Dr. Howard Todd Willson, 84, died peacefully May 8, 2019 at Hot Springs County Memorial Hospital in Thermopolis, Wyoming.
Born December 3, 1934, in Spring Lake, Florida, he was the son of Edwin C. and Blanche H. (Downs) Willson. The son of a preacher, Howard’s early years were shaped by the depression and WWII which saw his father enlist as a Chaplain in the Army.
Howard attended the Florida State University, then joined the Air Force as a commissioned officer and became a father as well. After his time in the Air Force, he received his medical degree from the University of Florida, practicing medicine in Boynton Beach, FL for many years. In 1973 he married Belenda Peters in Boca Raton, Florida, later moving his family to Wyoming. Settling first in Basin, they eventually moved to Thermopolis.
In addition to the practice of medicine, Howard had a passion for airplanes and was an accomplished pilot. He loved the West, especially hunting, fishing, horse-back riding and spending time at the family cabin in the Big Horns, his favorite spot on earth.
Known simply as “Doc” Willson to his patients, he was an exceptionally caring physician. Devoted to the practice of medicine in Wyoming, he served as President of Wyoming Medical Society, delegate to the American Medical Association and was extensively involved in establishing the medical school partnership between Wyoming and Washington to help educate the next generation of Wyoming physicians. Later in life he found great enjoyment serving on the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees. He was a member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.
Devoted to his family, patients, community and the state of Wyoming, those who loved him will not forget the stories he told, his infectious laugh, and the twinkle in his eye.
Family cherishing his memory include his wife of 45 years, Belenda; sister, Margot Osborne; his loving children, Todd, Janet and Scott Willson, Felicia Collins, Greg Willson and Kati Urbanek; 12 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Blanche Sapp and brother, Edwin Willson.
Private services will be held Saturday, May 18, 11:00 AM at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Memorial services will be held Saturday afternoon, 2:00 PM at the Thermopolis High School Auditorium. Memorials in Howard’s name may be made to H.S. Co. Memorial Hospital Foundation, 150 E. Arapahoe, Thermopolis, 82443.
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