Wilard Smitz

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    As reported in SEN last week, Willard Smitz passed away last week. We had not heard he was in an auto accident- report was he was doing will in the hospital and took a sudden turn for the worse.

    Willard will always have a special place in my heart. I meet him on the 1977 Roskilde Denmark WC trip. I was a young modeler experiencing the excitement of my first WC. Willard was on the F1B team with Walt Ghio and Bob Piserchio. The weather on F1B was cold, wet and windy. Willard was the highest placing USA flyer, 19th.

    I loved the story from a few years ago, at the Denver July contest were he rolled up his pant legs and straight towed to victory beating all the bunt kings.

    Willard’s friendly smile and hand shake was a stardard part of my contest when I would ask him if he had any good Dick Wood stories. He would smile.

    We will miss him much.

    Jim Parker

    Attached photo from the 19977 Roskilde WC– scroll to bottom right.


    I met Willard probably about 1965. He was a top notch A-2 flyer then and always friendly. Flew against him in some of the team trials at Bong. He came up to our Minneapolis Model Aero Clubs annual FAI contest many times.

    We rekindled our friendship in 2004 at the Maxmen contest, and he always asked me how Hugh Langevin was doing. I called Hugh and let him know that Willard had passed, and how at every contest he would come up to me and talk at length and ask about Hugh.

    We had dinner several times the past few years along with Dick Wood. This past Maxmen Dick was nagging him about something insignificant, and Willard put him down really in a LARGE way. Afterwards when Dick was not in our company, I congratulated him on a great job of standing up when it counted, and he had a big smile!

    Will miss him coming up to talk at the next Maxmen /Sierra Cup contest that he always came along with Dick Wood. Dick will have to look for a new side kick, and someone else to pick on. I’m sure Dick misses him a bunch too.

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