Will Wilcox, 75, of Chester

Willard (Will) Wilcox, 75, of Chester, died on Monday, Nov. 14, 2022 of brain cancer at Springfield Health and Rehab. Will was born in Brattleboro to Willard and Marion Wilcox. Will had a lifelong love affair with books. He was especially fond of Tolkien, Sam Johnson, Virginia Wolf, C. S. Lewis, Thoreau and many other poets and authors.

Will lived with mental health challenges in his earlier life, transitioning from client to counselor and finishing his life working in Chester’s Whiting Library surrounded by the books he treasured and the people who loved him. Always welcoming to all, Will greeted everyone he met with a smile and a genuine interest in what people had to say.

Will was a past member of the Chester Rotary, lifetime member of the Ascutney Trails Association and a member of the Green Mountain Club. When Will was younger, he would hike Mount Monadnock, for which he felt a special connection.

Will leaves behind a brother, Daniel, and his wife, Linda, of Colchester; two nieces, Kate Herrera, and her husband, Cisco, of Clarendon, and Sarah Curran and her husband, James, of Winooski. Will was always excited to hear about the activities his two grandnephews, Henry and Sam Curran.

In what seemed like a previous life, Will attended the University of Vermont, and left to join a blues band in Denver, Colo. While that adventure did not pan out, Will enjoyed playing guitar with a passion for blues and jazz music. Will attended many concerts including those at Fillmore West in San Francisco and the Boston Tea Party in Massachusetts, where he saw B.B. King, Paul Butterfield, Charlie Musselwhite and many more.

At one period in his life, Will lived with his mother, Marion Wilcox, and helped her run a book/collectibles shop out of her property on Route 11 in Chester. They would travel the area together looking for unique items and books to sell. Will never lost the excitement he felt when he found an especially interesting book at the many books sales he loved to attend.

Will enjoyed visiting the family camp in Reading, where he would mow the grass, then sit outside reading and listening to the birds. A special treat awaited him on Sunday mornings at camp when his niece, Kate, and her husband, Cisco, would cook him a delicious breakfast.

While Will did not marry, he experienced the love of a whole community, the wonderful people he met and worked with at the Whiting Library, his fellow Rotarians, the friendly residents at the Chester Apartments, the many book dealers he met, and whole bunch of other people who knew Will.

We will miss Will, but know that he lived a life made meaningful by his passion for books and the love he gave and received from those that knew him.

In accordance with Will’s wishes, a graveside ceremony for family will be held in the spring.

Donations may be given in Will’s memory to the Whiting Library in Chester by clicking here, or by sending a check to Whiting Library, 117 Main St. , Chester, VT 05143.  Please add Will’s name to the memo line.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Filed Under: Obituaries

About the Author:

RSSComments (6)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Larry Petrillo says:

    I too knew Will from many visits to the Whiting Library as well as all the walking around town we both did back in the day. Beyond a smile and his kindness there was always something of note to be gleaned from a conversation with Will. Reading this I realize what a rich and interesting path he took in life. RIP Will and thanks for the effortless camaraderie, you are missed. Larry Petrillo

  2. Lynne Reed says:

    Bill and I have such fond memories of Will coming into our bookstore and talking about books with him. But we never knew he had such an exciting life as a member of a blues band! We will miss his smiling face at the library and seeing him walking around town. What a gift he was to Chester. Lynne and Bill Reed, Misty Valley Books

  3. Nancie & Steve Lorenz says:

    We are so sorry to hear of Will’s passing. In addition to library encounters, we loved running into Will on our evening walks in town. We will miss his bright spirit.
    Condolences to the Wilcox family and all who loved him!❤️

  4. Laurel King says:

    Will was such a kind, gentle, and wonderful face who was always there to greet you at the library. He will certainly be missed and I feel so grateful to have gotten to know him.

  5. I will miss Will tremendously. He was so welcoming and genuinely caring. I enjoyed talking with him at the library, his warmth and acceptance making everyone feel good. He made me feel like I belonged. Chester will have a difficult time filling the empty space that Will has left behind. I give my heartfelt sympathy to his family and all the others that will miss him also.

  6. Sorry to hear of Will’s death. I always enjoyed chatting with him about books and bought quite a few from him through the years. I was a great fan of Will’s and of his mother, Marion, when they had their book and antiques shop on Rte 11. My condolences to his family.