Willis family thanks community| Letter

It never ceases to amaze us how this community rallies around a family during hard times. We certainly experienced one of these times recently with the unexpected passing of our brother, John Willis. From the moment the news spread, it was apparent how many lives our brother touched. Beginning with the Orcas Memorial Facebook post and its outpouring of memories, continuing with a multitude of phone calls offering condolences and support, and culminating with a congregation of John’s ‘best friends’ that could not be contained within the walls of the Community Church, this Island took us in its embrace and we are forever grateful.

There are a few people to which we would like to extend a special thank you.

Our cousins, the Barfoot family — Irene, Fran, Harold and their children. You planned and executed the perfect tribute to this great but humble man. The Community Church, to include pastors Dick Staub and Ryan Carpenter; thank you for hosting the memorial service and for the role you played in John’s life. Laura Berg, Dustin Fox, and Wyatt Lundquist for sharing your personal reflections and memories. The Olga Symphony for providing the perfect music for John’s last dance.

Finally, to Rita Harvey, Sami Messinger and all those who selflessly donated time, food and flowers for the reception that followed the service; and to Roy and Karen Schwitters for opening your beautiful home to the family that evening so we could spend some much needed time together. All of you allowed us to focus on what was important – family and friends – knowing that every detail would be attended to and everything would be perfect. And it certainly was.

The Willis Family

Orcas Island