In Memoriam

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Willard Alan Willett MAT ’65

Willard Alan Willett MAT ’65, May 3, 2013, in Newberg, Oregon. Al grew up in eastern Oregon, the youngest of six boys. He drove tractors, sang baritone, and loved opera. He was a naval aviator during the Korean conflict, and remained in the naval reserves for a number of years after the war. Building on a BA in secondary education, Al considered teaching music, but then earned a master’s degree at Reed in behavioral science and taught school in Parkrose High School. On a fellowship, he attended the University of California, Berkeley, intending to earn a doctorate in counseling psychology. He decided instead to become a professional pilot and took a job with Pan American Airways, flying 20,000 miles during his 25-year career. In retirement, he bought 17 acres of land outside Newberg, which he registered as Sanctuary Farm. He did research on horse breeds and built a herd of Morgan horses. He made trips to meet with other ranchers, led 4-H groups, and was involved in the Pacific Northwest Morgan Horse Association, sponsoring an annual most versatile horse award. He rode with the Yamhill County Posse for years. Al married and had three children. Survivors include his son and two daughters, three grandsons, and two great-grandchildren.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2014

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