Renowned marine artist Willard Bond was a long-time hospice supporter and friend of hospice regattas, who made a number of paintings and prints available to the National Hospice Regatta Alliance and its member regattas prior to his death in May 2012.
Willard Bond spent his final weeks receiving hospice care at the California Veterans Home in Yountville, CA, where he was surrounded by his artwork and photos of his studio and family.
According to his daughter Gretchen, both Veterans Home staff and hospice nurses got to know Willard during his illness for the remarkable individual he was, a veteran of both the US Navy and the Peace Corps.
Willard’s success as a marine artist dates from the late 1970s, when he began painting large watercolors of modern racing yachts. These and his oil paintings launched him into an elite band of marine artists whose work is sought by serious collectors throughout the world. He earned recognition as a Fellow of the American Society of Marine Artists.
Starting in 1994, he made available one of his iconic sailing images for hospice regattas to use on posters, t-shirts and other commemorative items.
With his artwork in demand, Bond frequently traveled to sell his work at galleries and boat shows. During a gallery opening at the 2010 US Sailboat Show in Annapolis, he talked about his work and his support for hospice regattas in a short video.
“Willard Bond was one of those ‘unforgettable characters’ that people tell their friends about,” said Jean Kluttz, president of the National Hospice Regatta Alliance, at the time of Bond’s death. “We are extremely grateful for his generosity to hospice regattas, and we mourn his loss.”
Thanks to the generosity of Bond’s family, images from his extensive portfolio of marine art continue to be available to the Alliance and to hospice regattas to support their efforts to raise funds and awareness for hospice services.