The couple was also raising six children; DePaul
, Mary, Mike
, Pierre, Tom and Jan.And, like all farm families, each of the children spent their spare time completing chores.Along with the grain farming, the brood learned to raise chickens, pigs, and dairy and beef cattle, while completing assigned tasks.It wasn't long, however, until each of the children began plans to make their own ways in the world.DePaul
was the first to go, joining the military and later attending law school.Mary was next, leaving for the College of St. Benedict
.One by one, Mike, Pierre, Tom and Jan left home to join the service; Mike joined the Navy, Tom the Air Force and Pierre and Jan enlisted into the Army.
The younger four brothers soon found their way back to the farm, however.Mike
returned to work with his
father in 1956.Pierre joined the business in 1959 and Tom and Jan joined in '62 and '63.They worked together, enlarging and expanding the business and finding their own areas of expertise; Mike
in seed, Pierre and Jan in cattle and farming and Tom as the mechanic.
Mike, in particular, is excited to travel around the country visiting the next generation of Willette's
, his grandchildren.
"We just want to thank the community and everyone who worked for us," says Mike
."Thanks for your support."