Florida Trail Association

Remembering Willie Angel

Wilhelmina “Willie” Angel
Passed April 2018
Indian River Chapter: Trail Maintainer

In Remembrance of Willie
by Doug Sphar

Willie and her late husband Bill became Trail Masters at Tosohatchee somewhere around 1981.  After Bill’s passing, Willie continued at Tosohatchee until her heart started failing in early 2017.  Willie and Bill also worked with the late Wylie Dykes to construct the trails at Wekiwa S.P. and they were Trail Masters there for a number of years.  They also  worked with Wylie on the trail through Deseret Ranch. They started to volunteer at Toso in the early 1980’s and became TrailMasters there.  Willie continued in the capacity after Bill passed in the early 1990’s.  They also worked on construction of trails at the Canaveral National Seashore and Ulumay Sanctuary on Merritt Island.

Willie was was a blaze painting virtuoso and took great pride in that skill.  Short in stature, Willie talked to her dying days about barely keeping her nose above water on some of Tony’s famous wet trail hikes.  Willie was a conservation activist and a champion of wild places and the creatures that inhabit those places.  In her younger days Willie took on high-power attorneys for developers of wild lands and was steadfast in confronting their attempts to muzzle her with lawsuits. Willie was co-founder of the Turtle Coast Sierra Club.  She and another woman petitioned the National Sierra Club for a chapter in Brevard.  She was a bulldog in some early environmental battles (saving some beach properties from condos) and was threatened by lawsuits by various developers.  She retired shortly after her husband’s death.