Willard W. Corliss

Born: Thu., Apr. 25, 1940
Died: Wed., Feb. 28, 2018

No services to be held

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Willard Wayne Corliss

After an 11-year hard-fought battle with Parkinson’s, Will died peacefully on Feb. 28th at Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer. He was born in Leominster almost 78 yrs ago to parents Spencer & Marion Corliss. Will was the 2nd of their eight children. Surviving siblings are Martin (wife Jane, son James) of Marshfield; Barry (son Wesley) of Leominster; Marilou (3 children Ross, Rachel & Audrey) of Leominster & Madine of Leominster. Besides his parents, three of his brothers also pre-deceased him: Spencer, Ronald & Bruce. Will leaves his wife of over 55 yrs Mary Jane (DiMego) & their three

children: Glenn (wife Ellen) of Leominster; Heidi (husband James Gworek) of East Hampton, CT; & Keith of Lunenburg. His seven treasured grandchildren (Sarah, Kristy, Katie, Spencer, Hannah, Josh & Kyle) & 1 great-grandson (Kyran) will all miss their Grampy, who could always make them laugh with one of his many stories & showed them such limitless love. Two sisters-in-law, Carolyn, of Leominster & Rae of South Carolina held special places in his heart as well.

An LHS graduate, Will attended Worcester Jr. College & Boston University. His career took him all over the world – from the Far East, Near East, & Australia to South America, Hawaii, Bermuda & much of the lower 48 as well. He was a field engineer supporting the Marines of VMGR-152, who were flying C130 aircraft in & out of Viet Nam, during the 1960’s. In the early 1970’s he worked on the Lunar Module development program at Cape Canaveral, which eventually saved the astronauts on the Apollo 13 Moon Mission. He & a co-worker were two of the last Americans to escape from Iran when the revolution took place that saw the Shah overthrown. Somehow he also found time to operate several area businesses – “Spencers” & “Field & Stream Sporting Goods” in Leominster &“Raffles” in Fitchburg. A life-long aviation enthusiast, Will restored & flew several vintage planes & built three hangars at the Orange Airport, before Parkinson’s took away his ability to fly.

The Corliss family will be welcoming friends & family at a casual gathering to remember Will on Saturday, March 3rd from noon to 3 pm, at Cristina’s in Leominster. Per his wishes, there will be no formal services.

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Condolence Booklet

Marianne Gabriele Pierce
   Posted Fri March 02, 2018
MaryJane and Family:
My Deepest Sympathy on your terrible loss.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
I will always remember Will as a great friend of Dave's throughout their school years.
So many good memories.
May he rest in peace.
Stay Strong

Skip Brown
   Posted Fri March 02, 2018
Dear Jane & Family,

I was so sorry to hear about the passing of Will. He fought the good fight with that dreaded disease. He will be truly missed, but he is in a better place now. Take care of yourself.

Skip Brown

Carol and Ding Cormier
   Posted Fri March 02, 2018
Mary Jane. So sorry to hear of Will's passing. Thoughts and prayers are with you. God bless.

Paul Tresaloni
   Posted Sat March 03, 2018
To the entire Corliss family my sincerest condolences on the passing of one of the most respectful, courageous and fearless members of our community. May he be resting in the peace of Christ.

Neighbor and friend.

Paul Tresaloni

Dana Heffern / Champlain Art Gallery
   Posted Sat March 03, 2018
The entire gallery crew are wishing you and your family peace during this difficult time. Sounds like your grandfather was an amazing person.

Mike Ascolese/Mary Holtorf
   Posted Sun March 04, 2018
We will all miss Will enormously. It was always fun to have him around and a pleasure to work with him and share his love of flying and aircraft. His fight with Parkinson's disease will remain an inspiration.

Paul Hathaway
   Posted Sun March 04, 2018
So sorry for your loss. He was an amazing guy and it was a privilege to have met him. Godspeed Will!

Marlena Flanagan
   Posted Mon March 05, 2018
Dear Mary Jane,
I am so sorry to hear of Will's passing. I am away until May 1, but my thoughts and
prayers are with you and your family.

Patricia Schofield (Brennan)
   Posted Thu March 08, 2018
Dear Mary Jane:

I am so sorry to hear about Willard. I am sending you my deepest sympathy in his passing.
You are in my thoughts and prayers. May he rest in peace.
Love to you, Pat

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