William “Bill” Killian who led the development of Willow River State Park near Hudson died on Aug. 3. Bill was appointed manager of Willow River in April 1970 after the Wisconsin DNR purchased the property from Northern States Power. Bill and fellow Hudson resident Bernie McGaver designed the campground, beach and hiking trails for what is now one of the state’s busiest parks. Bill retired in 1982 and lived with his wife Vera in Hudson until 1992 when they moved to Woodbury. Bill celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends in January at Stonecrest Senior Living with Vera, his wife of 63 years, at his side. Bill grew up in Chicago during the Depression and was a life-long Cubs fan. He joined the Navy during WWII and was a signalman on the USS Roper in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. His ship was hit by a kamikaze during the Okinawa invasion. Bill served in the Navy during the Korean conflict also. Bill earned a degree in Forestry and a letter in tennis at Purdue University before marrying Vera in 1956. He loved northern Wisconsin where his family owned a cabin on Tea Lake. Bill’s priority was spending time with family, including Vera, daughter Nancy Killian, son Doug Killian, daughter-in-law Kris Killian and grandsons Craig and Keith Killian. He played tennis with Doug until age 87 and swam daily at the YMCA in Woodbury into his 90s. Bill was a member of St. Andrew’s Lutheran church in Mahtomedi where he was baptized at 83. A celebration of Bill’s life was held at St. Andrew’s and internment with military honors was conducted at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.