Donna Peace's 'Here's Willie' chronicles legacy of Willie Severson

Feb. 12—TAYLOR, N.D. — In the heart of Taylor, amidst the rhythm of everyday life, one phrase resonated like a cherished melody: "Here's Willie." This simple greeting was the hallmark of Willie Severson, a beloved figure whose essence permeated the fabric of the community.

Within the pages of "Here's Willie," a heartfelt tribute penned by his daughter, Donna Peace, Willie's spirit lives on through a tapestry of memories and what Donna affectionately terms "Willie-isms."

A native son of Taylor, Willie Severson dedicated his life to tending to an 800-acre farm just north of town, where he cultivated hay fields and raised cattle alongside his family. Sherman Severson, Willie's son, fondly reminisced about the challenges they faced together on the farm, a testament to Willie's unwavering work ethic and resilience.

But Willie's impact transcended the confines of the farm gates. Donna recounted her father's deep love for animals, sharing anecdotes of him welcoming kittens into their home with open arms. His generosity extended to the local church, where he lent his voice to the Gideon society and offered support to programs like Home on the Range.

In the public eye, Willie's infectious humor and captivating storytelling made him a beloved figure in the Taylor community. Donna's memories were filled with laughter as she recalled her father's humorous anecdotes and heartfelt speeches, each one a testament to his ability to connect with people from all walks of life.

As Donna reflected on her father's legacy, she spoke of the profound impact he had on her own life. Willie's calm demeanor and unwavering faith served as a guiding light in times of adversity, instilling in Donna a sense of strength and resilience that would shape her for years to come.

"I realized it after I became an adult," Peace said. "I found myself always asking what my dad would do in this situation?"

For Donna, "Here's Willie" is more than just a book—it's a tribute to her father's enduring spirit and the lasting impact he had on those around him. Through her words, Willie's voice echoes across the pages, a reminder of the power of love, laughter, and the bonds that unite us all.

She told a story about a storm that came through the night before harvest day, the sky first turning black, then green, as hail fell in torrents. Willie calmly put pillows against the windows to prevent broken glass from falling into the house. She described how scared all the kids were and her father looking out at them:

"Don't worry about the storm," she recalled he told the children. "The Lord will always take care of us."

Peace explained that his reaction to this situation, and many others, imparted a calm surety in her that has helped her in many ways as an adult.

"One of my goals was to make you think of your situations or memories with your dad and family when you read about my dad," she said of the memories that dot the pages of her new book.

For those eager to delve into Willie's story, "Here's Willie" is available for purchase on Amazon, or you can contact Sherman Severson for a local pickup at 701-260-0264.