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.”