William Arthur (Bill)
Sept 18, 1920 – Sept 29, 2006
Bill died peacefully at home on Friday evening, sitting in his favorite chair overlooking the ocean. Â Bill was predeceased by Kay, his wife of 51 years and his seven siblings.Â He is survived by his six sons: Jim (Linda) of Campbell River, Paul (Alvera) of Comox, Gordon (Sue) of Clearwater, Don (Lynne) of Quadra, Jeff (Wendy) of Vancouver and Billy (Barb) of Quadra, eleven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Bill was born in Arcola, Saskatchewan, where he remained until enlisting in the RCAF in 1940. After technical training and remuster to aircrew, he served an operational tour as a wireless air gunner with 408 Sqn.Â While on leave, he met Katherine Dougherty.Â Bill and KayÂ were married before he went overseas, andÂ they remained married until her death in 1994.Â FollowingÂ the war, Bill held several jobs in Ontario before returning to Arcola to open a store with his younger brother.Â A year later the family, now five strong, moved to the west coast, first to Stuart Island, where Bill fished cod, then on to Granite Bay where he worked as a logger.Â When it was time for the children to start school, the family moved east again, returning to Ontario. In 1952 Bill took a job with Trans Canada Air Lines in Winnipeg.Â He transferred to Richmond, BC four years later.Â Another son had been born in Winnipeg, and two more were born in Richmond, completing the family.
In the late 1960s, he and Kay bought a piece of property on Quadra Island, to be used as a summer cabin. Bill was an excellent aircraft engineer, and earned the respect and admiration of the people he worked with.Â To their amazement, in 1969 at the age of 49, he left his secure job and pension to return to Quadra Island with three school age children, moving to their cabin at Hyacinthe Bay.Â During this time, he went to work on the ferry, first as a parking lot attendant, then aboard ship as an oiler.Â It was indicative of his love of a challenge that in his late fifties he enrolled in marine college, graduating as a marine engineer.Â He remained in this position until his retirement.Â During this time, he and Kay had moved to a small house on the beach at Wa-wa-kie on Quadra Island.Â It was to be their last move, and was a place they both loved greatly.Â Bill loved the island life and people, and enjoyed his time there immensely.Â He was a life member of the Royal Canadian Legion, and was active in Quadra’s Branch 154 in a number of capacities until his health forced him to slow down.Â He will be remembered for his irreverent humor, good natured forbearance, and the uncritical acceptance he accorded all those he met.