Bill (William Russell) MacDonald
December 12, 1923 ~ September 15, 2014
Born in Piapot, Saskatchewan on December 12, 1923, Bill moved to Creston when he was 7 years old. His father passed away shortly thereafter and Bill was fortunate to find a steadfast friend and mentor in Mr. Bill Foot. He moved with his family to Salmo when he was 14 and lived there until he entered the Canadian Armed Forces where he served in both the U.K. and Continental Europe. Upon his return he went to Vancouver and trained to be a mechanic which eventually led to a long career with the Department of Highways.
In 1948 Bill married Alice Lovestrom and they began a life that would be lived truly together. Partners in everything from square dancing to round dancing, fishing to gardening, hunting to parenting, they built and provided a home and a childhood for their children that would be the envy of most.
Summers were spent camping with family at Sanca, Sandpoint and at the end of pretty much every backwoods logging road in the Kootenays. Many bandaids were applied, tears soothed, fights refereed and fish caught. “Hang on, kids” could be heard from the cab of the truck as it bounded over washed-out gravel roads, Neil and Jan in the back bouncing around on lawn chairs, half-giddy with glee tinged with a bit of terror.
An avid hunter, Bill passed those skills down to his sons. He loved providing for his family with his own two hands. From meals built from the bounty he produced and that he and Alice butchered, packaged, canned and froze, to the tree swing built especially for Brian, Bill worked hard to give his family everything they needed. A huge garden full of vegetables and fruit trees was his after-work job, but it was some of the work he found most gratifying. He thought it really something to grow his own food and was hugely successful at it.
Bill loved music and spent many happy years traveling to fiddle contests with Alice and their son Neil. Music is in the MacDonald blood and he loved listening to his kids, his cousins and his close friend Cal Beebe play and sing. If there was music, Bill was happy. After any particularly good shindig, Bill would be likely to smile and say “Well, that was just marvelous.”
Life-lessons were taught by fine example and gentle discipline with Bill always being a touchstone to keep us grounded.
Having his only grandchild, Carrie, move here with her husband and his great-grandson and namesake, Russell, brought Bill much joy. He loved every moment he was able to spend with them and marveled at the miracle that is a constantly growing and changing toddler.
On Monday, September 15, Bill had a good day. 90 years old and 10 days shy of his and Alice’s 66th wedding anniversary, he went for his walk around the block, had his favorite meal for lunch and sat in the yard with Alice, enjoying the sunshine. Such a beautiful, warm, sunny day. He then sat down in his comfy chair in the home he built for his family and went to sleep, his normal afternoon nap. He didn’t wake up.
Godspeed, Dad. You were the best man we have ever known and we will miss you forever.
As per Bill’s wishes, there will be no service.
Those wishing to make a memorial contribution may do so to the CNIB, 1929 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON, M4G 3E8, or to any charity of their choice.