April 2, 1943 – August 17, 2019
Our beloved husband and father passed away in the hospice ward at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Courtenay, B.C. after a brief but valiant battle with cancer.
Bill was born and raised in Courtenay but spent his adult life in northern BC, teaching high school in Prince George – where he met wife Jacqui – and Prince Rupert, then working as a reporter at the Prince George Citizen.
In 1975 they bought a small weekly newspaper in Burns Lake. The plan was to run it for five years and move on. Instead, Bill and Jacqui remained in the Lakes District for 42 years, raising six children and assorted dogs.
One of Bill’s proudest achievements was the rescue, relocation, and repurposing of the old Provincial Police Building as the Lakes District News office. A member of the Heritage Advisory Committee, he worked to save St. John’s Anglican Church, among others.
For many years, “Mr. Bill” taught Adult Basic Education at the College of New Caledonia. He inaugurated the Polar Bear Swim, and hosted the early Terry Fox Runs at their home on Tchesinkut Lake. The Graham clan eventually moved to “The Big Green House on Ninth” where they lived for 25 years.
A love of adventure led Bill to hitchhike around the world in his ’20s. This was the first of many forays abroad, including exploring New Zealand, Great Britain, and Europe with Jacqui and their six young children!
Bill was a man of quiet and constant faith in God, which evidenced itself in the way he lived and treated others. God’s Word was his infallible guide, and as a member of the Gideons he presented many Fifth Grade students with a little red New Testament!
Bill and Jacqui retired to the Comox Valley to be closer to their big family. It was a happy move for Bill, who enjoyed swimming and tubing in the Puntledge River, golfing, driving his classic Corvettes, and teaching creative writing through Elder College. Still, he missed the Lakes District and often returned to visit old friends and haunts.
He leaves behind Jacqui, his wife of 47 years; children Sarah (John), Jamie (Jennica), Will (Katie), David (Melissa), Ian, and Ellen; and eight beloved grandkids. He is survived by his brother, Dick Graham.
Please join us at Bill’s Celebration of Life on Sunday, September 22 at 2 pm at Island Gospel Fellowship Church in Burns Lake. In lieu of cards or flowers, please consider a donation in his name to Cystic Fibrosis Canada to help find a cure for his 8-year old granddaughter.
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