ESSEX JUNCTION -- Willis Racht, age 81, of Essex Junction, died peacefully at home on May 11, 2014.
He was a loving and devoted husband and father, fantastic grandfather and served his community in a variety of roles, both elected and appointed. An Electrical Engineer, he retired from IBM after a long and successful career.
It is truly hard, in a few brief paragraphs, to honor the life of Willis Racht, an honest, thoughtful and hard-working man who has lived fully and was deeply loved by his family. A bright man with interesting ideas, excellent problem-solving skills, a love of nature and the outdoors, and a keen appreciation for practical jokes, Willis enjoyed the respect and admiration of his peers and friends.
He earned his degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee in 1969, going to school at night while working fulltime and managing four active, young children with his wife, Roseann, to whom he was married on November 25, 1954.
Willis had a strong sense of civic and social responsibility and received many awards for his service. He enjoyed his decades as a youth and adult volunteer with the Boy Scouts, most recently at Frontiers Camp on Lake Eden and at Camp Sunrise in Benson. He spent many fun days camping and hiking with his family, enjoying the family camp in northern Vermont and mentoring three grandsons on their Eagle Scout projects. In retirement, he served diligently as a guardian ad litem for Chittenden County courts and also earned a Master's degree in Public Administration from UVM.
He valued education and loved to read. His legacy for community service lives on with his children (two teachers, a government attorney, a town clerk).
Willis Racht is survived by Roseann Racht, his wife of 59 years; daughters, Heidi Racht (Alan Campbell) and Jody Racht of Huntington; son, Leo (Brenda Racht) of South Burlington; son, Louie (Gabrielle Flax) of Australia; grandchildren, Mason Alanson Rachampbell, Abbott Lucas Rachampbell, Owen Willis Rachampbell, Samuel Willis Flax and Carmen Roseann Flax.
A service will be held at St. Lawrence Church in Essex Junction on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at 10 a.m. Friends and family will gather 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the St. Edmunds Hall, St. Lawrence Parish. Burial will be in Eden.
Memorial contributions may be made to the VNA Hospice Program, 1110 Prim Road, Colchester VT 05446; or Holy Family/St. Lawrence Church, Prospect St., Essex Junction, VT 05452. Arrangements are by Stephen C. Gregory and Son Cremation Service.
The family thanks the community for its love and support over the years. The memories are many; the stories are great; the years flew by.