Frederick R. Willson

Published Nov 29, 2018 at 4:00pm

Frederick (Fritz) R. Willson, a resident of Beacon, passed away on November 13, 2018, at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, Newburgh. He was 77.

Fred was born on January 2, 1941 in Rome, New York, the son of the late John Winfield and Beatrice Jesse (Mayer) Willson. Fritz was a graduate of Rome Free Academy. After graduating, he honorably served his country in the United States Coast Guard from 1959 to 1966. He then worked at IBM for 25 years and started and operated his own electrical business, Colles Electric. In the 1970s and ‘80s, Fred was a member of the IAC Chapter 52 Aerobatic Club, flying Cap10s, Cessnas, and the occasional Piper Cub. His other hobbies included genealogy, fossil hunting, watching Discovery and History channels, and tinkering with cars and electronics. Some of Fred’s and his family’s favorite memories were of their times vacationing in Maine near the Schoodic Peninsula.

In April of 1970, he married Ruth Herbaugh. Mrs. Willson survives at home. In addition to his wife, Fred is survived by his children, Colleen Willson, Leslie Morrell, Elizabeth Willson, Kathryn Fish, Rachel Reece, and Earl Willson; his eleven grandchildren; brother, Jonathan Willson; sister, Deborah Priest; half-brother, Gilbert Willson; cousin Jack Starowitz; and many loved nieces and nephews. He was a quiet man with a big heart who loved his family and made sure they all knew just how much. 

In addition to his parents, Fred was predeceased by his infant daughter, Kristine, and son, Fred.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 15, at 10 a.m. at Salem Tabernacle Church, 7 Delavan Avenue, Beacon. Military honors will be rendered. 

In lieu of flowers, a tribute donation may be made to The Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park in his memory. 

Funeral arrangements are under the care of Patrick J. Halvey of Riverview Funeral Home by Halvey, LLC. To send a personal condolence please visit