Willie was a pioneer who turned the driftboat industry on its ear in 1971 when he built the first McKenzie-style boat out of aluminum (instead of wood). The boat preformed extremely well and he began selling them under the name Alumaweld. In 1977, he sold his interest in that company and founded the company that bears his name. The rest, as they say, is history and Willie Boats continues to be the world leader in aluminum river boats today.
Willie always did things his own way — right up until the very end. In January, when cancer was taking its toll, he threw a wake for himself so he could attend his “going away party.”
Before he passed, he also made arrangements for his body to be cremated and his ashes are to be placed in 75 glass vials he personally ordered late last year. Willie asked that his ashes go to friends who can take them fishing…
Rest in Peace Willie and thanks for everything.