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William John McKenzie

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William John McKenzie

June 13, 1920 - January 30, 2018


Bill passed away peacefully in Powell River, BC on January 30, 2018. As the saying goes, “He who laughs – lasts!” and Bill, who always enjoyed a good joke, was still making some quick one-liners into his 97th year.

He is survived by his children: Chris, Mike, Kelly and Brent; grandchildren: Megan, D’Arcy, Chad, Michael, Diane, Karen, Liam, Ryan, Kyra, Jennifer, Leiah, Kyla, Erin; fourteen great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. He was predeceased by his wife of 74 years, Helen; daughters Patricia and Willa, and grandson Tommy.

Born on a farm near Whitewood, Saskatchewan in 1920, he spent most of his childhood in Spiritwood, where he married his sweetheart, Helen. Stories of opportunities drew him west in 1940 and the Bennet Company was quick to nab the strong young fellow to work on building the hospital in Powell River. Helen followed with their first born, Pat, the next spring. After the hospital was completed, he went to work in the sawmill, then managed crews building pilot enclosures for fighter planes for Boeing. He was an operator at No. 1 steam plant for Mac and Blo until his retirement in 1985, then concentrated on his business as a residential electrician.

Numerous Powell River youngsters benefitted from his efforts to develop the Minor Hockey Association and several generations flourished under his coaching. Loving the game, he put his skills to good use coaching and playing with the Rodmay and Gentlemen Old Timers for many years. His lifelong passion for flying led him at the age of 67 to get his pilot’s license, purchase a wartime training plane and enjoy the freedom of the skies in the coastal area.

Family, friends and acquaintances all admired his strong work ethic, his honesty and integrity and the enjoyment he took from many simple pleasures. His gentle manner and engaging smile are warm memories for all of us and he will be remembered as a wonderful, caring person, especially within the family.

Special thanks from the family to Sylvie Paquette for all the compassionate support she provided to both Bill and Helen over their later years. The family also thanks the staff at Willingdon Creek Residence, especially those in House Six and the activities staff, and Dr. Skobkareva for providing wonderful care and comfort to Bill during his time there.

A private family celebration will be held at a later date. Donations in his memory would be lovely, to the Alzheimer Society or your favorite charity.

If preferred, cards may be sent to:

McKenzie Family, #14 – 2006 Sierra Drive, Campbell River, BC, V9H 1V6


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From: Stubberfield Funeral Home

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Private service arrangements have been made.

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