We lost our precious young lady to God the night of September 24th. She was killed by a drunk driver while walking down the road not far from our home in Vandalia, Michigan. This man pulled off to the side of the road and did not help. He remained in his truck until the Sheriff came onto the scene. Our daughter died there in the dark. That day she had had a wonderful time with her mother. They bought red mums to plant. I'd spent the day in Chicago at a rehearsal and was just getting back. Things were so good for everyone. Then I got the phone call that no parent ever wants to hear.
Willa was a sort of renegade like her old man . . . . always happy even when times weren't so good. She had an aura always noticeable to everyone. She sort of knew the way things were going to be before they happened. She was so much into music and always interested in something new. I tried to give her trumpet lessons but she always pushed me aside and went on and played anyway. Willa liked marching band and loved to play as a team with others. EVERYONE liked her. She was COOL. She was interested in everything, especially animals. Cats were her favorite. We were good Internet Buddies. She would ask and I would say no but she had a way with me. So Sweet. Willa was like a bird that had just dried its feathers and found out she could fly. She was so ready to jump right into life and it was extinguished so quickly.
We had plans to go to Chicago. She had tickets to see the band "HIM" and then meet me at Navy Pier for some fun. There were so many plans we all had for her. I know Benita and our son Jesse see and feel the same way about her. Jesse was such a model for her and she looked up to him. He always protected her. Even now that she is with God.
We shouldn't have to see our children go first. Now, we are the ones that will grieve and suffer having to live with out her. We love her so much. It has been many,many months since I have added to this page. Many things have happened including my endless composure that I am trying to keep. Michael Tastula is now out of Prison. Out of a mere 5 years for taking the life of my daughter he is out early. He did not do his five years that the Judge sentenced him to.
During the pre-sentencing thia family has been very ruthless and in denial. I mean denial ! He ran down Willa then left the scene for her to die of in the bushes.He hit her so hard massive liver,spleen and head concussion killed her only to hope it was instantaneous. His truck quite running about 200 feet from the killing. It as every newer vehicle is equipped with a fuel pump disconnect inertia switch.He sat in his M.F. truck drunk until the Sheriff arrived.Maybe she was still alive. My wife was histerical and the cell phone technology sucked !! I finally got to the Hospital. they were tying to revive her but it was just a show for the family. I saw my daughter lying there dead.Her pretty eys staring out into oblivion......More to come.
Thank you for sharing these memories with us.
Danny Barber and family.
Born May 23rd 1991 to Danny and Benita Barber. Willa is survived by her parents Danny and Benita, and her brother Jesse.