Michele Susan Willey (November 7, 1950 — January 17, 2018)
Michele Susan Willey passed away peacefully surrounded by her family and loved ones on January 17, 2018, after a nearly two-year journey with ovarian cancer. True to her Midwest roots, she was gracious and strong to her last breath.
Michele was born in Thief River Falls, MN, to Vernon and Adeline Quam. She went to college to study visual art and design at Bemidji State and shortly thereafter moved to Minneapolis to work at the Walker Art Center. She met the love of her life, Bob Willey, while living in Minneapolis. Bob and Michele were married in May of 1975 and moved to Colorado that summer. Camping and exploring Colorado the summer Bob was interviewing for jobs was one of the most special times of Michele’s life. Bob and Michele moved to Aspen in 1976 and eventually settled in Glenwood Springs in 1979, where Bob was a school counselor for over three decades. In 1987, Bob and Michele welcomed their daughter, Cassidy, into the world. They were happily married for 39 years until Bob’s passing in July of 2014.
Michele was a highly creative person and a loyal friend. She had a “can-do” attitude and could fix almost anything. She loved working with ceramics, stained glass, photography and painting. Michele always had a project. One of her most passionate projects was designing and building the family cabin in Marble, CO. She also enjoyed traveling, whether it was road-tripping and camping, visiting family and friends, or flying to visit Cassidy abroad. In 2015, Michele walked the Cumbria Way in England with a dear group of friends.
Michele loved her family more than anything. In the summer of 2017, she became a grandma to Cassidy and husband Eric’s son, Elliot Forrest. Elliot was the light of Michele’s world for the seven months that she got to spend with him. Watching him change and grow and sharing some big milestones was a true gift. Elliot’s time with his “GrammaChele” will always be very precious.
We will remember and cherish Michele for her strength, her creative spirit and her gentle nature. She was the best mom and an amazing grandma. We will miss her profoundly and love her forever. Michele was preceded in death by her parents, Vernon and Adeline Quam, and her husband, Bob Willey. She is survived by brother Dennis Quam, daughter Cassidy Willey, son-in-law Eric Lamb, and grandson Elliot Forrest Willey Lamb.
A celebration of Michele’s life will be held on Saturday, January 27th, at 10:00am at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Glenwood Springs. Please dress colorfully and casually.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in Michele Willey’s name to Epic Experience, outdoor experiences for individuals with cancer http://www.epicexperience.org.