Eugene Willard; Uncle Eugene as he was lovingly and respectfully called by so many; was born May 11,1948 to EW and Wineva Willard in Colbert, Oklahoma. He was the third of five siblings( Willie Jr, Wanda Jean, Eugene, James, and George). After relocating to Albuquerque, New Mexico with the family in 1957 at age 9, he attended Eugene Field elementary school. There he would begin to cultivate friendships that would continue throughout middle school, high school, college, and beyond. After competing in both basketball and track and field at Albuquerque High School, he set a long standing record in long jump, and was awarded a track and field scholarship to the University of New Mexico. While attending UNM and studying engineering, he chose and was called to serve in Vietnam. He served honorably, and upon returning home, he married Doris Sheppard (Willard) , his high school love.
After leaving UNM, young Eugene found his way to Mount Bell, which would later be known as Qwest Communications/CenturyLink, where he worked installing phone lines as a network technician until he retired at age 60.After retiring, Eugene stayed active and involved in his community; he supported the UNM LOBOS as a seasoned ticket holder, regularly attended the Gathering of the Nations Pow Wow, and worked on re-election campaigns for the County Treasurer, also a lifelong childhood friend. Eugene Willard, Uncle Eugene, loved his family dearly, and he loved to travel and learn and experience different people and different cultures, and share those experiences with all of his family, nieces and nephews. He spent his life trying to show us that with hard work, and family, you can accomplish whatever you want in life, and he was always there to proudly cheer us on.
Eugene Willard was called home on Tuesday morning, April12th, 2016. He was 67 years young. He is survived by his wife Doris Willard, brother Willie Mitchell Jr(wife Marzetta), his sister Wanda Jean Cheatham ( husband Edward), and his many adoring nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Eugene Willard; Uncle Eugene, was loved dearly, and will be deeply missed by ALL who loved and knew him.