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Antoinette's Story

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DIVIDE, Colo. – With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Antoinette Marie Willard (Kuzmic/Yakulis). Antoinette passed in peace, surrounded by those who loved her, on Oct. 25, 2015. She was born in DuBois, Pa., on Aug. 30, 1943. Antoinette spent her childhood in the heart of Pennsylvania but left at 17, eager to start her great adventure of life. Antoinette followed her passion for travel first to Washington, D.C. as an assistant to a U.S. Army general. She then moved to Western Germany during the height of the Cold War as the general’s personal aide. It was in Germany that Antoinette met and married Charles Kuzmic, an Army officer from Oklahoma. The couple lived in San Francisco, where they had their first son, Mark. They then moved to Ankara, Turkey, where they had their second son, Dan. Finally, they settled in Tahlequah, Okla., where they welcomed their daughter, Kimberly. Those who knew Antoinette well knew how smart and driven she was, but also how she used her gifts to help others. She held a master’s degree in dietary science from Northeastern Oklahoma State University and earned her registered dietitian certification. She led programs to improve the diets of Native American children and was the head dietitian at Muskogee Regional Hospital. She became a paralegal in Colorado to help children who couldn’t speak for themselves and retired as an advocate for the elderly as an evaluator of retirement facilities in the North-Central U.S. After Charles’ passing in 1997, Antoinette moved to Colorado Springs, built a house with the perfect view of Pike’s Peak, and spent each morning drinking tea and soaking in the vistas. It was on her commute to Denver that she met, and fell deeply in love with, Clarence (Sandy) Willard. Antoinette and Sandy would marry in 2010. They shared a love of nature and cherished time spent together in their property on the front range of the Colorado Rockies. Antoinette’s children were so very happy to see their mother in love again, and consider themselves lucky to have Sandy and his children forever as family. Antoinette is survived by her husband, Sandy Willard; her son, Mark; her son, Dan and his wife Charlie; her daughter, Kimberly and her husband Kellen; and her three grandchildren, Dylan, Luci and Maeve. Family and friends are invited to a memorial service at the family’s mountain property near Divide, Colo., in the spring, Antoinette’s favorite time of year, on May 28, 2016.
Published on  November 13, 2015
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