Fred A. Will

Fred Will, 95, of Merrill, embraced his Savior on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, leaving this earthly home.

Fred was born on April 29, 1928 in Irma, WI, the son of Godfrey and Anna (Schenzel) Will.  He moved to Merrill at the age of 18 to work on the Pope Dairy Farm.  As grace would have it, he fell in love with the farmers daughter.  Fred and Cora (Pope) were married on June 4, 1953.  Fred and Cora purchased the farm soon thereafter and successfully farmed for many years.  He then went to tech school for welding and brought his welding skills to a few manufacturers in Merrill, before landing and retiring from what he considered to be his “dream job” at the DNR in Tomahawk, WI.  Fred built a number of prototype firebreak implements there, for which he was quite proud; some of the equipment plans he made and produced are being replicated to this day.

Fred was a thoughtful and fun-loving person.  He enjoyed music, rides on this UTV and chatting about anything and everything.  He liked watching the Brewers and Packers.  Fred’s love for hunting was unmatched and made evident by the 10-point buck he shot with a bow at the age of 94! He had a joke, saying, or song for every situation and a very special way of making others feel loved.  Fred was also skilled in restoring antique cars and tractors, and loved working on his various woodworking projects.    Fred had a strong and genuine faith in God and was a grace-loving man.  He is remembered as a strong, intelligent and capable person that was a joy to be around.  Fred was a member at St. Stephen’s United Church of Christ.  He is certainly gone too soon and will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

Fred leaves behind many nephews and nieces, which include a special niece: Laurie (Mark) Stilwell and their sons: Christopher and Daniel (Angie), as well as 2 special nephews: Dave (Roxie) Johnson and Jim (Sally) Will, along with a sister-in-law: Jean Will and many other extended family members and good friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents, wife: Cora, and infant sister: Edola and infant brother: Alvin, sisters: Laura (Alfred) Johnson, Dorothy (Leonard) Mayville, Viola (Stanley) King, Adeline Huey and Lauretta (Maurice) Tiffany, brothers: Albert (Anna) Will, Raymond (Gladys) Will and Roland Will, and most recently, his sweetheart: Phyllis Frederick.

The funeral service for Fred will be held on Thursday, February 8, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at Waid Funeral Home.  Rev. Mike Southcombe and Mark Stilwell will officiate. The visitation will be held on Wednesday, February 7, 2024 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Waid Funeral Home, and again on Thursday, February 8, 2024 from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service, also at the funeral home.  Burial at Merrill Memorial Park Cemetery will immediately follow the service.

The service will be recorded for those unable to attend in person, and will be available for viewing under his obituary on the funeral home website.

Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements.  Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at

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