William Thomas Visty arrived 43 minutes late to meet his twin sister, Ella Jo. He twisted around, he buried himself deeper into his mother’s womb. His heart stopped. An emergency C-section finally delivered Will Visty into the world, straight into the NICU, where he stayed for over a month. His mother also needed time to recover and never fully let go of it. Instead, she often used it as leverage to tease her eldest boy. When Will didn’t clean his room, she teased him “What? After you almost tried to kill me?”
Will wasn't born first but he was born with that kind of confidence -- perhaps because of his talents. He could do difficult math in his head, he scaled trees like Tarzan, he was fast on the soccer field. And he LOVED water. He swam, wakeboarded, skied, snorkeled, scuba dived, flips off the dock, dove off the dock while catching a football in the air.
Will chose outdoors over screens, experiences over things. He was a nature-lover and was natural with people because he was fearless. He led Ella, Reese, Owen and a trail of kids on marches through creeks, high cattails and ditch weeds, in whiffle ball games at dusk, on fishing expeditions at the lake, to catch frogs, to explore the woods, to build forts. He rode high ocean waves and climbed rocks, hills and mountains. He organized outdoor sleepovers on picnic tables, trampolines and the beach.
Kids trailed after Will in awe because he was everyone’s friend because he played with them, kicked the ball their way, got them lures, showed them how to cast and how to unhook the fish from their rods. How to catch chum. He made up games and got everyone excited to play. He spent evenings gazing into the sunset with his mom telling her it was a good one. And what he liked about it. He lived for lake nights lit by campfires and stars surrounded by his family and friends.
Will, Ella, Reese and Owen were so close that his mother referred to them as raising a wolf pack. Four kids in five years, the crew was tight. They often slept in the same room - Will’s room, of course. Will made his bed with 2 extra pillows for Owen, because Owen never slept alone. His cousins were a part of his crew. His cousin Leo poured Sun-in over his chestnut hair to be more like Will. It turned orange.
Will could not be embarrassed. Every morning at school drop off his mother yelled I LOVE YOU WILL VISTY from the car window in front of his classmates at St. Wenceslaus then at Prep. Will yelled I LOVE YOU MORE MOM right back with a big smile on his face.
Will showed up at soccer in flip flops and he showed up at baseball games without shoes at all. He once played a baseball game in swim trunks. People laughed. He laughed with them.
Will's great love was fishing with his father, Tommy. The Visty men traveled thousands of miles to fish in rivers and lakes and oceans. In many ways, the water defined them.
Will was a bright light, he lit up the room. His smile dazzled. He drew people to him, a constellation of constant companions. His best friends were his little brother and sisters, his cousin, Beau, and his friends from kindergarten – Sam and Killian. His friend list was always growing.
Will grew his hair out so it looked like a golden halo. He fluffed up the sides with his fingers. He grinned when the principal of his Catholic school told him to cut it. So did his mother. She taught him to defy what rules he could because she understood charm, and Will had it. He was joyfully, shamelessly charming and funny. He knew someday he would have a house in the mountains and a house on the sea, where he could ski and fish and live all the adventures of a boy.
He believed he could do anything. And he did. One day Will pushed himself too hard to see how far he could go.
William Thomas Visty will be forever loved by his family and all that were lucky to know him.
John A. Gentleman Mortuaries and Crematory
1010 North 72 Street
Omaha, NE. 68114