Sid was born in Boston on August 20th, 1921 on what was likely a hot summer day to Joseph A. Willard and Marion (Van Voorhees) Willard. Early in Sidís life the trio would move to Southern California and Sid would remain an only child. Joseph owned a small airfield in California and flew airplanes of all kinds. As a child Sid enjoyed Boy Scouts as well as flying with his father. When asked by his grandchildren about some of his favorite memories living in California, he shared stories of flights up the west coast and over the Grand Canyon. Prior to the onset of WWII, the trio moved back to the east coast, living in Auburndale and then Braintree. Inspired by the political climate, and perhaps by his fatherís career, Sid signed up to serve in the Army Air Corps and worked as an airplane mechanic. Sid was mainly stationed in South America, specifically Brazil, during his service. After the war, Sid returned home and married the love of his life, Lois Marvin, on March 16, 1947. A year and a half later they would welcome their first son, Steven, and shortly thereafter their first daughter Joan, and finally their second son and final child, Peter. Sid, Lois, and the children settled in Holbrook, MA, first near his favorite restaurant (Stanneyís) and then in the Marvin family home over on Plymouth Street. Sid would support his family working as a machinist as well as a member of the Local 537 Pipefitters Union.
In the late 1970ís Sid would take up bike riding as a hobby. With his children grown and mostly married, he would retire in 1986, ready for a life of leisure. A life of leisure to Sid meant riding his favorite Schwinn bicycle 75-100 miles A DAY, traveling as far as down to Cape Cod and back some days. During the spring, summer, and even into the fall, Sid would return from his bike rides to suntan in his back yard, listen to the baseball game on the radio, or enjoy watching a NASCAR race. Lois and Sid had predictable routines; early Saturday morning shopping with breakfast at Stanneyís after; a Sunday roast beef dinner, hot dogs and beans on Saturday nights. Sid was serious about his mealtimes and you could set a timer by him. The only thing that could make Sid break his routine was by spending time with family. Whether it was enjoying Lake Winnipesaukee with his daughter Joan and her family or visiting his son Peter in California for the birth of his grandchildren or even something closer to home like a holiday get together; as long as he could enjoy his family and have a delicious meal (close to his normal lunch or dinner time as possible), he was happy. After Loisí passing in 2007, Sid began to slow down and feel his age a little bit. This meant reducing his daily bike ride to 25 or so miles a day. Him on his bike was a familiar sight to see for generations of Holbrook residents.
At the ripe age of 93, Sid took a tumble on his bike, breaking his ankle, ending his outdoor bike riding adventures. He would enjoy a stationary bike at home instead, but we donít know how many miles he was riding then. It was also at this age that Sid became rather social. He had previously been a reserved and quiet man, even when his children were young, but soon he was full of stories that surprised and thrilled his family. Sid remained an incredibly independent man for almost his entire life, living at home past the One-Hundred-year-old mark thanks to the support of Joan and her husband Bruce assisting him with his shopping and laundry. In the early spring of 2022, after a brief bout of illness and stay in a rehabilitation center, Sid decided he was ready to give up his life of independence and move into an assisted living facility. He lived out the remainder of his golden years at Harbor House Assisted Living facility where he enjoyed the company of his roommate there, Chris.
Sidney Van Voorhees Willard was the loving husband of the late Lois A. (Marvin) Willard. Caring Father to Steven J. Willard of Holbrook, Joan Shadrick and her husband Bruce of Brockton, and the late Peter A. Willard and his wife Laura of San Diego, California. Grandfather to Derek Shadrick and his wife Heidi of East Bridgewater, the late Shon Shadrick of Brockton, Heather Simpson and her husband Bryan of Whitman, Melissa Willard of Whitman, Andrew Clinton of Mission Hill, and Nicholas Clinton of San Diego, California. Great Grandfather of Abigail Van and Hanna Simpson of Whitman, as well as Finley and Keegan Shadrick of East Bridgewater.
A Memorial Visitation for Sid will be held Monday, January 16, 2023 from 10:00 AM until 11:00 AM at Cartwright Funeral Home, 69 South Franklin Street, Holbrook, MA 02343. A Memorial Service will be held at 11 AM in the Funeral Home before processing to the Blue Hills Cemetery for military honors and inurnment.
In lieu of flowers, Sidís family kindly request that you consider making a donation in his memory to the South Shore Elder Services Nutrition Fund which supports Meals On Wheels in the Holbrook community. (https://sselder.org/nutrition-fund/)
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