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Thank you to Will’s family for working with us to write this tribute.
Will Hayworth – described by many as the kindest and funniest guy you could meet – lived and died doing what he loved best: flying.
On January 30, Will was captaining Air Tindi’s chartered King Air 200 when it went down between Yellowknife and Whatì.
Flying was in his DNA, said his aunt Mairi, pointing to his grandfather and two great uncles who flew for Canada and England during World War II.
Will’s great uncles didn’t make it through the war, but their families have remembered them and their legacies, just as they will remember Will.
His grandfather survived the war and went on to fly in the Arctic for an aerial survey company, which, his family says, “no doubt inspired [Will] to take up flying and may have even spurred the move from Toronto to the Canadian North.”
“He wanted to fly every type of airplane possible, including helicopters and air balloons,” Will’s family wrote to Cabin Radio.
“We just hope he’s up there now, finally flying with all those who inspired his dream.”
Will and Audrey
Will moved to Yellowknife to work for Air Tindi in June 2011 on the recommendation of a friend.
His partner, Audrey, followed him a few months later. They had met in Toronto in 2006 when Will was working on his pilot’s licence.
The move to the Northwest Territories was intended as a temporary relocation, said Audrey’s sister Amber, but then the couple fell in love with the North.
“They had been considering moving back just in the past year, but Will was hesitant,” wrote Amber, saying Will didn’t want to fly for another airline.
“He loved the freedom and challenge of flying in the North,” she said.
He especially loved flying the medevac, where he got to meet new people, make them feel comfortable, and save lives.
Like true Yellowknifers, Will and Audrey took full advantage of the short summer’s long days and would spend time fishing, swimming, canoeing, listening to music, and exploring trails around a cabin at Prelude Lake.
“They barely needed to communicate aloud,” said Amber. “They just knew each other.”
“Will was the most positive person any of us had ever met. He didn’t judge people and he was never condescending.
“He was kind, and caring, and very funny. He could always make you laugh, and he could laugh at himself.
“There isn’t one thing that we’ll miss about Will, we’re going to miss everything about Will.”
Will will be forever missed by the love of his life, Audrey Paquette, his mother, Pat Hayworth, Audrey’s family, and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, and nephews in Canada, the Bahamas, Spain, and England.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the Hayworth and Paquette families to aid in the expenses related to this tragedy.