By Shawn Spencer
As some of you may know, I started writing this column as a heartfelt homage to Pam Fitzpatrick, who penned the original Old Town Report. Pam was a dear friend to me and my family. My daughter worked at Kattywompus and became the binder to our fam-friendship. It goes without saying that the Fitzpatrick family is very dear to my family.
We suffered the loss of Pam in 2018, and then a year later we lost her sister, Jennifer. My heart breaks for the Fitzpatrick family as they now mourn the death of Wil Fitzpatrick, son to Pam, brother and best friend to Luke and the beloved proprietor of Wil’s Sport & Tackle. Wil passed away on Sept. 4, at the age of 52, due to complications from a brain tumor.
Wil and his brother Luke shared a passion for fishing. Together, they have fished not only the entire Southern California Coastline, but every local fishing hole as well. The jury is still out on who ties a better knot, but rumor has it that it was Wil. As the daily responsibilities of life lessened the amount of fishing trips Wil and Luke took, nothing could lessen the bond between these two brothers.
In April 2012, Wil took his love of fishing and turned it into a business. He opened Wil’s Sport & Tackle at 310 South Myrtle Avenue. In no time at all, his store became the premiere shop for all things fishing. Wil sold items you couldn’t find at Big Box stores. He also had the fishing knowledge to go with his products. People were drawn to the store, both locally and from miles away, because of Wil himself. If you didn’t know Wil, then sadly, you missed out on knowing the funniest, nicest man in town!
On Feb. 6, 2021, Wil’s Sport & Tackle closed its doors for good, much to the dismay of the Monrovians and the fishing community. Diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2017, Wil decided that between his health issues and the loss of business due to the pandemic, it was time to shift his focus to himself and his family.
Wil is survived by his loving wife of 28 years, Marlene, his sons Charlie (27) and Jeff (24). He also leaves behind his brothers Luke (42) and David (54), his sister Katie (42) and many other relatives that love him dearly. The Fitzpatrick family is entwined in the fabric of our community. I’m thankful for the family that remains in Old Town and shares the many gifts they hold dear. They are truly a gift to our community.
Funeral services for Willard Fitzpatrick will be announced soon.
Willard Dale Fitzpatrick
Aug. 6, 1969 – Sept. 4, 2021
Wishing you tight lines and bent rods