Willie Fenichel, known as “Farmer Willie,” of Truro, died on Oct. 9, 2019 after a brief illness. He was 47.
Willie grew up in Watertown and graduated from Watertown High School and Suffolk University, where he majored in history. He worked odd jobs for a few years, and then moved permanently to his family’s home on Old County Road in Truro in 2009.
He spent a wonderful 10 years on the 2.5-acre homestead, tending to his herd of goats, three dogs, and one cat.
He cared for antique fruit trees and an extensive garden. He enjoyed creating and sharing his home-brewed ginger beer.
“He was great with the goats, way better than me,” said his mother, Nancy. “I was the one who wanted to have them, but he was a real goat whisperer.”
“Willie had a special relationship with different goats,” added his father, Paul. “We had a crippled goat that was particularly fond of him — and he reciprocated.”
He was the kind of person who was more comfortable with animals than with people, although he was “a Buddha-type person around people,” Nancy said. “Even though he had a short life, his time here was so pleasurable.”
He leaves a hole in the hearts of everyone who knew and loved him, including his beloved animals.
He is survived by his parents, Paul and Nancy of Truro; his brother, Jesse, and wife Mera of Watertown; his sister, Teresa, of Cambridge; and his niece, Liliana, and nephew, Theo.
A memorial will be held on June 26, Willie’s birthday.
Willie’s love of animals was inspiring. Donations may be made in his honor to the animal sanctuary or rescue organization of your choice. His own favorite charities included Korean meat dog rescues and Farm Sanctuary.
Messages of condolence for the family may be left in the guest book at www.gatelyfuneralservice.com.