HAMLET — Willard McLean Page was born on Oct. 24, 1937 to Alton and Vida Page. He passed away early in the morning of July 18, 2022 after a brief illness, surrounded by his family. He was 84.
Willard is survived by his wife of 47 years, Judy Page, and son, Willard McLean “Mac” Page Jr. (Mandy Yates) of Hamlet; daughters, Tracy Page (John McCue) of Mebane and Leslie Page of Durham; grandsons, Mitchell McCue and Elijah Weinreb; and special niece and nephew Caroline and Cole Stinchfield. Willard had an extended family of in-laws and out-laws and was a well-known and loved man in his community. He will be greatly missed.
Willard spent his life pursuing his loves. After graduating from Rohanen High School, he joined the Navy and saw the world. He attended Wingate College for two years after the Navy. On his return to Rockingham, he joined a popular band, the Chantels (later the Fabulous Shantellas) and toured the southeast in the ’60s and early ’70s. Willard was an accomplished guitarist and an enthusiastic, if not so accomplished, singer. He loved to perform and brought that aspect of his personality to everything else he did in life.
When he was in his early 50s, the company he’d work at for over 20 years was sold and then went out of business. He took his IBM Selectric typewriter and his rolodex and started his own company, P&P Distributing, which later became Page Plantation Shutter Company. He worked there with his son Mac until the last few weeks. One of the last things he said when he was taken to Hospice Haven in Rockingham was to tell the admitting nurse that he’d made all the shutters in the building.
About the same time he was starting the shutter company, he and Judy bought an out-of-business café and renamed it the Seaboard Station Restaurant. Willard was the chief chicken fryer on Sundays until earlier this year. If you ever had the fried chicken at the Seaboard Station and thought it had a special ingredient, you were correct — it was his and Judy’s love that they poured into preparing a good meal to their dear customers, who are always treated like family.
He always said that if you loved doing something, it was not work. He would proudly say he’d never worked a day in his life.
Willard loved his wife, his children, grandchildren, his cat Rufie, his granddog Buck, and all of his family. He was the favorite uncle. He loved hosting Christmas every year at his house and, in recent years, had a decorating competition with his new neighbor. He loved working in his yard and had a bountiful garden that he would grow from seed. He loved fishing and went on an annual birthday fishing trip with his friends.
There will be a visitation on Friday, July 22, 2022 from 5-7 p.m. at Watson-King Funeral Home in Hamlet. The funeral service will be held Saturday, July 23, 2022 at 11 a.m. at Watson-King Funeral Home.