JEROME • Willard Harris Mickelson, 63, passed away at his home in Jerome, Idaho, on Friday, March 28, 2014, due to poor health. He was born Sept. 6, 1950, in Soda Springs, Idaho, to Clark Alexander Mickelson and Helen Isabel Nichols Mickelson. Willard grew up in Lago, Idaho, a small farming community just south of Grace, with his four older siblings: Lovene, Roger, Joan and Ethel. He attended Grace High School where he enjoyed drama, football and working with cows in FFA. He graduated in 1968. Willard married Kathy Christensen in August 1969. From this union, his first son, Matthew, was born in 1971. Their marriage ended in early 1972.
Willard then married Terasa M. Jacobson in June 1972. Together they started a little farm and dairy while living in the one-time home of his grandparents, Michael and Sarah Mickelson. He had a love of farming and raising prize Holstein cows. During the next 10 years, they had five children: Dax, Tara, Gina, Luke and Zan. Willard later sold his farm and began a career in varied sales positions taking his family to Utah, Idaho and California. After many moves, he settled his family in Kimberly, Idaho, where they finally found a place to call “home.” Willard and Terasa later divorced in August 1993.
Willard’s health began to decline and he struggled with loneliness and depression. Life started to look brighter when he met Dixie Cook at a singles dance. They married Sept. 20, 1996. In Willard’s own words, “Dixie’s personality complemented mine and the two of us fit together like a glove.” Together they made their home in Jerome. They loved gardening, taking walks together and spending time with their many grandchildren. He was known to them as “Gum Grandpa” for he always had bubblegum at the ready.
Willard will be remembered for his loving hugs, infectious laughter, and warm smile and wanted shared with others that, “Through ups and downs of my life, I have always tried to hold strong to my beliefs in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
He is survived by his wife: Dixie of Jerome, Idaho; his brother: Roger (Bev) Mickelson of Lago, Idaho; sisters: Lovene (Duane) Bitton of Lago, Idaho, Joan (Arlen) Meacham of Lago, Idaho, and Ethel (Clayton) Brough of West Jordan, Utah; his six children: Matt (Roxie) Heussner of Gilbert, Ariz., Dax (Temsha) Mickelson of Boise, Idaho, Tara (Brett) Bollwinkel of Meridian, Idaho, Gina (Chad) Heider of Kimberly, Idaho, Luke (Heidi) Mickelson of Kimberly, Idaho, and Zan (Craig) Taylor of Twin Falls, Idaho; and seven stepchildren: Inez (Kevin) Allridge of Lehi, Utah, Tyson (Valerie) Cook of Jerome, Idaho, Ron (Yolanda) Cook of Pueblo, Colo., Nathan (Hilary) Cook of Powell, Wyo., Scott (Jackie) Cook of Jerome, Idaho, Brett (Katrina) Cook of Sanger, Calif., and Stephanie Hardcastle of Jerome, Idaho. Willard was preceded in death by his parents.
A memorial service will be conducted at 12 noon, Wednesday, April 2, at the Jerome LDS 4th Ward Chapel, 26 N. Tiger Drive in Jerome, with Bishop Brian Williams officiating. Arrangements are under the care of Farnsworth Mortuary of Jerome.