Emily Willegal Remembered

I would really like to ask him why,” he said. “My daughter was not a violent person.

..  today is Emily Willegal's funeral, up north in Woodruff where she grew up. Her mother, Paisley Woodside, said there will be a reading of Psalm 146, which Emily marked in her Bible.  "The Lord watches over the sojourners, he upholds the widows and the fatherless; but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin," it says in part.

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Today is Emily Willegal's funeral, a good 60 or 70 years too soon.

..  today is Emily Willegal's funeral, up north in Woodruff where she grew up. Her mother, Paisley Woodside, said there will be a reading of Psalm 146, which Emily marked in her Bible.  "The Lord watches over the sojourners, he upholds the widows and the fatherless; but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin," it says in part.

The congregation will hear "I Will Remember You," the Sarah McLachlan song. After Columbine, Emily and her friend told each other they wanted this song at the funeral if either died unexpectedly.


"You never can prepare yourself for something like this. It's a great loss to us -- to Rock Bottom as a company, as a family, and to the community to lose such a wonderful person. She was our golden girl," Willegal's boss, Tyler Peyton, said.

Rock Bottom is planning a candlelight walk and vigil for 8 p.m. Friday. It will start at the corner of Downer and Belleview, continue by her apartment at Belleview and Stowell (pictured, right) and proceed to where her body was found at First and Meinecke in Riverwest.

The workers are also are developing a beer to name in her honor.

On a more serious note, part of my and TCMSFF's hiatus was due to the recent death of an old friend. My high school classmate, Emily Willegal, was murdered in January of this year. I didn't take it well. Neither did the town we grew up in. She was a wonderful person, and her death was an act of completely random, completely senseless violence. I did what I suppose is usual for such times; I mulled over life, I wrote Em's mom a letter, I went to her funeral.

God bless, Emily.

Lucas JB Rayala


Sarah Ledanski said she grew up with Willegal. They belonged to the same Brownies group in elementary school and went on to join the cheerleading squad at Lakeland Union High School in Minocqua. At the vigil, Ledanski held a single rose and a flier bearing a picture of Willegal and a poem called "In Our Hearts."

"I'm still in shock," Ledanski said. "It's unbelievable. Everywhere I'm looking, I see her."


"Our family will grieve forever," James Willegal said. "We all have to live with this."


Friends filled the room, laughing, crying and looking at pictures of the good times.  "We've mourned and now it's time to start celebrating her and remembering the person that she was," Peyton said.

"She would not want us to dwell on what happened. She would say, 'This was my life. This was the way I was, and this was the way I lived it.' She lived it to the fullest," Jim Willegal said.


The Minocqua native literally left her mark at Oxford’s Café and Grill, 217 N. Washington St., during 2½ years at the restaurant.  Willegal wrote a note that said, “Smiles are free, don’t save them,” and put it up on a back wall.

“That pretty much sums up her attitude,” said Oxford’s owner Zaid Jazrawi. The note is still there. “We’re going to leave it up, maybe frame it and put it where everyone can see it.”


As Emily's mother, Paisley Woodside reflects, the lives that she touched and the unselfish attitude she had for helping others has to be contagious. And it was contagious.  Many gathered to celebrate Emily's life.  Her big smile and gleaming eyes loved ones say were only a sliver of the person she was, and as her brother, Seth Clark tells us, "I knew she had a lot of friends and she was personable and got along with everyone and it's neat to see how many people not only knew her but loved her."


Jim Willegal, Emily’s father, said after learning of Ward’s
arrest that the family was baffled by the attack.

“I would really like to ask him why,” he said.
“My daughter was not a violent person.”



 



 

Emily Willegal

1978 - 2003

 

 

"Smiles are free,
  don't save them"  -EM

Our dear friend and co-worker was brutally killed on January 27, 2003.

May you live in all our hearts. You will be deeply missed by all... Long live Emily's spirit.


These are quotes I found on the internet.
Tell your story if you want to add to this memorial.


I too am inspired by 'Em'
I am now inspired to try to help others too.

 I hope this will help, please help me do so.
www.GiveHealthAChance.org

Contact:  Vincent J Cataldi

 I owe thanks

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