Willard Franklin Bourquein, formerly of Harrison, Ohio, and Apache Junction, Arizona, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, at his summer home in Batesville, Indiana, at 83 years of age.
He was born Jan. 15, 1933, to Clarence A. and Mabel D. (White) Bourquein at their home in Harrison. Willard spent his early years learning to hunt, fish and grow vegetables with his dad and cousins.
Graduating in 1950 from Harrison High School, he earned a baseball scholarship to the University of Louisville. From the age of 14 on he played baseball for many different men's leagues. The catcher was recruited by the Columbia, South Carolina, Reds in 1952 to attend their training camp. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1953 until 1955 during the Korean War. He had the opportunity to spend a lot of his time playing ball with the drafted major league players.
After the military, he started working in sales. Willard discovered he enjoyed meeting new people and selling. While delivering milk for Coors Dairy, he started his own sales business, Bourquein Water Conditioning, in 1962. Looking for a new office in 1971, he purchased the The State Theatre building in Harrison and reopened it for a few years as well. The always working entrepreneur then started 74 Self Storage Inc. in 1976, and in 1983 he purchased Mill End Estates Mobile Home Community in West Harrison, Indiana.
Willard was an active member of the community, helping to form the Harrison Jaycees in the 1960s and later sitting on the Harrison Chamber of Commerce Board. He was member of the Harrison American Legion Post 199 and the Harrison Gun & Conservation Club. In the 1950s Willard learned to fly and joined the Harrison Social Flights. He was a member of the Queen City Anglers Guild for many years. The avid fisherman earned his Charter Captains License taking many fellow fishermen and family on trips to the Great Lakes and Canada in his dual engine Aquasport, the "Lake Invader."
Eventually, Willard decided to semi-retire to Arizona during the winter months and started enjoying his other hobbies of dancing, card playing and hunting. He became a life member of the Arizona Predator Callers, learning to hunt coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions as well as train others to call. He was a proud NRA member and promoted firearm safety. He felt strongly that a vote for the Democrats and Hillary meant an end to freedoms that he enjoyed during his lifetime. Willard wanted to "Make America Great Again!"
When he wasn't working you could usually find Willard in a duck blind, out fishing or playing euchre. He was a patient teacher to his children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, cousins and their friends, always taking the time to teach them how to hunt, fish, shoot, water-ski or ride dirt bikes. He even passed on the secrets to mole hunting and coyote calling to a fortunate few.
He will be dearly missed by his daughter, Taaron (Rodger) Meyers, Batesville; and son, Tay (Cathleen Quigley) Bourquein, Whitestown; grandchildren Grant and Kent Meyers and Mallory Bourquein; his special friend, Betty Graack, Waunakee, Wisconsin; along with his brother-in-law, John Betscher, Greenville, Illinois; aunt Ruth Darling, Bright; mother of his children, Marilyn Bourquein, Harrison, Ohio; plus many nieces, nephews and cousins.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Wauneta Betscher.
Visitation will be Friday, Oct. 28, from 5-8 p.m. with funeral services Saturday, Oct. 29, at 11 a.m., all at Jackman Kercheval Meyers Funeral Home, 215 Broadway Ave, Harrison, Ohio, with the Rev. Joshua Long officiating. Burial will follow in the Glen Haven Cemetery, Harrison, Ohio, with military funeral honors by the Harrison Funeral Detail.
Memorials may be given to the Southeast Indiana Young Life (which supports the Batesville chapter) or The Dragonfly Foundation (Cincinnati chapter) by bringing or mailing to the funeral home. Online condolences may be made at www.meyersfuneralhomes.com.
Published on October 27, 2016