Willard Putnam, son of Ed and Wildie Putnam, was born in Red Springs,Wisconsin.
Willard grew up in the Red Springs community. He attended Lakeview grade school in Red Springs, The Mission School for confirmation, Gresham school, and Shawano High School. He went to Gresham up to eleventh grade and finished up his high school years in Shawano.
Willard had a constructive childhood. He liked to build things out of wood and steel. He once built a tractor from scratch. He was also quite the fisherman. His grandfather owned lake front property in Red Springs, which is now in Willard's name. Throughout Willard's journey in life he was married three times. His first wife was Anita Wickman. They had three children; Patti, Kim, and Steven and four grandchildren.
They were also raised in Red Springs. Willard's second wife was Serena Doxtator. Now he is married to Marcella Elmergreen. They live on the reservation at the Ella Besaw Center. Willard served in the armed forces in North Africa and Ireland. One day he was training with his infantry and was supposed to aim and shoot a machine gun. Willard's turn came up and they yelled out Corporal Putnam your up. His job was to shoot seven rounds of seven bullets. He stepped up and pulled the trigger. As he looked up he heard laughter. He had shot in the wrong direction and took down a herd of sheep. He didn't live that story down for along time.
These days you can find Willard relaxing at the Ella Besaw Center were he likes to read, write in a journal and watch television. He used to play Bingo with the rest of the tenants until they caught him cheating. He was just having fun. His favorite piece of poetry is called The Pine. No matter what you do or who you are strive to be the best at it. That is the moral of the poem.
Willard has traveled all over the states and over seas. He remembers passing through Texas and Florida. He traveled a lot while in the service and met some nice people along the way. He always has a happy outlook on life. He learned from everything. He says he has straightened up and has found religion. His advice to everyone "Live until you die." "The truth will set you free." Don't live an unhappy life or be in denial. Live life to the fullest.
Advice to the youth is don't abuse alcohol. It's bad for you physically and mentally.