The glory of the setting sun that paints the evening sky, reminds the heart that life holds so much more than meets the eye…
Willy Volk passed unexpectedly but peacefully on July 16th, 2020. He was born on October 1, 1932, to Konrad and Elise Volk in Bad Koenig, Germany. Growing up after World War II was not easy and the best available job opportunity at that time was becoming a cabinet maker. Completing a three-year apprenticeship, he earned his bachelor’s degree. To further his craftsmanship a few years later he took a job in Switzerland and after eight years there he decided to find more challenges in the United States, but not before completing his studies as a Master Cabinetmaker.
Willy arrived in New York, July 1964, and found a good position as Plant Manager at Ridgewood Art Woodcraft, a manufacturer of high end Office Furniture and held that position for five years. He improved the production flow and quality of the furniture by introducing new and more efficient German machinery which led to his decision to become a Woodworking Machinery Dealer.
In 1965 during one of his visits to the homeland, Willy met his future wife Ingrid Striedinger and after many years of writing to Willy every week and receiving an answer maybe every four or five weeks they married in February 1970. Ingrid joined Willy in New York in August 1970 and only a week after her arrival they founded their company: European Woodworking Machinery Co. The first German Company Willy represented was TORWEGGE and the first machine Willy sold was to Rishel Furniture of Williamsport, PA which had a new subdivision in Louisburg, NC on Hwy 56 West, now Palziv, and that is where the new machine was installed. During that time Ingrid flew down from New York to stay a few days with Willy. They both found this area very inviting and moved to Louisburg in December of 1970.
Their business developed slowly but steadily and after five years they were able to buy a farm near Franklinton which they later called Hill & Dale Farms. This was the ideal place to set up their machinery building, show room and office.
In the years to come, European Woodworking Machinery Co. represented as many as seven of the best-known German Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers. Customers, like Broyhill, Henredon, Hooker, Thomasville, Steelcase, Stevens Industries to name a few, appreciated the knowledge and foresight Willy brought to the field. It was of most importance to Willy to offer the best equipment for the job and stand behind and support it by having a well-established parts department and a well-trained service team to back up what he sold. Willy could not have been this successful without the support of his employees, some of whom have worked with the company for as many as forty years.
In his youth Willy was a very active soccer player and in time even got his referee license. While in Switzerland he spent every spare minute fly fishing trout. Having a nice pond on the farm here, many a time before having to go onto another sales trip he would run down to fish, if only for a short time.
During his stay in New York he and his roommate Ernst and best friend Rosalie played Tennis. As he got to know folks around here, he was introduced to hunting; his first experience was a rabbit hunt, then dove and deer.
Willy is survived by his loving wife of 50 years Ingrid, his sister in law Theresia and Sister in law Elsbeth Volk, daughter Katarina, niece Roswitha and nephew Gerhard; special Friends: Gar Bailey (Judy) Ayscue, Rosemary Cooper, Charles(Martha) Davis, Chip (Dawn) Davis, Tom (Conny) Wegman.
Willy loved to visit his family and hometown folks in Bad Koenig. Every time he had to go to Germany either with a Customer to tour factories or to work on details of a proposal or order he would try to visit. It was there that at a festival a small group of children had a booth to raise funds for a new Playground. He contributed more than the children expected and never forgot their happy faces.
In lieu of flowers, you may like to contribute to the Playground Fund, BB&T, Att: Marie Boyette, P. O. Box 464, Louisburg, NC 27525 or to the Happy Camper, c/o Franklin County Social Services, P. O. Box 669, Louisburg, NC 27549
Arrangements are by Strickland Funeral Home, Louisburg.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Wilhelm Volk, please visit our floral store.