Published in the November 20, 2015 edition

Willa-Williams-obit-webCAMDEN, Maine — Willa J. (Johnstone) Williams, 90, of Camden, Maine, passed away on Nov. 14.

Willa was born in Lawrence on May 9, 1925 to Herbert A. and Myrtle (Brown) Cassidy. She grew up in Watertown and Belmont, and graduated from Belmont High School.

Willa worked as an office administrator much of her life for several different companies including John Hancock, Raytheon, McLean Hospital, The First Baptist Church in Belmont and Gloucester and Chalmers & Perry CPA in Gloucester.

She also taught at the Landmark School in Beverly.

Willa was very passionate about volunteer work and spent much of her spare time over the years volunteering for the Red Cross, The Lord’s Warehouse in Longboat Key, Heavenly Threads in Camden, Maine and for Habitat for Humanity. Her nature was to give and help others.

In addition to charity work, Willa enjoyed baking, knitting, painting and photography. She was very artistic and creative. Willa would always attend as many of her grandchildren’s events as possible.

For the last 19 years, Willa split her time between Camden, Maine and Longboat Key, Fla. She was truly a wonderful person, small in stature but big in heart. She had quick wit, a great sense of humor and her door was always open to anyone. Willa’s family would like to thank the staff at Winchester Rehab & Nursing Center for the kind care they provided.

She was the loving mother of C. Douglas Johnstone and his wife Pauline of Camden, Maine, Laurie Johnstone and Gerald Carmody of Melrose, Glen Johnstone and his wife Tracey Armstrong of Beverly, Gary Johnstone and his wife Patricia of Gloucester, Valerie Fay and her husband Dan of North Andover and Harry Wight and his wife Sue of Carlisle. She was the stepmother of Lynn Waldron, Joyce Lob, Marjorie Williams, Billie Montoute and Jonathon Williams. She was the cherished grandmother of Kara, Brittany, Michael, Kaitlyn, Abby, Andrew, Haley, Jack, William and Tyler. She was the proud great-grandmother of Hunter. She was the caring sister of Ronald Cassidy and his wife Deborah of Bradenton, Fla. She was the sister-in-law of Charles Whalen of Liberty, Maine and Barbara Cassidy formerly of Liberty, Maine. She was predeceased by her former husband, Douglas I. Johnstone and by her siblings: Herbert Cassidy, Kenneth Vernon Cassidy, John (Jack) Cassidy and Winifred Whalen.

A funeral service was held on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 5 p.m. at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 West Foster St., Melrose, followed by visiting hours from 5:45 to 8 p.m.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Dec. 12, 2015 at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church, 221 Cabot St., Beverly.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend.

In lieu of flowers contributions can be made in Willa’s name to Habitat for Humanity International, 121 Habitat St., Americus GA 31709-3498. To leave an online condolence please visit