William John McNamara, age 92, originally from Bird Island, died peacefully surrounded by family on Saturday, August 12, 2023 at Cushman Cottage Care Center in Willmar. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, August 19, at 9:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bird Island with Rev. George Schmit as celebrant. Burial will be in the St. Mary’s Cemetery in Bird Island. Visitation will be on Friday, August 18, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the church with a prayer service and sharing of memories at 8 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. Arrangements are by Dirks-Blem Funeral Service of Olivia.
Bill was born to Charles and Mary (Ryan) McNamara on a farm in Bird Island on October 30, 1930. He graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1948 and worked on the family farm until he joined the army in 1955 spending time at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, Fort Carson, Colorado and Fort Lewis, Washington. He married Ruth Altmann in 1958 and together they raised six children while continuing to farm. William retired from farming in 1989, and worked for Renville County first mowing ditches and then managed the county landfill for five years. From 2005 to 2009 he worked for his son, John, at the Bird Island Farmers Elevator. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and a lifetime member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. He was a Eucharistic Minister and also took communion to the home bound. He loved gardening and tending to his fruit trees, enjoyed listening to BOLD football and basketball games on the radio, and kept a journal for over 70 years. His faith and family were the most important things in his life.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Ruth; daughters, Maria Zenk (Steve) of Danube, Louise Neeser (Mark) of St. Cloud, and Anita Sonnek (Matt) of Waconia; sons: John, Joe, and Paul (Sue) of Bird Island; seven grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; and nine step-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Donald (Carol) and Lois (Gordy); step-siblings, Arlys (Chuck) and Junie; and brothers-in-law, Roland (Bernice) and Earl (Bev) Altmann.
Bill’s family would like to thank the staff of Cushman Cottage and Centra Care Hospice for their exceptional and loving care.
Blessed Be His Memory