William Wren Gilgan

William Wren Gilgan

Bill passed away peacefully on Tuesday at The Pines, with his wife Kay at his bedside, one month after his 95th birthday.

He was born in Castor , Alberta, but moved with his family as an infant to homestead on Tchesinkut Lake. One of eleven children, he lived his whole life in the Burns Lake area, with just an absence to serve in the RCAF as a Flying Officer Navigator in WWII, and to complete a degree in Forestry at UBC in the post war years.

Bill’s employment included the forest industry for much of his adult life, and as planning director for the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako until his retirement in 1983. Post-retirement, he ran a trapline until his early 80’s, served as a Marriage Commissioner for several years and remained involved in local politics over four decades. He was the Burns Lake mayor for two stints totaling 23 years, was the first chairman of the RDBN. Bill was the last surviving charter member of the Burns Lake Rotary club, remaining active from the formation of the club in 1953 until his health began to decline when he reached his 90’s. He was always active in the community, contributing his time and skills to many organizations. He was an avid outdoorsman, life member of the Rod and Gun club, and an accomplished hunter and fisher, as well as his trapline.

Bill was predeceased by parents John and Margaret, brothers Warcup and Tom, sisters Sadie Olson and Margaret Gair, and brothers-in-law Ken Olson, Louis Gair, George Axen, Sam Shaffer and Stewart Forsyth. He is survived by: wife Kathleen (Kay); brothers Patrick (Fluella) and Michael (Norma); sisters Janet Shaffer, Mary Axen, Ruby Forsyth, and Rosalie Hardie; sons Gordon (Corliss), Daniel (Sylvia), Robert (Des), Michael (Judy), and Maxwell (Laurie); daughter Elizabeth Stewart (Cliff Finch), adopted daughter Terry Morris; stepsons Gene (Linda) Nickel, Arthur (Sandy) Nickel, Joe (Denise) Nickel, and Richard (Elizabeth) Nickel; stepdaughter Deborah Kawabata (Hidetaro); and many grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

A service is planned at the Island Gospel Fellowship Hall for Saturday, August 18th at 1 PM. Interment to follow at the Burns Lake Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to The Pines in Bill’s memory.


Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.