On the morning of the second day of the new year, we said goodbye to our beloved husband, dad, poppa, and friend.
Bill was born in Winnipeg and spent his formative years living on a beautiful property on the banks of the Winnipeg River near Lac du Bonnet, MB. Idyllic summers were spent swimming, fishing, boating and bike riding. Those summers were recaptured in later years when he brought his family to partake in the beauty and fun, creating many lifelong memories.
Bill was trained as an auto body technician at the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, a career in which he spent many years. Employment opportunities directed him to Brandon, where he worked as an auto body technician and then later opened his own successful business. When it became time for a change, he began working as an estimator at Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation, eventually becoming a supervisor until his retirement.
He was a master of all trades, once commenting that it never occurred to him he couldn’t do whatever he put his mind to doing. Building houses and furniture, carving beautiful birds, building a kayak, and making sushi, are all just a sampling of the talents he possessed.
While Bill was not one to let the grass grow under his feet, he enjoyed several mid-life motorcycle adventures on his beloved BMW with friends, including exploring the Oregon coast and the Rocky Mountains. He also took time every summer to take his family on a camping trip, braving places such as the Yukon and Alaska before the Alaska Highway was paved!
Bill also took great pride in his yard, spending time in the vegetable and flower gardens. He also shoveled the walk and driveway until he was 77 when his health prevented him from continuing.
Bill would give you the shirt off his back, always willing to lend a helping hand. Whether assisting a friend or neighbour with any task big or small or being there for family and friends with medical issues, you could ALWAYS count on Bill.
One of his favourite things was to have a weekly Saturday breakfast and midweek coffee with a group of friends. When Bill could no longer join this special group of friends physically, they brought weekly coffee to him in his garage, aka “the man cave.” Words cannot express how important his friends were to him and how much he looked forward to this weekly gathering.
Bill will be missed. His mischievous smile, the glint in his eyes and his sense of humour will forever be imprinted in the memories of those who knew him.
Bill is survived by his wife Mary Ann, daughters Shelley and Tara (Sheldon), grandsons Cayle and Zachary, and brothers-in-law JJ (Trudy) and Bob. He was predeceased by his parents Paul and Ruby, sister Pauline, parents-in-law Jack and Irene, and son-in-law Alan.
The family would like to thank Dr. Butler, Dr. Bookatz, Dr. Tamayo, and all the other medical and support staff that cared for Bill during his illness, including his doctors, nurses, care aides and other support staff at the Brandon Regional Health Centre, the Assiniboine Centre, and Fairview Personal Care Home, first floor.
Donations in memory of Bill may be made to the Brandon Regional Health Centre Foundation, 150 McTavish Ave East, Brandon, Manitoba R7B 2B3.
The family will cherish Bill’s memory privately.
He didn’t tell us how to live or love; he let us watch him do it.