Willie and his seven siblings grew up on a farm in northern Missouri and he worked in the coalmines alongside his father as a teenage. At the age of 19, Willie became a member of the Boilermakers Local Union 83 where he worked on pressure vessels. Willie continued his craft of welding for 30 years as a Boilermaker before opening his own welding shop in Clinton, IA, and the moving to Clinton before retiring in 2010. He was still a card-carrying member of the Boilermakers and just recently received his 55-year pin.
Willie was united in marriage to Joyce Easter on May 17, 1980, in Clinton, IA. This union brought together Willie’s three sons of the home and Joyce’s youngest daughter. Willie and Joyce made their home together and worked as a team raising the children through think and thin.
Willie was a hard worker who loved country music and a good two-step. His favorite dancing partner was his beloved Joyce. He was truly one of the kindest human beings you could meet. Willie’s favorite times where when he was surrounded by his family and especially his grandchildren. He taught his family how to work hard and to love harder.
Willie was preceded in death by his parents, Willis and Florence Stratton; brothers, Jimmy Stratton, John Stratton and Tom Stratton; sister, Janie Coehn and wife, Joyce.
He is survived by two daughters, Yvonna (Dennis) Woody – El Dorado Springs and Lisa Damewood, El Dorado Springs; four sones, Jerry Joe (Rhonda) Mefford – Windsor, Delbert (Tina) Stratton – Pisgah, IA, Mark (Tracy) Stratton – Fulton, IL, and Joe (Nikki) Stratton – Fulton, IL; 18 grandchildren, Amber Ogle, Autumn Woody, Matthew Woody, Lauren Smith, Brandon Damewood, Jason Mefford, Melissa Boyer, Brian Mefford, Crystal Christensen, Bobbie Jo Havick, Angie Mohn, Stephanie Van De Brake, A.J. Stratton, Hilary Graham, Nick Stratton, Zack Stratton, Cael Stratton and Noah Stratton; 32 great-grandchildren and one on the way.
Casket bearers: Matt Woody, A.J. Stratton, Nick Stratton, Brandon Damewood, Zach Stratton and Blake Christensen. Honorary casket bearers: Grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services for Willie was Tuesday, May 2, at Sheldon Funeral Home, El Dorado Springs, with Rev. Brent Bland officiating.
Interment will be at Clintonville Cemetery, El Dorado Springs.