Obituary: George Neil Willestoft

February 10, 1927 — February 18, 2019


George Neil Willestoft, born in Port Townsend WA on February 10, 1927 passed away on February 18, 2019. He was ‘Neil’ to his beloved wife Karen Willestoft of 44 years. They resided together in Alta Loma CA for the past 33 years. He is survived as well by his daughter Kathy Willestoft of Bellingham WA, son Tony Willestoft of Tucson AZ, stepson Brian Anderson of Port Ludlow, stepson Dr. Steve Fountain of Rancho Cucamonga CA, brother John Davis of Las Vegas NV and sister Patricia Willestoft of Port Townsend WA.

Neil was a World War II veteran with the United States Navy and then was recalled for 2 years during the Korean conflict. He began his 54 year career in the Paper Industry with Crown Zellerbach Mill in Port Townsend part time with full time employment at the CZ Mill in Lebanon OR in 1946. Neil moved up to many positions through many mills and retired early in 1983 as Mill Manager with Crown Zellerbach in Glens Falls NY. He then accepted a position as VP of Manufacturing with Tagsons Paper Company for 2 years. In 1985 he joined Inland Container Corporation in Ontario CA to startup the first 100% recycled linerboard mill of its kind as Assistant Mill Manager and Production Manager. Neil retired from the Industry in 1998 having been a mentor to many. He stated “I consider my greatest accomplishment and main contribution to have been able to introduce many talented young people to the paper industry, participate in their training, observe their growth and development and see them become the industry leaders of tomorrow.” 


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Tom Camfield

Bless the memory of you and your family, Neil. Your family is an historic one to the older crowd largely because of your father, George, prominent police chief back in the '50s and thereabouts. He also was renowned as a baker of Danish pastries. I encountered you personally only briefly and occasionally with the old mill crowd at the Elks club back in the day. My family was closer to your sister Patricia, still with us, who used to baby-sit our children. We also were extremely fond of your mother. a lovely, gracious woman—the type who brings a tear to the eye in remembrance. I write this note in part because I believe everyone deserves as much remembrance space as history can provide them—especially the good ones.

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