He is survived by his wife Isabel (Huitema), His children Sarah Downes (Tony), Jeremy (Robbie), and Tom (Tamara): His six Grandchildren, Tom, Clancy, Patrick, Benjamin, Naomi and Joshua. His stepchildren, Morgen and Natalie Grigg. He also leaves behind his sister Mary and many many brother and sister in laws (Huitema Clan), nieces and nephews.
After graduating from Ryerson in 1954, he successfully completed his Professional Engineering Degree in 1966.
His many interests included Free Flight Model Airplane in his youth, Basketball (a natural for his 6’6” lanky frame), Tennis, Skiing, and in his retirement a Beekeeper. He also enjoyed spending the day in his bush on his country property, with his Argo and Chainsaw.
His children remember his hearty laugh, in a movie theatre watching “Blazing Saddles” or on a plane reading “Stark”. He had a love of reading (Wilbur Smith), the beaches of Florida and Australia. His favourite giving gift was Roses and Champagne.
The words that describe Bill the best would be “a class act, humble, gentle, generous, patient and brilliant”. He lived life to the fullest and one of his strengths, he was able to connect with all who he had the privilege of meeting.
One of his best friends Dave Carse described him as a “Golfer and a Gentleman”. In his business career he was described as an “easygoing, lanky engineer”.
He has had a long successful and varied career in Management and Engineering. He was President and CEO of Allen-Bradley Canada, Rockwell Canada, Chairman of the Board of Rockwell International of Canada Ltd., and The Gore Mutual Insurance Company of Canada.
He held positions on the Boards of numerous national associations including Chairman of the Board of EEMAC (Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers of Canada) and Director of CMA (Canadian Manufacturers Association) and Chairman of the IMS Canada, and Chairman of the International Secretariat and Steering Committee.
Locally he has served as President of the United Way of Cambridge, and Advisory Boards of REMAT and the Deans Advisory Council of WLU, and a member of the Council of Regents for the Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology.
A thank you to the wonderful staff at RiverGardens in Stratford Ontario who shared so much good conversation with him, and thanks also to the chefs and kitchen staff for the wonderful gourmet meals they always prepared.
Cremation has taken place and a Recognition of his life will be scheduled at a later date.
Messages and Condolences may be left for the family at www.tricitycremations.com or (519) 772-1237. Please visit Bill's obituary notice on Facebook.