Willi reunion attracts 120The three living Willi siblings attended the Willi Family Reunion on Aug. 7 in the town of Hudson.
The descendants of Henry Willi gathered at the home of Mike and Becky McDonell in the town of Hudson Aug. 7 for a family reunion. In all, 120 family members joined the festivities, many coming from all parts of the United States.
Henry Willi was born in 1884 in Watertown, the son of Swiss immigrants Kaspar and Maria (Schneider) Willi. His family moved to Chippewa Falls shortly after his birth. In 1906, he married Nina Fowler, a Chippewa Falls native. Their son, Don, was born a year later. Nina died in 1918.
In 1920, Henry married Eda Larson. She was born in 1895 in Bayport, the daughter of Norwegian immigrant Peder Larson and his wife, Jennie Erickson Larson, the daughter of Swedish immigrants. Over the next 12 years, Henry and Eda had eight children: Lorraine, Ione, Bob, George, Pete, Buni, Jeannette and Dale. In 1941, Henry and Eda adopted a 10th child, Fred.
Eda died in Chippewa Falls in 1966 and Henry died in 1968, shortly after moving to Hudson to live with his daughter.
Son George died in 1942. The other nine Willi children married and started families, living in Arizona, California, the Twin Cities, Hudson, Kenosha, Janesville and Chippewa Falls.
The three living Willi siblings were in attendance at the reunion. Ione McDonell, 89, and Dale Willi, 78, live in Hudson. Their brother, Buni Willi, 83, lives in Chippewa Falls.
In addition to the 10 Willi children, the family tree includes 31 grandchildren, 77 great-grandchildren, 75 great-great-grandchildren and 14 great-great-great grandchildren, for a total of 207 descendants.