Friends and acquaintances of Maureen Wills will be gathering at the Frank Wills Memorial Hall this Thursday (Nov. 21) for an informal afternoon of remembrance from 2 to 6:30 p.m.

Maureen made an enormous contribution to the Cochrane area and along the way touched the lives of many people.

Thirty-five years ago, Susan Flowers met Maureen when she was a judge at the annual Westbrook School Fair.

"My dog won the best pet of the fair, so we've been good friends ever since," says Flowers.

"Maureen judged a ton of different fairs, she was on every community association you can imagine. She had a great vision for what the community needed, and she loved to start up new things. She was involved with the humane society and victim services, and on and on."

The drop-in gathering is an opportunity to share stories about Maureen, who was known for her wit and storytelling.

"We wanted to do something for the community because everyone is anxious and asking to get together to remember Maureen."

"As the day unfolds, people can get up and share a joke or a memory, or whatever they like. They'll be a book for signing and writing stories, and we'll probably video people if they want their story on video."

A passionate volunteer, Maureen accomplished many feats, supported many causes for the social betterment of the community, and served on town council for two terms. 

One of her proudest achievements was spearheading the effort to build the Frank Wills Memorial Hall in honour of her husband Frank, who passed in 1979. Both she and Frank were highly active in the scouting and guiding movement. The hall not only celebrated her husband, it was an opportunity to provide a home for the community's guiding and scouting movements.

She received many honours for her volunteer service. Among her most cherished were the Commonwealth Golden Jubilee award, Cochrane Community Builder award, Provincial Seniors Service Award, Medal of Merit, The Star of Alberta Award and The Order of Cochrane.

Unfortunately, Maureen's daughter is unable to return to Canada because she's in the US waiting for her citizenship papers. She will be holding a celebration of Maureen's life at a later date.

Maureen passed away on Oct. 16 at age 84. 

Those wishing to extend condolences and share memories and pictures of Maureen can contact her family at

Memorial donations may be made to the Frank Wills Memorial Society or the Cochrane & Area Humane Society.