Willard Frances Knutson, also known as Billy Wayne, 65, a Lee County resident for the last 4 years, formerly of Oklahoma City, OK, died Wednesday, July 4th, 2012. He was born August 31, 1946 in Anaheim, CA to the late Willard Knutson Sr. and Catherine Knutson.
Willard attended the Pine Island Community Church and had served in the US Marine Corps. He always had a smile and a positive attitude and was a likable, lovable guy. He recently had been an over the road truck driver but also had a career as a musician. Willard once played with Patsy Cline when he was 16 as well as playing on stage at the Grand Ole Opry. Willard had been a musician for over 40 years. He was also known as Billy Wayne and was the CEO of Associated Artists Management and AAM Records and is where he formed Dakota Country in the late 60's. The current CD "Country Our Way" is an example of the Traditional Country Music that you can hear from Dakota Country in their shows.
Willard is survived by his life partner, Willie Geraci of St. James City; his three loving children, Bonnie Fisher of Northwood, ND, Billy Knutson and his wife Michelle of Harwood, ND and Joey Knutson and his fiance' Chris Bergman of Christine, ND; nine grandchildren, Ricky Fisher, Randy Fisher, Megan Fisher, Gary Denault, Billy Bakke, Brandon Knutson, Kaitlyn Knutson, Holly Knutson and Ryder Knutson; as well as five great grandchildren, Alexis Fisher, Jabin Newmes, Savannah Newmess, Ricky Fisher, III and Rendall Fisher.
Willard Frances Knutson
Funeral services will be held 11:00AM Thursday, July 12th at Mullins Memorial, 1056 NE 7th Terrace, Cape Coral, FL 33909. The family will receive friends from 9:00AM until the hour of service at the funeral home.
Monetary memorial contributions are suggested to the family of Willard Knutson in care of Mullins Memorial.
Friends are invited to send condolences via the on-line guest book which can be found at www.MullinsMemorial.com.
Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.