Saturday, December 26, 2015

Will's Memorial Bench

If you've read this blog for long, you'll know this is our first Christmas without Will, our oldest son, the water bomber pilot.  But in spite of the intense sorrow we feel at times, in between there are things we are thankful for.  Above all we are thankful for Will's big gang of very good friends.

One of the gangs, a large group centred in Prince Rupert, B.C. where Will lived and worked for 10 or so years, has commissioned this memorial bench, made by an artist in Lac La Biche, Alberta, Karin Wipfli.  They plan to place the bench looking over the harbour in Rupert, where Will flew float plans.

If you take a close look at one end, the stainless steel design features the western pine forest, and a small water bomber like Will flew.  The white back of the bench is constructed out of part of a 'Fireboss' plane.

The other end of the bench features a moose and (less obvious because it's a cutout), a leaping salmon in the lower right hand corner.  These reflect Will's love of hunting and fishing - what could possibly be more suitable!

At the moment the bench is sitting at the artist's place in Lac La Biche, northern Alberta (where William also worked for two summers).  The friends plan to add a plaque in memory of Will to the back of the bench, and hopefully they will get permission to place it in the harbour next spring.

We are incredibly grateful to Will's friends for something so special.  And we are more than grateful for the support all his friends have shown us, including several who we will probably be friends with ourselves for life now.  We hadn't seen the gang of high school friends for most of 20 years, and we had never met the group in B.C.  But they have reached out to us in so many ways, and it's been an enormous support.  Karin, the artist, has a website under the name 'Wip Custom Signs' if you're interested.

If you haven't read Will's story, you can read it here.

25 comments:

  1. This is such a beautiful bench designed to honor and remember Will in a unique way. Thank you for sharing it with us. I am deeply touched by the way Will's friends have sought to create a remembrance of those attributes and interests which defined Will.

    We also have been so touched by the wonderful friends of our daughters. I am so grateful that you too have been blessed and consoled by Will's friends.

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  2. That will be so nice to have for his memory. Those who worked with him have the need to remember him with such a permanent monument. I felt so bad when you lost your son and really do know the loss during Christmas is hard. I wish you both well and look forward to seeing this bench at the harbor.

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  3. What an amazing tribute! So pleased to hear you have been ministered to by the many friends of Will. May you continue to be surrounded by God's comfort.

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  4. This entire post made me tear up and swell with pride, too, that such a wonderful man will not be forgotten. We have many memorial benches around Bellingham, and they are all much appreciated, too. :-)

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  5. That is a beautiful way to pay tribute to him.

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  6. I was thinking of you both on Christmas Day at your home, and without Will, even though he might still have been hundred of miles away on work.This tribute is so special, and shows how honoured they were to have Will as a true friend.To love is to lose, at some time, but your love and memories will always be with you.

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  7. This is a wonderful way to pay tribute to him! The personal connections are fabulous!

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  8. Oh the bench is beautiful. What a wonderful tribute to your son.

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  9. That is a lovely bench, and so nice that Will's friends are making this memorial.

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  10. Now that is one amazing memorial, so nice that this is done in his memory.

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  11. That's a great Christmas gift to remember someone who was lost this year. Christmas is s tough time to deal with loss.

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  14. What a wonderful tribute - and fabulous friends in your times of grief. It must be wonderful to know he was so well thought of and loved by so many friends.

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  15. Beautiful design and a fitting tribute to your son.

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  16. It's a work of art, a well-deserved remembrance of you son. Best wishes.

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  17. What a lovely tribute to your Will. His friends must be very special as I am sure he was too. :)

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  18. What a really lovely design. Maybe you will have the chance to sit on it one day.

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  19. I guess I have not read your blog for long, because I did not know you had lost someone so important in your life. Clearly the community is still strong with his spirit by giving his memory this wonderful bench. It is a great work of art and an even better memorial.

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  20. i know will's story, your strength has been incredible during the most difficult event a parent can go through!! sharing so many positives about will's life, it has been wonderful to read about how amazing his short life was!!

    the bench is so beautiful, so very thoughtful...a true testament to how much he was loved by so many people. i'm glad you shared his story here, i smiled and i cried but i am so happy he was here to do all the amazing things he did!!!

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    1. you're welcome, extremely heartfelt!!!!

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  21. Blessings. I have been thinking of your family over the holidays.

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  22. Wonderful. This is a beautiful and meaningful piece for Will's family and friends. How fortunate to have such friends. Blessings for your family this holiday season and for the coming new year.

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  23. What a lovely tribute.
    My thoughts ar with you.

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  24. That is an awesome tribute to your son, Will. Beautiful workmanship and full of meaning to his life. I'm glad his friends are supporting you through this memorial. Blessings, Pam

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