Willy passed away peacefully at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 in his 80th year. He was born in Vordenberg, Austria on October 2, 1928. He is survived by his loving wife Sylvia, son Joe and grandson Damien. He joins his daughter Shirley. He also leaves three nephews in Austria and one in Canada.
Willy left Austria at the age of 21 having won a number of ski racing medals in his country. After racing in Eastern Canada and Alberta and teaching skiing in the US, he arrived in Vernon to start Silver Star Ski School. In 1962 he married Sylvia Thorburn from a Vernon pioneer ski family. While living at Silver Star they instituted the seven-day ski weeks and built accommodations which established the beginnings of a cabin community at the star.
When they moved into town, they owned and operated Willy’s Motor Inn, ably assisted by members of their family. The restaurant was a popular meeting place for family, friends and members of the community. Eventually they transformed the motel into a senior’s residence called Creekside.
Willy was a keen golfer, after retirement playing at every opportunity. He made many friends through regular golf games and tournaments, hitting six holes-in-one. In later years he enjoyed his winters on the golf courses of California and Hawaii.
A Celebration of Willy’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 2nd at Pleasant Valley Funeral Home with Mr. Brian Jackson officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Vernon Unit, 202 3402- 27 Avenue, Vernon, BC V1T 1S1 or Hospice Society, 3506 27 Avenue, Vernon, BC, V1T 1S4 would be appreciated by the family.