Sylvia Jean Willmott

Sylvia J. Willmott, 83, North Mankato, Minn., passed away peacefully Friday, July 16, 2021, at Mayo Clinic Health System, Mankato, Minn.

She was born June 8, 1938, at Prairie Farm, Wis., the daughter of Harry and Edna (Marschall) Kurschner. She graduated from Prairie Farm High School in 1956 and moved to Minneapolis, Minn., working as a telephone operator and key punch operator. This was where she met S. Thomas Willmott. They were married on Nov. 23, 1957. This union was blessed with six children.

Sylvia was an active member of St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, and in later years, their quilting group. She was a beautiful seamstress, making most of her children’s clothes when they were growing up. Sylvia loved to cook, bake and entertain. Her weekly bread baking was always a hit for the afternoon coffees with the neighbor ladies.

Sylvia and Tom first made their home in the Minneapolis area and later settled in Mankato with their growing family. After the kids were all in school, Sylvia went to work in the family business, Willmott’s Business Machines.

They moved to Reliance, S.D., in 1986, where her love of cooking and entertaining continued. She and Tom hosted many weekends of pheasant hunters. She also enjoyed raising pigs and chickens, and tending to her large garden.

Sylvia moved back to the Mankato area in 2004, settling in North Mankato. She moved to Oak Terrace Independent Living Community in 2018, where she resided until her death.

Surviving are her children Julie (John) Christensen of Brandon, S.D., Michael (Deb) of Cleveland, Minn., Sandra (Taylor) Murphy of North Mankato, Mary Kaye (Rick) Johnson of Ellsworth, Bradley (Shannon) and David (Barb), both of Farmington, Minn.; 19 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara Bender of Prairie Farm and Charlotte Bottolfson of Osceola; a brother-in-law Raymond (Jeanne) Willmott of Owatonna, Minn.; sisters-in-law Carol (George) Covrig of Brookings, S.D., Patricia (David) Landsman of Elkton, S.D., and Brenda Willmott of Austin, Minn.; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Sylvia was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.

A memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 21, from St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church (423 W. 7th St., Mankato, MN 56001). A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 22, at Fairview Cemetery, White, S.D. Following the burial, a reception will be held at St. Paul Catholic Church (102 W. 5th St., White, SD 57276).

Please share a memory of Sylvia with her family online at

As a family, we would like to extend many thanks to Mayo Cardiology, Sue Haugh, Terri and their staff for the excellent care they provided Mom these past few years.