Tracie Willis, the controller for Darby Dan Farms, passed away last Tuesday, the farm reported in a press release. For several years, the release said, she had battled painful and chronic pancreatitis, complications from which ultimately claimed her life. Notification of her immediate family and next of kin, who were scattered around the country, was finalized over the weekend.
“Tracie was a dedicated Darby Dan Farm team member for seven years,” the statement read. “She sincerely loved horses, the farm, and the Thoroughbred industry. She was committed to the farm’s business operation and was a consummate talent in her many roles. She managed Darby Dan’s social media, oversaw human resources and insurance, was a popular Darby Dan tour guide, and represented the farm in multiple professional associations. She was a proficient and respected master of accounting.”
“Tracie was a very private person,” said John Phillips, owner of Darby Dan Farm. “I doubt many people understood how ill she was. She wouldn’t ever complain nor share her issues. Regardless, Tracie would work with diligence and precision. She was a perfectionist in nearly all aspects of her life. I am not sure I ever met anyone quite like Tracie; she was unique. Her talent was significant and her love of horses, her dogs and friends were great. She passed away way too soon. We are stunned and deeply saddened.”
Funeral arrangements are just now being finalized, with services presently scheduled for Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. at Liberty Road Faith Fellowship on Liberty Road in Lexington, Kentucky. In lieu of flowers, the farm asks that people share her commitment to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance or the Fayette County Humane Society.