William “Bill” Dawson Harnack, 87, of Wells, Minnesota formerly of Revere, Minnesota, passed away at Parkview Care Center in Wells on Saturday, June 1st, 2024 from complications of an ischemic stroke.  A Funeral Service will be held Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at 10:30 AM at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Wells, MN with Pastor Vern Christopherson officiating.  Visitation will be held Tuesday, June 11, 2024 from 4:00-7:00 PM at Nasinec Funeral Home in Wells.  Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday.  Burial will be in the Lamberton Cemetery in Lamberton, MN on Wednesday at 3:30 PM for those who would like to join the family.    ***The family prefers memorials locally to the Wells Ambulance, Wells Fire Department or to donor’s choice. ***

Bill was born March 26, 1937 on a farm near Revere, MN in Redwood County to Roy H. and Ruth I. (Delong) Harnack. Bill grew up on the farm and knew the meaning of hard work. They raised every sort of farm animal and raised every type of crop. Bill attended public school and graduated from Walnut Grove, MN in 1955. Bill excelled in academics and sports. He was an all-around athlete participating in track, football and wrestling. He was a hard playing football end when the 1954 Loggers won the coveted honors of Red Rock Conference Champs. Bill was one of the 4 players placed on the all-conference team.  In wrestling, he gained recognition at the regional meet a couple years running, once in 2nd place and once in 3rd place. Lucy attests that he was VERY strong- ask her to tell you the story about Bill fending off a gang of bikers on one of their dates.

Bill married Lucille L. Okins June 29, 1957 in Lamberton, MN. They went to Spicer and Green Lake for their honeymoon. They ventured into the life of farming (both as a hired hand and on their own) and started a family. Their first home was an 80- acre farm 4 miles south of Revere on the county road. On January 29, 1958 they moved to a 200-acre farm 3 miles north of Revere. In 1965 they pulled-up their roots, with 3 kids and the 4th on the way; they moved from the Revere/Lamberton area to a farm outside of Wells, MN. A few years later they moved into the city of Wells where they stayed for the rest of Bill’s years.

Bill led by example in his home, church, community and at work. Bill and his wife Lucy raised 5 kids who he liked to call “The KL5”; Kathryn Lynn, Karen Lee, Keith Lewis, Kenneth Leroy and Kay Louise.  Throughout his years in church you could find Bill teaching Sunday School, playing dartball league, chaperoning Luther League, attending Bethel classes, serving on church council and participating on various groups and committees.  Bill knew it took hard work and dedication from the community members to make a great community. Bill was an active member in Jaycees and Lions and did not shy away from taking officer positions.

One of Bill’s greatest joys was being a Scout Master.  The highlight of each year would be taking a group of scouts on a trip to Camp Cayuna. He would be especially proud when a scout stuck with the program all the way. First going through Cub Scout advancement of Lion, Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos and Arrow of light then Boy Scout advancements of Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd class, 1st class, Star, Life, then Eagle. Attending an Eagle Scout Court of Honor is a proud moment for the scout, parent and leader.

Bill enjoyed his work and serving the farmers and city residents.  In his early 30’s he changed careers and left farming behind to become a power lineman. First working for the REA then ending his career working as superintendent for Wells Public Utilities. Bill retired at age 62.

After his retirement, Bill was able to spend time in his workshop. He had a passion for working with wood, and he would say he was busy making sawdust. Bill made many beautiful items over the years and made many improvements to the inside of their home over the 55+ years that they lived there.

Bill came from a generation of big families where he was 1 of 8 and Lucy was 1 of 16. When all was said and done those unions produced 67 offspring. Attending family reunions, baptisms, confirmations, graduations and weddings was a full-time hobby. From Bills own 5 children, he was further blessed with 14 grandchildren: Tina (Mark) Schroeder, Matthew (Christine) Benschoter, Kyle Evans (Samantha), Vanessa Evans (Aaron), Heather (Ron) Gholston, James Harnack, Rebecca (Travis) Hendrickson, Elizabeth Harnack, Noah Harnack, Abigail (Brady) Kisthart, Jack Prescher, Rachelle (Jason) Ortiz, Carissa (Nicholas) Holm and Eric (Devin) Gibbs; 24 great-grandchildren: Drew, Trevor and Karli Schroeder; Makayla, Lexi and Lillian Benschoter; Jaxon Evans; Kaylee, Addison, Emma, Lucas Larson and Aiden Bianchi; Silas, Cash and Leo Gholston; Gabriel, Christopher and Kaitlyn Gibbs; Brooklyn, Alexia and Kailer Holm; Taylor, Luca and Felix Ortiz.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents Roy & Ruth Harnack; in-laws Charley & Edith Okins; brothers: Durmont Harnack, Darlo Harnack; his sister Donna (Robert) Frank; brothers in- law: Chauncy (Hazel), Vernon (Helen), James in infancy, Richard (Rosemary), Dale (Betty), John in infancy; sisters in- law: Delores (Howard) Erickson, Lois (Boyd) Johnson, Faye (James) DuKatz, Mary Anne (Richard) Rossow, Karen in childhood and Marilyn in infancy; son in-law Mark G. Benschoter, and several nieces and nephews.

Bill is survived by his wife Lucy; his children; Kathy Benschoter, Karen (Jim) Evans, Keith (Tina) Harnack, Ken (Sheila) Harnack and Kay (Chris) Prescher; 14 grandchildren; 24 great- grandchildren; sisters Janet (Ardell) Anderson and Eilene (Don) Stanek; brother Leroy (Nancy) Harnack; sisters-in law: Judy Harnack, Vera Kurre, and Audrey Daly; brother in-law Allan (Rosemary) Okins; numerous nieces and nephews and their families.