On Nov. 4, 2013, legendary farrier Dave Willis passed away. The member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame had built a reputation for his quality shoeing work, brilliant intellect and friendly personality. He also is recognized for inventing or refining a wide variety of farrier tools and forges. He was deeply committed to education, having founded the Oregon Farriers Association.
Willis leaves behind his wife, Nancy, and son, David Shawn.
Two farriers who were close to Willis share how he impacted their lives and the farrier industry.
I first met Dave in 1979 at the American Farrier’s Association (AFA) Convention in Fresno, Calif. We didn’t really talk, but a short while later, he called me from his home in Oregon, and I remember it like it was yesterday.
“Hi Lee, this is Dave Willis from Beavercreek in Oregon,” he said. And he just wanted to talk about the convention and how great it was to get the horseshoers together. We talked for quite a while. Right at that moment, we became good friends.
When he went home, Dave quit his night job as a printer and went full time as a horseshoer. The enthusiasm he got from that convention led him to realize he could earn a living shoeing horses fulltime. And he did, and never looked back.
We soon began to do a lot of things together. He came down here a few times and I went up there for…