WILLI FRANZ MOELZER

Posted On December 8th, 2013 -

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWILLI FRANZ MOELZER Willi Franz Moelzer chose Death With Dignity on November 23, 2013 in Eugene, Oregon. He had a joyful and peaceful passage, surrounded by his wife, cats and many friends. Willi’s early years were spent in war-torn Germany. His graduation from merchant marine school set him on a path to explore all corners of the world and the many cultures to be found there. This gave him a worldly perspective that he later applied to all his activities. After four years of sailing the wide seas, he immigrated to the United States, where he eagerly applied himself to working full-time and learning English in night school. When Uncle Sam asked him to serve his new country, he remembered how kind and helpful the American liberators had been after the war and he gladly joined the U. S. Army. Willi’s service in the Vietnam War enabled him to apply his education benefits to obtaining a college degree and a teacher’s certification at the University of Hawaii. It was there that he met and married his wife, Janet Nickell. Willi spent 23 years teaching at Roosevelt High School in Honolulu – years that brought him great joy and numerous accolades. His immense enthusiasm and boundless energy drew scores of students to his German classes. Added to that was the German club (the Buggabuggers), which furthered the German culture through singing, German and international folk dancing, and putting on Oktoberfests. He helped students organize hikes, campouts, picnics, car washes, candy sales, and more. For over ten years, all of this was topped off with annual summer trips to Europe – to practice the German language, learn the cultures of Europe, and become independent, self-sufficient people (and later, adults). When educational and demographic changes caused the discontinuation of many language courses, Willi’s lively teaching skills were turned to bringing history to life for his students. The retirement years brought a greater emphasis on the water sports Willi always loved. This included scuba diving, bodyboard surfing, kayaking, wave kayak surfing, windsurfing, and sailing (for which he built his own unique sailboat). While doing this he continued teaching others: novices learned how to develop those skills and fellow surfers learned about history, politics and international affairs. Willi and Janet left Hawaii in 2010 to retire in Eugene, OR, where Janet’s parents lived. Eugene proved to be a warm and welcoming environment where they developed very close friends. Unfortunately, Willi’s unique genetic disorder became active and shortened his life prematurely. Of all the praise Willi got through the years, the most important to him were the recent letters from former students of overwhelming appreciation for the impact he made on their lives. Letters acknowledging him as the “best teacher EVER,” “Your zest for teaching and passion for students was unparalleled,” “Your crazy enthusiasm sent many of us into fulfilling lives and careers,” “You gave us confidence, you gave us skills, you gave us the knowledge that we were GOOD ENOUGH for anything,” “You taught us how to raise our consciousness, empower ourselves with self-confidence, and act with purpose,” “You were without a doubt the best teacher and life advisor I could ever have and I thank you for that.” Willi was an extraordinary teacher of life for everyone he met, including to the day of his death. He was an inspirator and lived life to the fullest. He was greatly loved and will be greatly missed. Enjoy your cosmic eternity, my love! Willi is survived by his brother, Klaus, his sisters, Herma and Ellen, and his wife Janet. You are invited to access the obituary and sign the guestbook of the Musgrove Family Mortuary (Eugene, OR) at musgroves.com You may also sign the guest book at www.registerguard.com/legacy


- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran