Friday, March 19, 2010
'Prolific Writer' Co-Founded Local Publishing Firm
FOR THE RECORD: Amador Publishers was mistakenly referred to as Avalon Publishers in one reference in this story.
Journal Staff Report
A memorial gathering for author Harry Willson will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday at La Fonda del Bosque Restaurant at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, at Fourth Street and Bridge SW.
Willson, 77, died March 9.
Willson, with wife, Adela Amador, was co-founder of Amador Publishers in Albuquerque and "a prolific writer of fiction, satire, social commentary and philosophy," reads a news release from the publishing company.
His novels included, "A World for the Meek," "Souls and Cells Remember" and "This'll Kill Ya." His short stories included, "Duke City Tales" and "Vermin and Other Endangered Species" and his nonfiction included, "Freedom From God" and "Myth and Mortality."
Willson told the Journal in 2007 that he felt compelled to write "Myth and Mortality" after his parents died within 12 days of each other.
"I think I was so moved by the way my parents died that it just became a task that I had to do," he said at the time.
"It is not a morbid book," he said. "There's enough humor in it, so it's an uplifting kind of thing."
As Amador Publishers explained in its statement, "Harry's ability to put big, difficult subjects into personal terms with plain-spoken clarity, wry humor and abiding love led some to label his writing 'folksy' and 'homespun,' but this belies his impressive academic credentials and professional accomplishments, not to mention some heroic life experiences 'walking the talk' of a dedicated activist for peace, social equality, and environmental protection."
Willson earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry and mathematics from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania and held a master's of divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.
He and his family had moved to New Mexico in the late 1950s, and he served as a bilingual missionary pastor in Bernalillo, Alameda and Placitas for eight years, according to the publishing company. He held various positions with the Presbytery of Rio Grande. After leaving the clergy, he taught for 10 years at Albuquerque Academy and Sandia Prep before retiring and devoting his time to writing.
He and his wife founded Amador Publishers in 1986.
Along with his other works, Willson also wrote a monthly column for the publishing company's Web site, and his writing appeared in periodicals.
Amador Publishers plans on hosting a community "book bash" at a later date to honor Willson's life and work.