The Washington and Lee community is mourning the loss of Anne Scott Farrar Willett, 81, a long-time and valued member of the W&L family. She died on August 26 at the Westminster-Canterbury retirement community in Lynchburg, surrounded by her family. In addition to her nine-year career in development at W&L, Mrs. Willett was the widow of James D. Farrar '49, the long-time dean of admissions at W&L; the mother of James D. Farrar Jr. '74, secretary of the University and assistant to the president, and of Scott Farrar '76; the mother-in-law of Brice B. Williams '78; and the grandmother of Katharine D. Farrar '11.
Mrs. Willett was born Dec. 28, 1926, in Lynchburg, Va., the daughter of Kirkwood Duval Scott and Lois Hickson Scott. She graduated from Lynchburg's E.C. Glass High School, attended Agnes Scott College, and graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in 1947 with a B.A. in English. On Nov. 4, 1950, she married James D. Farrar. Mr. Farrar passed away in 1993. She later married J. Frank Willett, of Lookout Mountain, Tenn.; he died in 2002.
Mrs. Willett worked at Virginia Military Institute's Preston Library from 1965 to 1976 and as director of research for the VMI Foundation from 1978 to 1985. In February 1985, she joined W&L as assistant director of development. She retired on June 30, 1994, as associate director of development and director for corporate and foundation support.
"Anne and her family have been an important part of W&L for a long time. She was one of the people who makes this such a special place," said President Ken Ruscio '76. "Kim and I send our thoughts and prayers to all of her loved ones." Mrs. Willett belonged to the Lexington Presbyterian Church and was a former member of the High Bridge Presbyterian Church and the Blue Ridge Garden Club. Active in her children's education, she served on various PTA organizations, including a term as president of The Episcopal High School's Parents and Friends Committee.
Mrs. Willett is survived by her sister, Lois Scott Mengel, of Danville, Va.; her daughter, Anne F. Williams, son-in-law, Brice B. Williams, of Atlanta, and their children, James M. Williams and Hayden S. Williams; her son, James D. Farrar Jr., daughter-in-law, Katharine C. Farrar, of Lexington, and their children, James D. Farrar III, Lyle H. Farrar and Katharine D. Farrar; and her son, D. Scott Farrar of Chapel Hill, N.C., daughter-in-law, Linda K. Farrar, of Apex, N.C., and their son, Andrew S. Farrar. She was preceded in death by a grandson, R. Wiatt Farrar.
The memorial service for Mrs. Willett will be this Thursday, Aug. 28, at 11:00 a.m. at the Lexington Presbyterian Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the Class of 1974/James D. Farrar Sr. Scholarship, c/o Development Office, Washington and Lee University, 204 W. Washington St., Lexington, VA 24450-2116.