Don Sherwin Willard PDF  ICON_SEP Print ICON_SEP  E-mail
Written by Capps Memorial Chapel   



Don Sherwin Willard, 70, of Fairfield, died Monday, February 27, 2017 at his residence.  Graveside services were held 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 2, 2017 at Mt. Zion Cemetery with Bro. Max Martin officiating.  Interment followed.  In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials to Solaris Hospice at 1521 S. Loop 256 – Palestine, TX  75801. 
Don was born August 20, 1946 in Houston to parents Bert and Evelyn Bessie (Emmons) Willard.  Bert had accepted a job in Houston and Evelyn and their two children Gloria and Irvin accompanied him.  The family consisting now of five returned to Fairfield when the work was finished.  Don grew up in Fairfield and graduated from Fairfield High School in 1964.  He moved to Austin and lived there for a few years while working for the State of Texas.  He left Austin and moved to Galveston when he accepted a position as a pipe fitter with AMOCO Oil Company in Texas City.  He met and married Cathey Ginn, from Denham Springs, LA in 1972.  They had one son, Bryan Heath Willard.  Don lived in the Texas Gulf Coast area until he retired from AMOCO after 38 years of service.  Don was a Master Mason and Past Master of John Mitchell Lodge #1401 A.F & A.M.  Don and Cathey moved to Fairfield in January 2000.  He remained in Fairfield until his death.  Don was preceded in death by his parents. 
Don was an avid reader.  He would read anything he got his hands on.  You couldn’t bring up a topic that he didn’t know something about because he read books and magazines and even encyclopedias and dictionaries!  His father Bert was a master gardener and Don was just like him as far as his love of gardening went.  He truly enjoyed planting everything from vegetables and fruit trees to flowers and shrubs and watching them grow.  Family and friends alike enjoyed his special homemade “Picante Sauce” which he made from the tomatoes, jalapenos and onions he raised in his gardens. 
At a very early age Don started playing the piano.  It came natural to him like it did with so many of his uncles from the Emmons side of the family.  While he never learned to read music and just played “by ear” he had an amazing talent because it came from his heart.  He played everything from gospel and jazz to easy listening and classical but he loved his country music the best.  Through the years, he played with a lot of bands.  Some of his closest and longtime friends were in a band they called The Inn Mates.  The band called WestWind was formed when Don and other union members went on strike.  The money he made with WestWind kept him from losing his home.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife Cathey of Fairfield; a son, Bryan Willard of Missouri; granddaughters Hailey and Sarah of Dickinson, TX; a sister, Gloria Smith and husband Lester of Fairfield; two brothers, Irvin Willard and wife Mary of Houston and Dan Willard of Fairfield.    
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