Henry K. Willard, II (Age 92)
Died peacefully at his home in Shepherdstown, WV on December 23, 2018.
Henry (Harry) was born in Washington, DC on August 11, 1926 the son of Henry A. Willard, II and Abby Hooker Willard. A fourth generation Washingtonian, he was the great grandson of Henry A. Willard the founder of the city’s storied Willard Hotel.
A veteran of World War II, Harry served aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Franklin as a young seaman and survived one of the deadliest attacks on a U.S. warship during the war. Returning from the Pacific theatre he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and began a long career as an executive with American Security and Trust Co. (now Bank of America). In 1971 he was appointed by President Richard Nixon to the District of Columbia City Council at a time when the city was transitioning to home rule and served on the board of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority as the early phases of the city’s new Metro system were being planned and constructed. He served on the board of numerous cultural and civic organizations in Washington.
He retired to Shepherdstown, WV in 1979 actively managing his beloved farm property and enjoying a quieter life in the country. He had a lifelong passion for the lore and history of the U.S. railroad industry and a keen interest and knowledge of American history particularly concerning the Civil War.
He graduated from the Choate School and Yale University. Harry was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, Shepherdstown, the Chevy Chase Club and Metropolitan Club in Washington, DC and the Nantucket Yacht Club, Nantucket, MA where the family maintained a summer home for generations.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Louise Brooks Willard, his sister Abby Willard Northrop and brother James E. F. Willard. He is survived by two sons: Henry A. Willard, III (Jeffrey Greer) of Shepherdstown, WV and John Brooks Willard (Inci) of Waverly, GA.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Hospice of the Panhandle, Trinity Episcopal Church, Shepherdstown or The National Humane Education Society.
A graveside service and interment at the Elmwood Cemetery, Shepherdstown will be announced later.
Published in The Washington Post on Dec. 30, 2018