On October 11, 2013, Bill passed away at VJH due to heart-related ailments, with his family at his side. He was 89. This day also marked his 44th anniversary with his second wife Frances (nee Peet). He was predeceased by his first wife Nancy in 1969. He is survived by Frances, his children Gloria (Bill), Bob (Lynn), Gary (Debbie), Gord (Mary); his grandchildren Nick (Krystyna), Kristina (Dave), Kathryn (Eric), Dave (Kelly), Chris (Lynette), Aidan and Lucas ; and four great grandchildren, Charlie, Emilie, Eddie and Benjamin. He is also survived by his sister Mary Starchuk, step-brother Mike Rogers (Marg), and many other extended family and friends.

Bill was born on August 2, 1924 in Three Hills Alberta. His challenging years as a coal miner’s son during the depression years in Drumheller provided him with the strength and fibre that saw him through his later years. As a teenager, Bill “mis-stated” his age so that he could help with the war effort. He joined the RCN in 1942 and saw action as a stoker in the East Atlantic during WW2. After his discharge in 1945, Bill re-enrolled as a Fire Fighter in the RCAF. His tours included many bases across Canada and in Germany until he retired as a Warrant Officer/Fire Chief after 27 years of military service. He built his retirement home in Vernon, where he subsequently enjoyed his passions – tending his vegetable garden with his wife, winning at Pai Gow Poker, and playing dice and cards with family and friends. He also enjoyed the time spent playing bridge with his new friends at Canterbury Court.

Bill had a great sense of humour and could readily see the humorous side of a situation and respond with an appropriate comment. He put his family first and passed on to his children many of the lessons that he had personally experienced in life. He was a good husband, father and grandpa, and will be sorely missed by those he left behind.

The family would like to thank Dr Deetlefs and his medical staff, as well as the compassionate nurses and staff at VJH who cared for him during his final days. By request, there will be no service other than a private graveside gathering for immediate family. As he embarks on his new journey through uncharted waters, we bid him “Fair Winds and Following Seas!”

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