World War II veteran spends 103 rewarding years calling Kalkaska home

Lauren Clark

KALKASKA — “An apple a day keeps the doctor away and helps you live to 103,” exclaimed lifelong Kalkaska County resident and World War II veteran Willard Ryckman, while at the Kalkaska County Commission on Aging (COA) to play Wii bowling. 

Ryckman is a popular guest at the COA. Staff, fellow service members, friends and family show deep respect and love for a man who has been a hard-working and principled community contributor for more than a century.

Ryckman was born the second son of Seymour and LaVerne Ryckman in 1918 on an 80-acre farm in Orange Township. He grew up with his three brothers Seymour, Devere and Clesson, and his two sisters, Gene and Virgil.

He credits much of his work ethic from his childhood spent as part of the family farm team.

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