Cover photo for Alan Will's Obituary

Alan Will

d. May 5, 2020

Alan Will

Alan George Will, 70, of Erie, left this life on May 5, 2020 after a brief illness to join his loving parents Arthur and Dorothy (Chatelain) Will in heaven.

He was a great man, not only in stature but in character as well.

Alan was a hard worker with old school ethics and enjoyed life to the fullest even after he had lost most of his vision over 20 years ago. He continued to be involved in his favorite activities, hunting with his best friend, gardening, bowling, golfing, going to the gym, walking with his guide dog Trustin, and especially fishing with his devoted son.

He was past president of the Northwest PA Blind Golfers Association, Vice President of the Blinded Veterans' Association, which he represented on the advisory Board of the Pennsylvania Soldiers and Sailors Home.

Alan graduated from Strong Vincent High School in 1967, and enlisted in the Army. He was part of the 8th Infantry stationed in Germany. He was so proud to receive his Airborne Wings, among other distinctions and was honorably discharged as Specialist 5.

After the Army, he attended A.T.E.S. and graduated with a degree in Electrical Drafting and Design. He did this while still working at Al's Awning Shop, where he met his loving wife of 47 years. He then worked at Copes Vulcan, and later at Turrain Automation until his vision loss became too severe to continue this kind of work. Then he found a rewarding job which he loved as a switch board operator at the Erie VA Medical Center. He really enjoyed helping his fellow Veterans connect to who they needed and made many friends there. He retired in 2018 and never sat still. Always finding things to do, he opened his home to a young fellow Veteran with whom he bonded over their shared experiences. One of his proudest accomplishments was completing the Barber Beast on the Bay last fall with his son. Alan was the first blind Veteran to do so.

He is survived by his wife Diane Hammar Will; his three beautiful daughters, Alana Cummings (Justin), Laura Patterson, and Sarah Saxon; his loving son, Jared Will (Erin); and the apple of his eye his grandson, Brandon Cummings.

Alan had a close relationship with his siblings, Sandra Laskowski (Franklin); and brother, David Will (Kate); two brothers-in-law, Richard Hammar (Bridget) and Robert Hammar (Janice); and may cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces, and nephews.

Under the current circumstances Funeral Services will be private and as soon as it is allowable there will be a celebration of his life as he would have liked. The John R. Orlando Funeral Home, Inc., 2122 Raspberry Street, Erie, PA 16502 is handling arrangements. Memorials may be made to the Blinded Veterans Association, at or the PA Soldiers and Sailors Home of Erie, at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Alan Will, please visit our flower store.


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