Nicholas S. Willard
Sept. 9, 1988 - Dec. 25, 2018
GRANGER, IN - Nicholas Stephen Willard, 30, of Atlanta, GA, formerly of Granger passed away Tuesday, early Christmas morning in the home of his mother and stepfather in Granger.
Nick was born in Elkhart on September 9, 1988 to Steven David Willard and Deborah Christine (Hoefle) Campiti. He was a 2008 graduate of Penn High School and attended college classes that interested him. Nick loved music, basketball shoes - Nike, Jordans - and clothes by Supreme, The Hundreds, and other iconic brands which he wore with pride and style. He shared a love of the Chicago Cubs with his Uncle Randy.
Nick battled a heroin addiction for six years. He found peace and freedom in Atlanta, GA where he was living drug-free, worked out regularly, had met a wonderful supportive woman (Maddie) and was known as a leader at Stepping Stones in Atlanta, the sober environment where he lived. Nick was working on a plan for his future, a central part being actions to help others struggling with addiction. As an addict or family member of one knows, addiction is a demon that refuses to lose interest. Home in Granger, Nick faced those demons. He returned home for Christmas and spent a wonderful Christmas Eve with his family whom he loved deeply. For reasons unknown to us, he succumbed to those beckoning demons during the early morning hours on Christmas Day when he was killed by heroin laced with fentanyl, unknown to him. Nick had a strong passion to live and overcome this addiction. Nick, however, will never be defined by his addiction and those awful demons have not won. Nick's tremendous heart, gleaming smile and loving nature will live on for us and shall motivate us to do more for others facing these demons.
Left to cherish his memory are his mother, Deborah C. Campiti; his stepfather, Vincent M. Campiti of Granger; his father, Steven D. Willard of Elkhart; his sister, Paige Salamon and brother-in-law, Tyler Salamon with their daughter, Paisley of South Bend; his stepsister, Cara E. Campiti of Mishawaka; his stepbrother, Vincent J. Campiti with his stepsister-in-law, Abby Campiti of Indianapolis; his half-brother, Landon Willard of Ft. Wayne, IN; his maternal grandparents, Judy and Ron Hoefle of Granger; his paternal grandfather, Ned B. Willard of Elkhart; his paternal grandmother and his paternal step-grandfather, Anna Theresa “Resi” and Frank Willard of Elkhart; and uncles, Randy Hoefle of Granger and Michael Lee Willard of Elkhart. Many other aunts, uncles, cousins and friends will remember and miss him.
Visitation will be Sunday from 4-7pm at the McGann Hay Funerals / Cremations / Gatherings, Granger Chapel, 13260 SR 23, enter parking lot from Cherry Road. The Funeral to celebrate Nick's life will be Monday at 11:00am in the funeral home where friends may call after 10:00am until the funeral begins.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in Nick's memory to: Stepping Stones of Atlanta, 2395 Cobb Dr., Atlanta, GA 30360. To send your private condolences to the family log on to: www.McGannHay.com
Published by South Bend Tribune from Dec. 28 to Dec. 29, 2018.