Letter: Honoring Will’s memory
I am writing to highlight the loss of a beloved member of our community. I know and remember Will Samuel Graham from my earliest memories, a friend since day care. Will was born into this community Oct. 17, 1984 and attended the Aspen School District from kindergarten through 12th grade. He excelled in both hockey and soccer from a young age, he graduated and went on to culinary school in Miami, which turned out not to be for him. After that, Will enlisted in the armed services, joining the 82nd Airborne, excelling in marksmanship. During this time, Will helped people during the Hurricane Katrina cleanup. Although he longed to serve his country overseas, Will was never able to see live combat. After leaving the Army, Will moved back to Aspen with a few small spurts in San Diego. He worked for many places in town, and was definitely a vibrant member of the community.
Will was a remarkable person, but not one without faults. He grew up in this valley and took as large a part in shaping my formative self as anyone I grew up with. I have many amazing memories with Will and the entire Graham family. We enjoyed our early days at Montessori school, running around Patti Seiferts’ kindergarten class and loving every moment with our favorite third-grade teacher, Bobbi. I enjoyed watching Will help win our soccer team games as an impressive goal keeper, or watching him skate his heart out on the ice-skating rink. He was a friend though and through, the most loyal person you will ever meet. Once you were Will’s friend you were his friend for life. He had a bright smile, an infectious laugh and the good looks that caught the attention of all the girls. With Will, there was never a dull moment. He had the energy to light up a room and a zest for life that was contagious. I count myself as one of the lucky ones who got to watch a plethora of war-themed movies in the Graham’s living room, to have been chased around the Grahams’ yard by their dog, Toby. I got to know and love the entire Graham family, whether it was Geraldine advising me at Aspen High, talking to Billy on their porch, seeing his Aunt Dodie at one of our many sporting events or growing up giving Wes a hard time because he was the younger brother.
As a community we have lost a legend, a bright and loving soul, and I join a phenomenal family in mourning their son. Everybody should remember Will for his smile and laugh and be consoled by the fact that you knew an amazing man. Willy G you are my friend and my brother. I will miss you.