Willard's Story

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Willard "Bill" Marshall Heywood II passed away peacefully at Parkland Medical Center on Sunday, Dec. 3, after a brief illness.
Bill was born in Newburyport, Mass., to Parents Willard Sr. and Helen (Brown) Heywood. His parents called him "Sonny." After graduating from Lawrence, MA high school, he immediately enlisted in the US Navy. He was transferred directly from boot camp to Cryptographic school and from there embarked on a 21-year career in Naval Intelligence. Bill received countless merits and commendations from his Navy days and retired a Master Chief. Bill always remembered his time in the service with great pride.
Midway through his naval career, Bill met the love of his life, Marie "Terri," at a dance. Thirteen years later, after their sixth child was born, they decided to move on from the rigors of a service family and make roots in Salem, N.H., in 1966. There, in a small cape on North Main Street, they lived ever since. Bill was always seeking new challenges and had several occupations over the years. He was a newspaper layout specialist for the Lawrence Eagle Tribune. He followed that by starting his own photography business which he had for several years. He worked for the Town of Salem with the Fire and Highway departments. And Bill finished his working career as an Industrial Boiler Specialist for Digital Equipment Corporation before retiring in the late 1990s.
Bill was an avid advocate for gun ownership and gun safety. He was a remarkable marksman and gunsmith. He could build anything and was considered a "MacGyver" when it came to problem solving. Grampa could fix anything. Bill enjoyed keeping up with world events. During the Gulf war, he updated his family regularly by transcribing Morse code coming from Kuwait in real time. When you came to visit, he made certain you learned something. Bill and Terri loved raising their family in Salem and could always be counted on to be at the 4th of July festivities. It was, after all, their anniversary. He loved his little home, his large family, and his life with his love, Terri. Terri passed away in August of 2016. He would come to say, "...And we danced for 63 years." Bill is survived by his daughter, Judith LeBlanc of Atkinson, N.H.; son, James of Salem, N.H.; son, Jerrald of Derry, N.H.; son, Jeffrey of Londonderry, N.H.; daughter, Janet Esburnett of Hudson, N.H.; and brother, Robert of Jacksonville, Fla. Bill also leaves behind dozens of nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
The graveside service will be Thursday, Dec. 7, at 12 Noon at Pine Grove Cemetery, 329 Main St., Salem, NH. Calling hours will be Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Douglas & Johnson Funeral Home, 214 Main St., Salem, NH 03079. To send a message of condolence to the family, please view the obituary at www.douglasandjohnson.com.
Published on December 4, 2017
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