Ralph L. “Lee” Willette, Jr., MSGT, USAF, Ret.

  • Visitation Dates and Times

    Friday, July 23, 2021 8:30-10:30 a.m.

  • Visitation Location

    St. Mary Catholic Church, Trenton

  • Service Date

    Friday, July 23, 2021

  • Service Time

    10:30 a.m.

  • Service Location

    St. Mary Catholic Church, Trenton

  • Full Obituary

    Ralph L. “Lee” Willette, Jr, MSGT, USAF, Ret., age 76, of Trenton, died Thursday, July 8, 2021 at Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh.


    He was born October 11, 1944 in Skowhegan, ME, a son of the late Ralph Lee and Juliette, LaPointe, Willette.


    In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Mary Willette; and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Phil Chamberlain, John Speed, Gerard Merkel, and Mollie and George Johnson.


    Surviving are his wife Linda, nee Merkel, Willette, of Trenton, whom he married August 13, 1966 in Hartford City, IN; children, Lee (Katherine DeSantis) Willette of Trenton, Dr. Albert (Dianalyn) Ouellette, of San Antonio, TX, and Trina (Bobby Johnson) Cinotto of New Baden; grandchildren, Rachael and Matthew Rubin, Isaac, Cody, Aliana, and Kaylee Ouellette, Audrianna Pennington, Bailee Johnson, Camdin and Deltin Cinotto; great-grandson, Xander Pennington; siblings, Nancy Chamberlain, Priscilla Speed, Elaine (Jerry) Strout, Denny (Nancy Jean) Willette, Raenelle Willette, Peter (Kim) Willette, Lisa (Wyatt) Fitzgerald, and Rella Collins all of Maine, Theresa (Gary) Godin, Lynn (Dave) Aubuchon, and Cindy (Linwood) Corson all of Florida, and Lori (Matt) Fielder of Michigan; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Albert (Lynne) Merkel of Wisconsin, Serena Merkel of Indiana, Karen (Ron) Hogan and Juleen (Jeffrey) Hugenberg all of Kentucky, and Verlin (Mary Lou) Merkel of Florida; and numerous nieces and nephews.


    Lee retired with the rank of MSGT from the United States Air Force in 1984 after 21 years of service. After retiring from the United States Air Force, Lee worked for the United States Postal Service and also worked as the Supervisor of Security-Loss Prevention for many different department stores in the area. He was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church and Holy Name in Trenton, Trenton Knights of Columbus Council 2932, Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Bishop Althoff Assembly, Trenton American Legion Post 778, and the Trenton VFW Post 7983. Lee enjoyed watching the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues, he loved cars (especially those from his generation), reading, hunting, and fishing.


    Memorial Mass will be Friday, July 23, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Trenton with Fr. Joseph Rascher presiding. Interment with full military honors will be at 1:30 p.m. at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis.


    Visitation will be Friday, July 23, 2021 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Trenton.




    Memorials may be made to St. Mary Catholic Church and will be received at the church or through Moss Funeral Home, 105 S. Main, Trenton, IL 62293 who is serving the family.

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