Remembering Will Thorp

Remembering Will ThorpThe Martin family has had the pleasure of knowing Will Thorp for nearly two decades. His warm smile will be dearly missed at the restaurant and around town. Whenever we visited the restaurant with our loved ones, friends, or even clients, Will was consistently kind and accommodating. It became our go-to spot for lunch, and we could always count on bumping into him at least once a week.

Will had a genuine knack for making everyone feel valued, always checking in on our well-being and our children, Sam and Amanda. Amanda worked alongside Will for six incredible years at the High Cotton restaurant. Amandas thoughts on Will are below.

I’ve been trying to find the words that express how meaningful my relationship with Will has been over the last 16 years. I started working for him at High Cotton before I could drive a car, and at the time, I thought Will would be just another boss. Little did I know just how significant he would impact so many aspects of my life.

Will was the type of man who made you want to be the best version of yourself. If you know my parents, Mark & Sandy Martin, you know that I come from a family of very hardworking individuals, and Will helped them bring that out in me.

He taught me how to properly pour a Yuengling after a busy summer night, laugh things off instead of getting mad – especially when you get called out in a bad review on Trip Advisor, and properly mop a floor – because I certainly didn’t know how to before working for Will, and that working hard truly does pay off. He taught me the importance of family and finding your people. And there is no one in this world that he loved more than his daughter Helen and wife Sherry.

Almost 12 years ago, Will told me to check out this new crab place and give him my honest opinion. So, as a good employee, I did exactly what Will said. I went, and little did I know I would meet my now husband at that restaurant – I Got Your Crabs. Fast forward, we are now expecting our first child in a few months, and my only wish was that Will could have helped me with this next transition – like he has for every other one.

Will helped me get into nursing school, encouraged me to move off the Outer Banks to pursue my nursing career, and gave me the travel bug and love of a damn good meal and glass of wine. He always knew there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do with a lot of grind, hard work, and a Thorp in my corner.

Even when I was living states away, Will was always a text or phone call away. When I did come back to the Outer Banks, the one thing I always did was go see Will. And the first thing he always did was show me the most recent pictures of Helen. Helen, he truly did cherish you.

Besides family, Will has been my longest and greatest mentor for 16 years. I certainly was not the only one Will mentored; that was just kind of his thing – helping the youth, helping us see our true potential, and being in our corner as we sought it out. I had to pleasure of watching him mentor other new restaurant owners over the years, again, expecting nothing in return. He was never afraid to share his wealth of restaurant knowledge with anyone interested in listening.

Will was an open book – what you see is exactly what you got – a damn good man. He loved his family, friends, community, employees, and everyone else he met. He treated everyone like his own kin.

He regularly donated his time, money, food, and helping hands to the Outer Banks community and never expected anything in return. He was never one to be the center of attention, which is why, for some, his passing came as a shock. He quietly fought his cancer diagnosis all while still working 50-hour work weeks up until just a couple of months before his passing. He was a man of many talents who will be greatly missed by the entire Outer Banks community. My deepest condolences to the entire Thorp and High Cotton families.

During this challenging time, our thoughts are with Sherry and Helen. They will undoubtedly need the support of our tight-knit community. Will would often share cherished photos of Helen, from her infancy to her time working in the restaurant.

You can submit condolences online here, and find more more information.