Willard E. Lally / OBITUARY / June 10, 1922 – November 17, 2018


U.S. Veteran

Willard E. (Bill) Lally passed away Saturday, November 17, 2018 at Lake Wales Medical Center. He was 96.

A resident of Saddlebag Lake Resort east of Lake Wales, Fl., he resided at 18 Pink Lady Lane. He came to Saddlebag in 1983 and became a full-time resident in 1985 after retiring from Rider College in Lawrenceville. N.J.

Born in Fremont, Nebraska June 10, 1922, he was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Lally of that city. He was graduated from Fremont High School and from Midland College also from that city. He was awarded a master’s degree from Colorado State College of Education and later a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.

He was founder of the Lake Wales Literacy Council and served as its first president. He was a certified literacy tutor for more than 15 years and later, both a certified tutor trainer and a certified supervising trainer. He helped form the group from its beginnings in 1988 until formally organizing the unit Oct. 28, 1989. He served on the Executive Board until his retirement. Prior to the literacy unit, he served three years with the Lake Wales Extended Care Center.

His lifetime career was in education at both the high school and college levels. He spent six years in Nebraska as a secondary school teacher. He spent 30 years teaching journalism at Rider College in Lawrenceville, N.J. He served as faculty adviser for both the campus newspaper and the yearbook along with a stint in the college public relations office.

Interspersed with his teaching career, he also worked with several newspapers in Nebraska, Missouri, and New Jersey.

While at Rider College, he was honored as Distinguished Newspaper Adviser by the National Council of College Publications Advisers. He served as national President of Pi Delta Epsilon, honorary national collegiate journalism fraternity and was awarded its Medal of Merit. Also, he was member of Sigma Delta Chi, national professional journalism organization. He helped sponsor campus chapters in both groups as well as a chapter of a national public relations fraternity.

At Saddlebag Lake Resort he was a member of the Men’s Club and served terms as secretary and vice president. He was secretary chairman to the Saddlebag Lake World War II Veterans.  He served in an airborne unit of the 9th Air Force in England and France.

A member of the Lake Wales Lutheran Church since arrival at Saddlebag, he served in several posts. He was chairman of the board of social ministry, board of elders and the church school board. In addition, he served as lector at church services.

Donations may be made to the Lake Wales Lutheran Church or to the Willard E. Lally Scholarship Fund at Rider University in New Jersey.

Visitation will be held 10:00 am on Friday, November 23, 2018 with funeral service at 11:00 am at the Marion Nelson Funeral Home 454 South Buck Moore Road, Lake Wales, Florida 33853. Interment will be held at a later date at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.