Bill Petersen

Sep 3, 1932 – Oct 7, 2017
Bill Petersen

Bill was born and raised in Victoria, B.C. where he worked in auto mechanics after graduation. Lighting a fire one day, he straightened out the crumpled newspaper to see an advertisement for a shop teacher in Burns Lake. He accepted a temporary position at Lakes District Secondary School, headed north on dirt roads, and began his teaching career in 1964. Bill quickly realized that he thoroughly enjoyed working with kids and he began to take summer classes in education to get his degree.

An athletic man, Bill was recruited for local sports such as fast pitch and curling. He went on to play in countless ball tournaments and curling bonspiels around the province. A young female fan in the crowd caught his eye and they eventually married in August of 1968. Bill and Bernice welcomed their 4 children (Kim, Stacie, Brent and Lori) while he continued to teach and attend summer school at UBC. It was during these years that he earned the affectionate nickname of “Uncle Bill”.

One of the many accomplishments in his career was building the School Board Office with his shop class in 1970. Bill became the principal of LDSS in 1977, where he remained until becoming the Assistant Superintendent from 1984 until his retirement in 1996. With the addition of his service as a school board trustee, Bill contributed over 40 years to SD 55/91.

Bill was involved in community activities throughout his life. He worked to develop minor league baseball in Burns Lake, which included the building of several local ball diamonds. He became a member of the Rotary Club in the late 1980s, served as President in 1992, was the recipient of the Paul Harris award for outstanding service, was recognized as a honorary member, and continues to have an annual scholarship issued to a deserving LDSS graduate in his name.

Bill loved the family cabin on Tchesinkut Lake. There he enjoyed the endless camp fires, competitive card games, fun on the lake, and playing horseshoes well into the night.

After retirement, Bill and Bernice turned the cabin into their home where he kept busy entertaining grandchildren, snowmobiling and four-wheeling. Bill’s favourite get-away was the hidden camp on Whitesail Lake, which involved many precarious adventures, both by boat and by plane.

Bill passed away peacefully at the Burns Lake hospital, surrounded by family.

He is survived by his wife of almost 50 years, Bernice, his children, grandchildren, and great-grand child.


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