Edward C. Willey

Edward C. Willey

Edward C. Willey

MENANDS — Edward C. Willey, who built greenhouses in Berne that he ran, with his wife, for a quarter of a century, died on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. He was 90.

“He was a quiet, loving, and hard-working man,” said his daughter, Diane Willey Czarnick. “He loved being a farmer and raising his plants and having his wife by his side.”

He was the son of the late Edward Willey and Mabel C. Diener Willey Shaver of Latham.

Mr. Willey grew up on a truck farm on Old Niskayuna Road. “As a young man, his best friend was a Ford tractor,” his wife, Virgina Willey, wrote in a tribute.

He graduated from Philip Schuyler High School. When farming was no longer an option, he went to work for W.G. Morton Co. Later, he became a field supervisor for Robert A. Keasbey Co., retiring in 1992.

He married Virginia Phelps in 1952. In 1974, they moved to Berne where they operated Willey’s Greenhouses for over 25 years.

“Ed had many talents; he could fix and repair anything,” his wife wrote. “He built a camper, two homes, a barn, and several greenhouses. Ed enjoyed fishing, bowling, traveling, playing cards, bingo, and all his family and many friends.

“He will be remembered as a gentleman, as a guy who was always ready to ‘lend a hand,’ and for his sense of humor.”


Edward C. Willey is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Virginia Willey; by his son David Willey and his wife, Elke; by his daughter Diane Czarnick and her husband, Paul; by his grandchildren, Adam and Kyle Czarnick; and by his great-grandson, Nolan Czarnick.

He is also survived by his brothers Richard Willey and his wife, Jane, and Rodger Willey and his wife, Janet; by his in-laws, Carl Phelps and his wife, Carol, Judith Murdie, and Bill Phelps; and by several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at the Berne Reformed Church on Saturday, April 27, at 1 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Berne Reformed Church.

“Finally,” the tribute said, “the family would like to thank our family at Atria-Shaker for all their kindness and support, and especially the staff in Life Guidance for loving and caring for Ed the last few months.

“Death leaves a sorrow no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

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