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John Fonda "Jack" Willson

June 16, 1918 January 25, 2007
John Fonda "Jack" Willson
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Obituary for John Fonda "Jack" Willson

John Fonda “Jack” Willson St. Albans, VT / Fort Myers, FL - John F. Willson, 88, lifelong resident of St. Albans, died peacefully at his winter residence in Fort Myers on January 25, 2007. Born in St. Albans on June 16, 1918, John attended Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans, Phillips Exeter Academy, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1940. After teaching school in Wisconsin, at the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the American Field Service, serving in the British Army as an ambulance driver in the Middle East. Upon discharge, he returned to the family business, W.B. Fonda, Co. From 1957 to 1986, he was co-owner of A.L. Barkyoumb Co., Inc., a wholesale grocery business. John married the love of his life and his best friend, Fan Garrison, on February 12, 1944, at The Little Church Around The Corner in New York City, a wedding featured in “Mademoiselle” magazine. John held leadership positions in many local and state associations. He served as a member of the State Board of Education and the Bellows Free Academy Board of Trustees. He was an alderman in St. Albans. He was a member and longtime Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Franklin-Lamoille Bank. He loved the game of golf which he played and followed for 76 years. He was a member of the Champlain Country Club, the Vermont Seniors Golf Association, and a charter member of the Vermont Golf Association. After 62 years of marriage, John is survived by his wife, Fan, and his four children and their spouses: Wendy and Richard Allen of Northfield, Minnesota; Nancy and John Matthews of Georgia Plains; Elizabeth Willson of Berkeley, California; and John and Laury Willson of St. Albans. He also leaves 11 grandchildren: Sarah, Joshua, Jennifer, Jody, John, Carrie, Stephanie, Matthew, Ellen, David, and Marita, and several great -grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his sister, Elizabeth Soule, in 2006. We’ve lost a husband, father, friend, and legacy. But ... HEAVEN HAS RECEIVED A WONDERFUL MAN. GOD IS NOW PLAYING GOLF. A memorial service to celebrate John’s life will be held in St. Albans in the Spring at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, contributions in John’s memory may be made to Franklin County Home Health Agency, 3 Home Health Circle, St. Albans, VT 05478 or the Junior Golf Program at the Champlain Country Club, c/o Mike Swim, P.O. Box 856, St. Albans, VT 05478. Messages of condolence are welcome at

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