Willard Felix Tackes, also known by many at the West Bend Market as “The Potato Man,” of Newburg, age 87, died on Dec. 4, 2013, at his home in the town of Trenton. He was born and raised in the town of Farmington, the son of Robert and Helen (Szuminski) Tackes, he was a lifelong resident of Washington County.
Willard was employed at Gehl Company for 40 years and was a member of the Hexelbank Club. He was a vendor at the West Bend Farmer’s Market since its beginning (more than 30 years) and also at the markets in Cedarburg and Grafton. At the farm, he had a variety of animals, cash crops, and vegetables. He enjoyed fishing and traveling. Willard and Bertha took a dream vacation in 1981 to Australia and New Zealand and he also visited 49 states (not Alaska). He was a member of the Newburg Fire Department in his earlier years, and was a longtime member of Holy Trinity Catholic Parish in Newburg.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Bertha (Unger) Tackes; loving children: Yvonne Tackes of West Bend, JoAnn Critchley of Fond du Lac, Gary and Vicki Tackes of Slinger, Wanda and Dennis Docter of Markesan, Janette and Tom Schroeder of Cascade; cherished grandchildren — a baker’s dozen: Jennifer, Amanda (Derek), Trisha (Dan), Melissa (special friend, CJ), Tonille (fiancé Rick), Cassandra (special friend, Jeremy), Andrew (special friend, Abeni), Caleb, Blake, Alicia (Paul), Mikayla (special friend, Nate), Adam (special friend, Savannah), Jonathan; eight great-grandchildren: Kayla, Machaia, Devon, Hannah, GraceLynn, Kenadie, Ethan, and Camrynn; siblings: Adeline Flasch of West Bend, Darceal Jordan of Kewaskum, Darleen Rochwite of Campbellsport; sisters-in-law: Gladys Unger, Gladys Tackes and Christa Tackes. He is further survived by former son-in-law, Randy Critchley, many other relatives and dear friends.
Willard is preceded in death by parents, Robert and Helen; parents-in-law, Hugo and Alma Unger; siblings Gladys (Herbert) Ramel, Virginia (Philip) Schneider, Allen, Orville, Marvin, Joyce, Dalvine; brothers-inlaw Bill Flasch, Stewart Rochwite, Henry Jordan and Arnold Unger.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, at 1 p.m. at Holy Trinity (521 Congress St., Newburg) with Fr. Kevin Kowalske presiding. The visitation will be on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel from 9 a.m.-noon. Interment will follow the Mass at Holy Trinity Cemetery.
The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family. (262) 338-2050