George F. Willging

George F. Willging

George F. Willging, age 86, of Dubuque, was called home suddenly at 5:55 a.m., on Sunday, July 28, 2019, at home, with his loving wife by his side. To honor George’s life, funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., on Thursday, August 1, 2019, at Holy Spirit Parish, Holy Ghost Church, 2921 Central Avenue, with Rev. Steven M. Garner officiating. To celebrate George’s life, family and friends may visit from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, where there will be a parish scripture service held at 6:30 p.m. Burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.

George was born on May 20, 1933, in Dubuque, Iowa, son of Henry and Anna (Kregle) Willging.

George was a proud graduate of Loras Academy and went on to school at Loras College, where he earned his teaching degree. He would devote his time and talents teaching math at Loras Academy and Wahlert High School, before going to work with United Electric Company and eventually settling into his role at the John Deere Dubuque Works, until his well earned retirement at age 59. George was united in marriage to his sweetheart, Frances “Fran” Savary, on January 29, 1955, at St. Mary’s Church in Dubuque. The two were blessed with 64 wonderful years and 8 adored children together. In his free time George was a master fisherman. His happiest place was on the Mississippi River with his former fishing partner, Jimmy O, or his sons and grandchildren, Zach and Brian. He knew the entire landscape of the river from Guttenberg to Bellevue, and tracked daily river stages for over 60 years. George was also an accomplished musician, having sung and traveled with the Dubuque Chorale for 25 years. He was extremely proud of the fact that he sang with them at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. He played the violin in the Dubuque Community String Orchestra and continued to practice for 30 minutes, twice a day, up to his current age of 86. When he moved to Oak Park Place, he and his wife, Fran, started the Oak Park Singers. We are deeply saddened at the sudden and unexpected loss of our wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, and will miss George more than words can ever truly express.

Those left to cherish George’s memory include

his loving wife,
Frances “Fran” Willging, Dubuque, IA;

his 7 children,
Steve (Kathy) Willging, Minneapolis, MN,
Cathy (Fred) Peters, Atlanta, GA,
Susan Troy, Dubuque, IA,
Andy (Linda) Willging, Sherrill, IA,
Joan Willging, Minneapolis, MN,
Joe (Dawn) Willging, Iowa City, IA
and Paul (Dianne) Willging, Camanche, IA;

his grandchildren,
Kurt, Ryan, Allyson, Eric, Anna, Justin, Zach, Brian, Alexandria, James, Jeff, Jake and Abby;

his great-grandchildren,
Naomi, Ella and Parker;

a brother,
Tom (Pat) Willging, Freeport, IL;

and a sister-in-law,
Joy Willging, St. Joe, MI.

George was preceded in death by his parents; a son in infancy, David Willging; a great-grandson in infancy, Carson Willging; a sister, Pat Hebert; 2 brothers, Clarence Willging and Ronald Willging; a son-in-law, Robert “Bob” Troy; and his best friend, Jimmy “Jimmy O” Oberfoell.

Memorials will be accepted by the family to be distributed among his favorite charities.


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Behr Funeral Home
1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa
July 31st, 2019 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Funeral service

Holy Spirit Parish, Holy Ghost Church
2921 Central Avenue, Dubuque, Iowa
July 29th, 2019 at 10:00 AM

7 condolences for George F. Willging
  1. Preva Neal says:

    My condolences and prayers go out to Amy and the bereaved family. Love Preva from GA Power

  2. Trudy Gaub says:

    We send our deepest sympathies to the entire Willging family. May God be with each of you during this time of sorrow. Trudy and Paul Gaub (Dawn’s sister and brother-in-law).

  3. Larry Wilson says:

    So sorry Joe and Family. May Dad Rest in Peace. God Bless All

  4. Maureen Kleiner says:

    Linda, so sorry to hear that your father in law has passed away. You have my heartfelt sympathy.

    Maureen Kleiner

  5. Richard Reiter says:

    I am a former Dubuquer and friend of the Willging family (Geo.,Clarney,Tom,Pat,and Ronnie). Our family rented a home from them when Hank ran the paint store.We were all loyal parishioners of St.Marys;.
    My condolences to the family of George.
    He came from a wonderful family, and will be remembered.

  6. Fr. Paul Otting says:

    Prayers for George, Fran and family in his

  7. Kristin Thomas says:

    My condolences to you on the loss of your father. My mother passed away 5 years ago from Lymphoma and losing a parent is something you never really get over.

    I don’t know if you even vaguely remember me. I dated your friend Dave McClure from 1986 to 1990. I remember being around you a few times. Dave and I for some strange reason, just went our separate ways and both got married. He lived in Cedar Rapids. You will be shocked at this Paul, but Dave passed away a year ago in July. I read his obituary in the Cedar Rapids paper.

    If you have anything you want to converse with me on, you can text me at 563 608 6119. I’ll be thinking about your family during these tough weeks ahead.

    Sincerely, Kristin (Asbury, Ia)

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