Willard Ferrell (1929 - 2018)

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  • "I really enjoyed working with Willard. He was a fun and..."
    - Jim Pekar
  • "Willard was a hoot. I am sad to hear of his passing. I..."
    - Richard Ragle
  • "Barbara and Willard were active members of the Coast Guard..."
    - Doris Thomas
  • "My condolences to your family during this difficult time...."
  • "Our condolences to the family. May God fulfill his promise..."
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Willard loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing. He and his wife, Barbara Jean Blanchard, camped often with family and friends, passing along that passion.
Willard was born in Centerville, Utah, to Roland Irving and Josephine Berry Ferrell, the fifth of nine children.
He attended Stewart Training School, an experimental school where his lifelong love of learning and science started. He graduated from East High in Salt Lake City, Utah, and he took up skiing after making skis in wood shop.
Willard received his botany degree from the University of Utah, where he met and married Barbara. During college summers, he worked for the forest and park services at Henry's Fork in Idaho, Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain National Parks. He also was on the early version of the ski patrol.
In addition to inspiring his own children, he shared his love of the outdoors with nieces, nephews and Boy Scouts.
Professionally, he worked as a chemist, and he was an adjunct at the University of Utah.
In the '80s, he joined the Army Corps of Engineers and he and Barbara moved to Eagle River, Alaska, where he could hunt and fish to his heart's content. His job took him to various old military outposts through the state, where he'd run into wildlife and the occasional bear. While in Alaska he and Barbara joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary and formed strong friendships that they treasured. Health concerns took them back to Utah.
Willard was preceded in death by Barbara and several of his siblings. He is survived by a sister; a brother; and his children, Carole Garcia, Katherine Ferrell, Francis McCorkel (Stephen), Charles Ferrell (Paige) and Walter Ferrell (Astrid); and their offspring.
A small family service will be held as soon as the snow melts, and later a party celebrating his life will be arranged.
At 88, Willard still thought the best way to go would be to be eaten by a bear. His final days were much more peaceful. Thank you to the staff of the Wentworth at East Millcreek and Inspiration Hospice.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Jan. 28, 2018
Arrangements under the direction of:
Wasatch Lawn Mortuary
3401 South Highland Drive | Salt Lake City, UT 84106 | (801) 466-8687
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