Wilhelm “Willi” Gassner, 90, formerly of Dixon, died peacefully on Sunday evening, August 23, 2020 at Liberty Village in Princeton.
To honor our Dad’s wishes, there will be no services. Cremation rites have been accorded. The Hurst Funeral Home in La Salle is assisting his family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be directed to the Illinois Valley Alzheimer’s Group, Inc.
Wilhelm was born on July 17, 1930 in Sereth, Romania to Eugen Gassner and Rosalie Matejczuk. During WWII after his Mother’s death, the family fled Romania to Germany where they settled in Grafenwöhr. In 1959 Willi immigrated to the United States on the M.S. Berlin, arriving in New York, and eventually settling in Dixon. He married Friderun Maier on November 15, 1959 at St Paul Lutheran Church in Nachusa. Willi worked briefly at Raynor Garage Doors in Dixon, then worked at and retired from Northwestern Steel & Wire in Sterling. He had a lifelong passion for gardening, enjoyed woodworking, playing cards and dominoes. Willi was a member of First Baptist Church in Dixon, where he felt a unique connection to Pastor Bunyun Cocar who was also Romanian.
Willi is preceded in death by his wife Friderun, brothers Oskar and Heinz, sisters Stefanie and Erna, and his longtime partner Charlotte Brainerd. Survivors include: a sister, Herta Moran of Junction City, KS, son Heinz (Monica Nedza) Gassner of Peru, daughter Ursula Gassner of Dixon, son Günther (Genny) Gassner of Sterling. He is also survived by grandsons Josh (Teri Zies) Gassner of Beloit, WI, and Roman Gassner of Dekalb; great granddaughter Leona Gassner, step great granddaughter Aliana Gallentine, step grandchildren Reneé Rodriguez, and Randy (Amy) Rodriguez, and six step great grandchildren.
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