William George (Bill) BLAKE

William George (Bill) was born kicking and screaming at VGH on April 3, 1925.

He survived the U-boats while serving with the navy in WWII but was finally torpedoed by kidney cancer on December 21, 2004.

Bill is survived by Dean, his high school sweetheart and loving wife of 58 years, and three wonderful children: Ginny (Hugh) Munro, Steve (Liz), and Wendy (Dan) Allan.

He doted on his four grandchildren: Tricia, Kyla, Paul and Tara whom he continued to give advice from his hospital bed. Bill was never free from the mother-in-law so is also survived by Ethel Smithers.

As students at Britannia Secondary, Bill and Dean had a special friendship with Tom and Marge Bradley, which remains to this day. Tom and Marge spent many hours with us as we laughed and partied in Dad’s palliative care room. Bill was an exceptional person with many talents. Bill tooted his own horn as a member of the Salvation Army, Kitsilano Boys’, and RCMP bands. He was a true competitor and had the leather balls to play rugby and football for Britannia and rugby for South Burnaby, ExBrits, VRC and UBC. Bill won the Big Block twice and the Howie McPhee trophy for good sportsmanship.

Bill’s service in the RCMP was interrupted by his need to serve the country in the Navy aboard the HMCS New Glasgow, escorting convoys across the North Atlantic. After the war Bill returned to Vancouver and took the advice of his PE teacher, Gordie Allen, to go to UBC to earn a B.Ed. Bill spent his career with the Vancouver School Board, first teaching at Tecumseh Elementary in 1951. The next 10 years were at Kitsilano Secondary teaching mathematics. In 1961 Bill became a vice-principal at Van Tech, later moving to Lord Byng.

Bill was Principal of King George Secondary for four years before being promoted to Director of Instruction and later Assistant Superintendent. Retirement saw Bill continue his hobbies of cavring, woodturning, travelling, curling, and golf. Bill kept a poster of London quoting, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”

Bill and Dean tired of neither taking many trips to England and other places. He kept his sense of humour and good spirits right to the end, becoming one of the first to almost get kicked out of palliative care for having too much fun. Everyone who knew Bill will miss him and we hope you help us celebrate his life at Trinity Memorial United Church, 33737 George Ferguson Way, Abbotsford, BC at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, December 29.

In lieu of flowers, donations could be made to the Salvation Army. Dad asks us to support this group because of the help they provided him when he was a child.

Special thanks to all the staff at MSA Hospital who treated Dad with such respect and kept him comfortable.