Stanley Willows March 28, 1943 to April 5, 2012
Tompkins - Wednesday,April 25, 2012

Stanley Willows grew up on a windy prairie farm south of Tompkins (right). He was the oldest in a family of four sisters, one step sister and three step brothers. (the image on the right shows Stan, his mother and four sisters; Sherill, Lois, Linda and Wilma) It was the outdoors and prairie that would always be a part of his life. He worked as a ranch hand and farm labourer from the time he was a young teenager until the day he died at age sixty-nine.

He spent the last day of his life doing what he loved to do, working outdoors building a fence. The wind had been bitter Wednesday, April 4 and he told his wife that he was cold and went to bed early that evening. Some time during the night his life ended peacefully. His family and the people of Tompkins will miss Stan mightily as he was a community person who was involved in local sports and activities. A man who loved hockey, dancing and the simple pleasures of a happy life.

On November 19, 1966 Stanley married Arlene Eckart from Maple Creek and together they raise their four sons and celebrate their seven grand children.

The wear and tear of being a ranch hand and farmer worker took a minor tole on Stanley and he needed a hip replacement. The picture at the top of the page was taken when he was getting over the surgery and that would have been the roundest his lean face and body would ever have been. When the hip was ready to work, so was Stan and he was on the job maintaining the oil well sites in the area north of his community.

Two weeks ago today the people of the little village of Tompkins took the afternoon to pay their respects to their friend Stan. The village hall is a big building and it was filled for a service presided over by Rev. Eleanor Rockabar who made the event a powerful recollection of Stanley’s life. Two of his sisters told of their life as a family and Stanley’s life in the community. They read poems composed by one of his grand daughters and another by one of his sons. The music was a couple of meaningful tunes by Elvis that let everyone tell themselves there favourite memories of the man who had departed.

The pall-bearers lead the drive out to the cemetery in two vintage cars. The kind of vehicles Stan enjoyed and took such delight in and in a pretty much standard April wind south of Tompkins he was laid to rest.

There were nearly 300 seats set out in the village hall and they were all full as the community served up a lunch and shared their time together and spending time with the family.