Highland Village, Texas - Warren Wilbur Willenburg of Highland Village, Texas, died peacefully on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013 at his home at the age of 91.
Funeral Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls. Interment will be held at Emardville Cemetery in Plummer. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
Warren Wilbur Willenburg was born on Jan. 11, 1922 in Bemidji, the son of Joseph and Mimmie Willenburg. Warren was named after then President of the United States, Warren G. Harding.
In 1926, Warren Willenburg moved with his family to Lawrence, Kan. He grew up near the University of Kansas (KU) and attended school in Lawrence Kansas. Due to the Depression of the early ’30s, he enlisted in the United States Navy.
During his naval service, he served several tours of duty in the South Pacific during World War II. He was one of the first naval crews assigned to the Honolulu naval base after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1942, he served abroad the U.S. Yorktown and was an active participant in the Battle of Midway on June 4, 1942.
He survived the sinking of the USS Yorktown and survived five hours in the Pacific waters until rescue by other U.S. naval ships in the area. He refered to June 4, 1942 as the day, he went for a swim.
After an honorable medical discharge in 1943, Warren Willenburg attended school in Oklahoma and obtained his AP (Airplane) Mechanic license. After obtaining his AP license, he moved to Minneapolis, and began his long time career with Braniff International Airways.
On April 5, 1953, Warren was united in marriage to Violet L. Carlson at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Plummer. In 1954, Warren accepted a position with Braniff Airways in Kansas City, Missouri and in 1972, he accepted another position as an AP Shop Mechanic with Braniff Airways at Lovefield, Dallas, Texas. He remained with Braniff Airways until his retirement in May, 1982.
Warren Willenburg was one of the founding members of Faith Lutheran Church, Flower Mound, Texas. His hobbies included reading, history, eating, traveling, and spending summers with the Carlson family in northern Minnesota.
He is survived by his daughter (Susan) and his son (Mark), his sister Lillian of Effingham, Illinois, his sister-in law Jane Robbins of Pine City, Minnesota and husband (Gerald Robbins) along with many nieces, nephews, and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Violet L. Willenburg; his sister Josephine Willenburg; his brothers, Marvin Willenburg, Roland Willenburg and an infant brother Edward Willenburg.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.