The Western Institute for Lifelong Learning (WILL) approaches learning as a lifetime adventure for continued intellectual and personal discovery in a supportive, expansive, and informal environment. We encourage eager learners of any age to join. Members bring talents and life experiences to WILL, making our courses and social events lively places to learn.
Will is a grass-roots organization created by Grant County residents and is a partner of Western New Mexico University
in Silver City.
If ongoing learning outside the traditional classroom appeals to you, then get a [ Membership/Travel Form (PDF)
] and Join us at WILL.
JEANNIE MILLER - President
Jeannie Miller moved to Silver City in 2005 from the Phoenix area. With degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Arizona, she plowed ahead into a thirty-plus year career in information technology management. Although deeply immersed in computers and such at her day job, she spent her outside-of-work hours performing in and directing community theatre, radio theater, and readers' theater, as well as teaching academic and life-long learning courses for the Maricopa Community College district. In Silver City, she both facilitates and takes WILL courses and is in her second term on the WILL Board. She has served as Social, Membership, and Curriculum Chairs on the Board. Jeannie and her husband, Glenn, enjoy living with their dog, Hoak, at the edge of the Gila Wilderness. Their kids don't understand it but they do.
MARY HOTVEDT - Vice President
Mary E. Hotvedt is an anthropologist and a family therapist and supervisor. After practicing for twenty-five years in Tucson, Mary and her husband moved to Pinos Altos where they have had a place for many years. Mary is the former president of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and a current foreign faculty member with an institute in Rome. She has also taught at the University of Arizona, LaGuardia Community College, and University of Illinois-Springfield as well as given many workshops here and abroad. Since retiring, she and her husband have spent time in Zambia as volunteers. Mary is enjoying writing a novel now and being actively involved in the community.
MARYANN MARKUS - Secretary
Mary Ann is a retired Reiki therapist and social worker who specialized with chemically dependent clients in the Seattle/Tacoma/Puyallup, WA area. Mary Ann also had a private practice and co-facilitated retreats regarding issues pertaining to women. After visiting Silver City since 2003, Mary Ann and her husband made the permanent move to Gila Country during the 2007 Monsoon Season. They enjoy hiking, camping, traveling, and the abundant sunshine.
LINDA HANNAN - Treasurer
Linda is originally from Arizona. She retired from the Flood Control District of Maricopa County after 25 years. She served as Financial Services Manager at Flood Control for the last 10 years. She was responsible for the payroll, accounts payable and receivable, fixed assets and travel functions, as well as budget tracking and main audit contact. She and her husband Lee moved to the Silver City area from Tempe in September 2007. They had made many trips to Silver City over several years and decided that is where they wanted to retire. They both enjoy the outdoors, camping and hiking so it is the perfect place. Linda also enjoys doing several crafts and learning new ones at WILL classes.
HELEN LEMAL - Registrar
Helen moved to Silver City from Raleigh, N.C. when she retired as a Physician Assistant in Family Practice. She grew up in suburbs of NYC, Philadelphia, and Chicago and got a BS-Ed in Chemistry from the U. of Wisconsin, Madison. After marriage she moved to Hanover, NH/Norwich, Vt., where she raised her four children, taught science, math in junior and senior high school and learned to figure skate, ski, play tennis, garden and take advantage of free courses at Dartmouth College. Helen joined the staff at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center to do research and clinical trials in Cardiology. After seventeen years in cardiology, she left to attend Duke University to become a Physician Assistant. Her four children and eight grandchildren continue to keep her running around the country.
JIM HUSE - Curriculum Chair
After receiving a degree from UCLA in mathematics and computer science, Jim Huse moved away from the big city and into the mountains of Southern California. He was self employed in the construction industry for 20 years. He and his wife retired early and traveled the world for seven years. He moved to Silver City in 2001 after spending those years of traveling looking for a place to land. Jim enjoys the quietness and beauty of hiking in the wilderness areas of the Gila. He spent five years on the board of Habitat for Humanity and was the project manager and construction site supervisor for the last three houses that Habitat has built in Grant County while also serving as the Treasurer of Habitat for three years. Jim was also active in Grant County Search and Rescue for many years. Using the skills acquired from building the Habitat houses, Jim built a house for his wife and himself in 2006.
PETE CRAMER - Membership Chair
After retirement, Pete, originally from Reno, Nevada, looked for a small town with a diverse population and a lot of cultural activities. Pete and his wife, Roberta, moved to Silver City in 2006. A degree in Mechanical Engineering led Pete into the field of Program Management, from automotive and railroad research to various types of program management for the USAF and NATO. Pete and Roberta lived in Spain and Italy for many years where he successfully negotiated and administered design and construction contracts. Dealing with Danish and Italian Architect and Design firms was an enjoyable and interesting challenge. During one assignment in Colorado, Pete was the Base Civil Engineer at Shriever AFB, responsible for major contract administration, direct management of 65 personnel, and plant operations. Pete spent many years racing sports cars with the Sports Car Club of America. He was also president of a sports car club in Colorado. His local activities include volunteering for MRAC, helping seniors with home maintenance projects, and building a house for Habitat for Humanity. Hobbies include travel, restoration of classic European motorcycles, and fine food.
DOUG DEXTER - Social Committee Chair
Doug was born in New York City, lived briefly in New Jersey then moved to Pasadena, Ca at the age of 13. He attended schools in Pasadena, including Pasadena City College. He took active duty in the US Navy to satisfy a reserve commitment after marrying Dixie, to whom he has now been married for 50 years. He then spent 2 years serving sea duty. He began his career in the Electronics Distribution business, holding positions as Northwest Regional Manager, Division Manager, Marketing and Sales Manager over a period of 22 years with three (3) National Distributers. In 1985 he joined a startup enterprise, writing the original business plan for the founder of Atari and Chucky Cheese, Pizza Time Theaters. He left the electronics industry to enter garment manufacturing as the General Manager, later moving to open a maquilladora in Tijuana, where he spent 10 years handling facilities, finance and import/export. He returned to California in 2001, joining a successful, privately owned and operated commercial and industrial construction company as a Project Manager. He retired in 2008, having completed his most successful year, completing more than twenty-two million dollars of ground up and interior office improvements. He has served as the WILL Shepherd Coordinator and Audio Visual Coordinator since Spring Semester of 2009. He also serves as the Secretary for the Gila Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen. He and his wife Dixie have three grown children living in Silver City and Southern California.
LINDA KAY JONES - Community Liaison
Linda Kay Jones serves as Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Economic Development, and Community Affairs for Western New Mexico University. As a Certified Economic Developer, she is the Director for the Basic Economic Development Course at WNMU. Linda Kay was twice chosen as the state's Economic Developer of the Year. A prominent figure in her community, Jones is also president-elect for the New Mexico Women's Forum and member of the International Women's Forum (IWF) and has traveled globally with other pre-eminent members to advance women's leadership across careers, cultures and continents. Raised in Texas, Linda Kay Jones' personal interests are as varied as her professional accomplishments. An enthusiastic golfer and a passionate chef who has studied in Italy, Jones is a driving force in whatever she involves herself and is dedicated to positive change through action.
BILL BALDWIN - Financial Advisor
Bill is originally from Massachusetts, where he graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. degree in Linguistics and Near Eastern Languages. He is a U.S. Navy veteran, and also served in the Middle East as a United Nations military observer. He received an M.S. degree from Simmons College in 1988 in Library and Information Science. He had a career in international banking and has traveled extensively in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He and his wife, Caroline, have three adult children and four grandchildren. They have lived in Silver City since 1994.
In a moment of sheer whimsy, Cindy Lindhorn, and her husband, Tim, bought a home in Silver City in 2005 while traveling through on their way to somewhere else. Five years later, after some peripatetic meandering with a trailer and their three dogs in tow, they couldn?t quite remember the moment of bliss that had inspired this purchase. That is, until they finally landed here in the summer of 2010 and took in the blue skies, breathtaking vistas, and the interesting citizens of this great little town. Cindy's career of twenty seven years in financial services was conducted in Colorado Springs, with extended assignments in San Antonio and Seattle. Through most of her tenure, she was the training and project management director for the 'Rocky Mountain' and northwest regions. Since retirement, she's discovered that art, travel, bridge and hiking are the best things that could have happened to her. She also enjoys practicing Reiki, and cooking and sampling as much gourmet food as her Levis will allow. And, of course, attending WILL classes!
HENRY "BING" EWALT
Bing is a retired attorney having worked in private practice, government and corporate settings. His specialties were labor and employment law and litigation with cases all over the country and many courts, including the US Supreme Court. He holds a BA from Allegheny College and an MA and JD from U. of Michigan after which he served in the Army in Viet Nam. In 2006 he and his wife Mary "discovered" Grant County. They immediately loved the people, Gila, culture and learning opportunities. The Ewalts bought a house on Chihuahua Hill in 2007. He is an enthusiastic consumer of WILL courses.
Bill is a sort-of-retired writer and educator, a connoisseur of fine beers, and a sports addict. As a writer, he is the author of a half-dozen books on work in the changing economy and a couple of self-published novels. He was a careers columnist for many years in Denver and used to write sports features for the Christian Science Monitor. Bill has taught and directed programs for a number of universities, including WNMU. He and his wife, Phoebe Lawrence, lived for a time in Guadalajara where he taught English to Mexican young adults. In addition to WILL, he serves on the board of Border Partners, an organization that is at work in Palomas.