Cover photo for Dean Richard Willrett's Obituary
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Dean Richard Willrett

February 14, 1943 — August 16, 2023

Mankato, MN

Dean Richard Willrett


Dean Willrett, age 80, of Mankato, MN passed into the arms of his loving Savior on August 16, 2023, at his home with family by his side following a 3½ year battle with cancer.

Memorial service will be at 10:30 on Saturday, August 26, 2023, at St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church in North Mankato. MN with a visitation one hour prior to service. Burial will be at Eastlawn Cemetery in Algona, Iowa.

Dean was born on February 14, 1943, in Algona, Iowa, to Erich and Genevieve Willrett.  After the death of his mother in 1944, he was raised by Genevieve’s sister Lucille Johnson.  Dean attended schools in Algona graduating from Algona High School.  He attended Trinity Lutheran Church in Algona where he married his high school sweetheart, Karen Alt.  He graduated from Mankato State College (now Minnesota State University, Mankato) in Mankato Minnesota.  During college in Mankato he worked for Kreutzer Motor as a semi-driver.  Following college, he worked as a semi-driver and various positions with Northland Beverages and Gillette Pepsi Mankato.

While his sons were growing up, Dean coached their baseball and football teams for many years.  He was an avid reader and enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s events, wood crafts, playing cards, traveling, and watching the Minnesota Twins and Vikings games and Nascar races on tv.  Being a Nascar fan, trips included attending races at 10 different Nascar tracks and doing the Richard Petty Driving Experience in Las Vegas. A definite highlight in his life was the day he went skydiving.  He was a faithful member of St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church where over the years, he served on many boards and committees. 

Dean is survived by his wife Karen; sons, Lonnie (Jackie) Willrett, Rob (Megan) Willrett; grandchildren Justine Willrett, Cassie Willrett (Louis-Pierre Rich), Erich Willrett, Maria, Carmen and Benji Willrett; brother Duane (Karen) Willrett, sister-in law and brother-in-law Luanna and Ron Ditsworth, step-brother Glenn Johnson, step-sister Judy Magner, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Dean was preceded in death by his parents Erich and Genevieve Willrett; Lucille Johnson; step-mother Alice (Johnson) Willrett; sister and brother-in-law Beverly and Kendall Weiland; half-sister Mary Fee; father-in-law and mother-in-law Harry and Edna Alt; step-brother Charles Johnson.

Memorials are preferred to St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, American Cancer Society or donor’s choice. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dean Richard Willrett, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, August 26, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church

304 Monroe Ave, North Mankato, MN 56003

Visitation one hour before the service on Saturday at the church. Service at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

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