Willard E. (Will) Springer, 36, who grew up in Libby, died on Sunday, March 6, 2005, at Village Health Care Center in Missoula.
Born with cerebral palsy on Sept. 20, 1968, Will came to live with foster parents Claude and Beverly Paul of Libby when he was 11 years old, and remained with them into his 19th year.
The Paul's son Jeff was also born with a disability and told his parents he wanted a brother who used a wheelchair. The Pauls welcomed Will into their active home and loving family and Beverly taught Will to "look each new challenge in the eye."
The support and encouragement of the Paul family was a positive example and laid a foundation of inner strength that Will came to count on in his adult life.
He moved to Missoula to start a new live and learned to use all the resources that were available.
Will's last apartment was at the Park Place Complex where his neighbors became like family, playing cards and monopoly and enjoying each others' company.
Will met his wife Tammie Thompson at Park Place where they became best friends.
On July 19, 2003, they were married in a commitment ceremony in the courtyard of Village Health Care Center.
Will's delightful grin was the gift of the day for everyone he came into contact with. He will be remembered as a country music and NASCAR fan whose favorite driver was Rusty Wallace.
He is survived by his wife Tammie; foster parents Claude and Beverly Paul and the Paul family of Libby; close friends at Park Place including Yvonne Powell and Jared Kuykendall, Missoula.
Special thanks are extended to Dr. Micael Kornish, Village Health Care Center, Michael Crews, Above and Beyond Speech Therapy, Ardene LaJoie, Jude Monson and Summit Independent Living Center.
Funeral services will be conducted at 1 p.m. on Saturday March 12, at Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula.