ONEONTA - Willard Eustice, 87, a native of Oneonta, passed away peacefully on July 7, 2017. He was a 1948 graduate of Oneonta High School.
He was drafted as a southpaw pitcher for the Boston Red Sox organization. Following an injury to his shoulder, he was released from the Red Sox and attended the State University College at Oneonta to receive his bachelor's degree and received his master's degree at the University of Michigan.
He began his teaching career at the Oneonta Junior High and later moved his family to Tucson, Arizona, where he taught math at Palo Verde and Sahuaro High Schools. He was also the freshman baseball coach at Sahuaro.
He loved his family, friends, golf, gardening, home improvement and enjoyed baking Christmas cookies for his wide circle of family and friends. He loved to return every summer to his home on Colonial Ridge golf course in Laurens and enjoyed the warm winters in Henderson, Nevada.
On Oct. 3, 2015, in Oneonta, Will was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame for basketball and baseball. In high school he earned six varsity letters in basketball and baseball, posted a 16-1 pitching career record, including a no-hitter as a freshman, power hitting first baseman who hit the longest home run out of Damaschke Field and then played three seasons of professional baseball with the Boston Red Sox organization.
Will is survived by his wife, Marilyn Schmid Eustice; daughters, Cynthia Eustice, Carol Eustice Crow and Lorraine Eustice; sons, Robert Eustice, his wife, Karen, Scott Eustice, his wife, Lisa; Marilyn's daughters, Diane Schmid Dorman, her husband, John and Lori Schmid Chancellor and her husband, Kent; and brothers, Harold and Merle Eustice. He is also survived by his former wife, Lucy Joy Eustice of Tucson, Arizona.
He was "Pop" to 17 grandchildren, Jeffrey, Christopher Ronald, Amy, Robert, Buck, Bo, Katherine, Jared, Jordan, Lindsay, Ryan, Sean, Jennifer, Connor, Alyse, Brent and Kaylee. He also is survived by 11 great-grandchildren.
Will loved his family with a deep sense of fairness, integrity and sense of humor. We all miss his strength, kindness and encouragement. He was a dignified remarkable man, with enough love to give and influence all the lives lucky enough to know him.
Will is preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Mable Eustice; siblings; Jeanette, Edna, Robert and Mable; as well as his beloved son, Brian Eustice.
A Celebration of Life was held on July 13, at the University United Methodist Church in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The family suggests that memorial donations be made in Will's name to either the University United Methodist Church, 4412 S. Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, Nevada 89119 or Laurens Presbyterian Church, 3 Main St., Laurens, New York 13796, attention: Nola Henry.
Published on July 18, 2017