February 2013

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February 2013

In Memoriam:

Remembering Frank Willard

David W. Will Vice-President for Conferences

Frank Willard

On January 8, 2013 Frank Willard, Vice-President of Syracuse Scenery & Stage Lighting Co. Inc., passed away after a  heart attack. He was 58. A long-time Stage Expo exhibitor, his early departure from this life will be mourned by his family and friends, colleagues, co-workers, and most certainly his wife, Helen.

Frank was born and raised in Watertown, New York; graduated from Immaculate Heart Central; and attended Jefferson Community College. In August 1975 Frank took a job as an installer at Syracuse Scenery & Stage Lighting Co., Inc., and nine years later became the Vice President of the company, a position he held at the time of his death.

Frank was among the first group of professionals to become an ETCP Certified Rigger, and he was very proud of those credentials. He worked with architects and engineers to provide theatrical technical expertise in rigging, lighting, curtains and tracks; and performed rigging inspections. He consulted with his customers, analyzed their needs, and provided them with a solution that was the right fit for their particular venue.

Frank was Syracuse Scenery's representative as a founding member of TDA - Theatrical Dealers Association (then ESTA, now PLASA) and also served on the J.R. Clancy, Inc. dealer advisory board.

An avid outdoorsman, Frank spent many hours hunting deer and ducks, and telling stories of the ones that got away. During his travels across the country, Frank enjoyed visiting brew pubs and checking out restaurants. He spent untold hours assisting his wife Helen, then the USITT Stage Expo Manager, with Stage Expo layouts and site visits. At Annual Conferences he enjoyed connecting with friends old and new over a glass of wine or a pint of beer.

Frank was a true friend to our industry, a loyal friend to his craft, and he always had a moment to say hello, chat about the times, and enjoy life each and every day.

"To a friend and colleague, you will be missed."