Nathaniel R. Willis

GRANVILLE-WHITEHALL, N.Y. - Nathaniel R. Willis, 28, of Granville, New York, passed away peacefully September 30, 2012, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center after a sudden illness.

He was born August 17, 1984, in Rutland, Vermont, the son of Francis Sr. and Maxine (Williams) Willis of Whitehall, New York. He attended Whitehall and Granville schools, graduating from Granville High School in 2002.

He was enthusiastically pursuing Adventure Sports Leadership and Management certification at the State University of New York-Adirondack, proudly making the Dean's List on multiple occasions and achieving Wilderness First Responder, River Safety, and Swiftwater Rescue qualifications.

Nate was a passionate outdoorsman. He loved nature, especially hiking, camping, and kayaking in the Adirondacks; Black Mountain held a special place in his heart. He was a lifelong member of the Whitehall United Methodist Church; he regularly volunteered for environmental conservation and at charitable events.

He was predeceased by his paternal grandparents, Almern (Pete) and Alma Willis as well as his maternal grandfather, Roger Williams.

In addition to his parents, survivors include his girlfriend, Shelley (Vanguilder) Durham, her children, Lucas and Sabrina; maternal grandmother, Katherine Williams; his brothers, Francis Jr. and Christopher; their wives, Tracy and Heidi; his nephews, Joshua and Ethan; as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Friends may call from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, October 5, 2012, at Jillson's Funeral Home, 46 Williams St., Whitehall.

Memorial services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, October 6, 2012, at Whitehall United Methodist Church, 56 Greenmount Cemetery Lane, Whitehall. The Rev. Sharon M. Sauer will officiate, with a fellowship luncheon following.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please make donations in his memory to the Adirondack Mountain Club at , Skye Farm Camp & Retreat Center, 1884 East Schroon River Road Warrensburg, New York, 12885, or Vermont Adaptive at .

Published in Rutland Herald from Oct. 4 to Oct. 5, 2012