July 10, 1927 – November 9, 2021
Bill was born in Oak Point, Manitoba, on July 10, 1927 to parents, Walter and Hazel (nee Clegg.) Bill lived in Oak Point until the age of 9 when his family moved to Abbotsford, BC. He attended Phillip Sheffield and Matsqui Village schools. The family eventually settled on a small farm on Jackson Road, in Abbotsford, where they grew strawberries. It was there that Bill met his future wife, Lucille, when she came to pick berries on the farm.
On August 14, 1948, Bill and Lucille were married at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Abbotsford. In 1951, they moved to a farm on Ross Road (which is now Pepin Brook Estates) and lived and worked there until 1963 when they moved with their 5 children to a small farm on Fraser Highway. They continued to live there until 2014 when Lucille entered Tabor Home Extended Care due to ill health. Bill sold their farm in September, 2016 and moved into independent living at Tabor Manor so he could be close to Lucille. Bill continued to live at Tabor Manor after Lucille passed away in 2017.
Bill worked in a variety of jobs including logging and truck driving in his younger years. Later,he went to work at Clayburn Brick Plant at both Abbotsford and Kilgard—a job he held for 30 years. After leaving Clayburn, he went to work for Sumas First Nation assisting them in operating their brick plant.
He thoroughly enjoyed his time working there and the many friendships that he made.While there, he laid the brick for their new band hall. Bill was interested in many things and was never afraid to take on challenges such as building a new house on their Fraser Highway property, repairing anything mechanical, and fabricating tractor parts for whatever farming endeavour he was pursuing at the time. He truly was a man of many talents.
Bill was also a farmer at heart. Whether it was at the farm on Ross Road or later on Fraser Highway, every spring he would grow some crop or other, including strawberries, raspberries, pole beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes. His children became convinced that his interest in farming was simply a ploy to keep them busy and out of trouble.
Bill’s recreational interests included golfing, hunting, and fishing. He particularly liked hunting and fishing in the interior with his brothers Ben and Dennis, and locally with his old friend, Ray Silver.
He and Lucille treasured their many RV trips throughout BC, the Prairies, the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Alaska. They also enjoyed spending time at Harrison Hot Springs where they owned a lot in a holiday park. He especially found pleasure in spending time with family and friends.
When grandchildren came along he was always interested in their activities whether it was sports, school or whatever they were doing at the time. In the past few years he cherished any opportunities he had to spend time with his great-grandchildren.
Bill was predeceased by Lucille, his wife of 68 years; his grandson Jari Brigden; brother Lawrence Brigden; brothers and sisters-in-law Ben and Carol Brigden, Spencer and Sally Brigden; and brothers-in-law Albert Campbell and Bob Baker.
Bill is survived by his children: Stuart (Susan), Abbotsford; Denise Spicer (Craig), Merritt; Brian, Victoria; Murray (Nadia), Abbotsford; and Graham (Helene), Keremeos. Bill is also survived by his grandchildren: Jordan (Kaelan), Matthew (Molly), Jason, Wende (Jason), Alina (Chris), Felicia (Tyler), and Genina. In addition there are 17 great-grandchildren, with his first great-great-grandchild due later in November.
Additional surviving family members include: brothers Dennis Brigden, Kelowna; Roy (Emily) Hayes, Abbotsford; sister in-law Dorothy Brigden, Summerland; sisters Irene Campbell, Abbotsford, Beth Baker, Sooke, Rosemary (Jim) Vegso, Innisfail, AB, Marilynne (Alan) Cunningham, Salt Spring Island, and Angela (Randy) Carr, Salt Spring Island. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and friends.
Bill was a quiet, intelligent, unassuming man who made friends easily, and was respected by many. He met many challenges in life with both acceptance and the determination to overcome. He has left his family with a legacy to be proud of. We will all miss him.
A Celebration of Life for Bill will be held in the spring of 2022. Date to be announced.
The family would like to thank Dr.William Chan, dad’s long-time family doctor. A special thank you to Edna Silver for her friendship and the many haircuts she gave him. Thanks also to the residents and staff of Tabor Manor for their kindness and friendship to him. We also extend our sincere appreciation to the doctors and nurses in the emergency department at Abbotsford Regional Hospital for their exceptional care and concern for dad in his final days.
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