At the age of 91,Willard passed away peacefully with his family by his side after a brief and courageous battle with cancer. He was born on a farm in Buchanan Sk, by parents of Norwegian ancestry. He learned the value of hard work and this carried him throughout his life.
He moved to B.C. as a young man and worked in the mill at Ocean falls. Here he met Mary Rutherford an RN and they were married in 1942. After the birth of their first son David, the family moved to Port Alberni where Willard went to work as an Electrician during the building of the new Paper Mill.
Over the next eight years, willard and Mary had four more sons. He enjoyed his job and worked his way up to Assistant Superintendant of the Electrical Department. He had fond memories of the people he worked with and was especially proud of those he started as apprentices.
He was always active in the community with Toast Masters, Masons (60 yrs) and the church choir.
He had strong family ties and was always willing to help his siblings as they moved away from the farm and migrated to the west coast.
Even though he enjoyed his work, he had a very happy and fulfilling retirement. He and Mary travelled to Yuma for 20 years with many friends and family. While in Port Alberni he stayed active mentally and physically by attending the Echo centre gym, floor curling and playing Dominoes up until his 91st year. He learned his love of Dominoes in Yuma, AZ but he was always happy to sit down and show someone how to play and we were seldom lucky enough to beat him.
He was predeceased by his son Richard, and wife Mary and his seven siblings. He is survived and deeply mourned by his sons ; David (Ellen), Allen (Pam), Lyle (Cheryl) and Neil (Debbie); 17 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren and many neices and nephews who will all miss him.
Willard was a good brother, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Willard knew Jesus as his Lord and Savior and was a member of the United Church for the last 60 years.
He will be truly missed and frequently thought of.
He was diagnosed with a mild form of chronic Leukemia 35 years ago which did not really effect him until the last 2 months of his life when it turned into the acute phase.
The family would like to thank all the Doctors, Nurses and Care Aids at the Richmond Pavilion of the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, for their very kind and compassionate care of our father.
A service of Remembrance will be held at 1:00pm, on Saturday, February 12, 2011 at the Alberni Valley United Church, 3747 Church St., Port Alberni with Rev Minnie Hornidge officiating. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.chapelofmemories.ca
In Lieu of flowers, donations in Willard’s memory may be sent to the West Coast Hospital Foundation, 3939 Port Alberni, Hwy, Port Alberni, B.C., V9Y 4S1.