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Bill Cools

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Bill Cools

June 26, 1938 - June 16, 2020

Obituary

A Life Well Lived By A Man Well Loved!

Bill passed away peacefully with family by his side. He will be deeply missed by his wife, the love of his life, Winnie together for over 60 yrs. His children Bob (Chris), Will (Ramona), Cath (Roy) and Sandra. His grandchildren Adrian (Natasha), Tony (Ashley), Jeremiah (Marsha), Josh (Allie), Tammy (Trevor) and Patrick and great grandchildren Kaia, Lylah-Rose, Sophie, Zoey and Henry, as well as step-grandchildren Nick, Mike (Chelsea), Rider, Lacey, Paige and Jono, step-great grandchildren, David, Destiny, Dawson, Cooper, Faye, Raina and Elira, his siblings and their spouses and many nieces and nephews, as well as his friends. Bill was predeceased by son-in-law Andy, grandson Alan and great grandson Adam.

Bill started life in Holland and immigrated to Canada in 1953 with his parents and 8 siblings. He met his wife Winnie at a dance hall in Calgary and they have been dancing beautifully in life for over 60 years. They welcomed 4 children early in their marriage, moving them from Calgary to the Cowichan Valley, where they raised them on a farm in Shawnigan Lake. Those children welcomed 7 children of their own and great grandchildren number 5 with 9 more their children claim as grandchildren.

Bill worked their almost 200 acres farm, 1st dairy farming and then switched to hog farming, while raising beef cattle and sheep. He also ran a construction company, 1st with his dad and with his brother-in-law Les and then later with his two sons Bob and Will. Bill retired in his mid-fifties.

Bill loved people and was community oriented, which he served in many capacities. As a young man he was a Cub Master and Scout Master with the Boy Scouts of Canada. He was a past President with the Chamber of Commerce, past Charter and Grand Knight with the Knights of Columbus, past President with Rotary Club in Duncan and past President and Charter Member of Rotary Club in Mill Bay. He was also past Charter President of the Cowichan Valley Home Builders’ Association. Bill also loved debating and politics. He was elected twice to the Cowichan Valley Regional District as an Area Director. He served on many committees during these terms, mostly in the capacities of Chairman, Vice Chairman or Director.

Bill was an adventurer. He loved to travel and explore. Bill had a sailboat for a short while, which he taught himself how to sail. He also took to the skies and obtained his pilot’s licence. After retirement Bill and Winnie spent 10 years living in their 5th wheel. They would summer in local provincial parks acting as the park’s hosts and then winter in a park in Yuma, AZ. Many of the parks were blessed with his presence, his radiant smile and his gift of the gab.

Lifelong learning was important to Bill. While farming he learned how to be a bee-keeper and even captured a wild swarm that was looking for a new hive. He took many computer courses at Malaspina College to keep his brain fresh. When he was in his early 70’s he began learning how to play the accordian, with weekly lessons and daily practice.

Bill was deeply committed to his faith and the Catholic church, in which he attended weekly services his whole life. He married in the church, raised his family in the church and served in the church. When he was unable to attend mass due to his declining health he began to watch the daily mass on TV.

Bill’s health began to change 3 years ago as he embarked on his journey with ALS. Bill was thankful that he never lost the use or the function of his arms and legs, his hands and feet, as he was a woodworker and also enjoyed daily walks with Winnie on his arm. Bill had blessed many people with his woodworking hobby. He has made many different kinds of wood creations with his scroll saw. Wall plaques, stand alone structures, as well as furniture. All his creations are beautiful and are treasured and proudly displayed by those who were blessed with them.

Bill was a good and loving husband who cared deeply for his wife. Winnie had some major health concerns over the last 20 years and Bill was with her every step of the way. He was her support, her rock, her cheerleader and her caregiver at home. He cared for her well. He even made her coffee before she got up in the morning, until the week before he passed.

Bill was a warrior and a hero during his battle with ALS. He was positive and upbeat even when he could no longer speak. A ‘thumbs up’ was always included in every phone conversation with his family and friends. He never complained even with the pain he was in. He was a proactive person and began working right away after diagnosis on how to best prepare their home for when he would no longer be able to do any work and for when he was gone. He wanted to make sure Winnie could manage the home and garden easily.

Bill’s family stepped up as needed during the last 6 months of his illness, doing whatever needed to be done. Ramps built, driving services to doctors appointments and hospitals, prescription runs, grocery and personal shopping due to COVID, day and overnight support and important visits to keep connected. A true testament to Bill, the patriarch of his family. Bill was extremely proud of each and every member of his family.

Bill lost his battle to ALS on June 16th leaving his earthy body to be with Jesus. His family gathered together in his hospital room the day before and had a rich time reflecting on and in the love of their family. Bill is on a new adventure now….no longer time bound, earth bound or trapped in a failing body. He is free.

The family would like to express their deepest and sincerest thanks to the amazing staff at the ALS Clinic in Vancouver for all their support over the last 2 ½ years. We would also like to thank the ALS Society for all the equipment that was loaned to us to enable a better quality of life for Bill. We would like to thank the doctors and nurses at the Cowichan District Hospital who cared for Bill his last few days. Thank you so much!

Due to COVID19 and social gathering restrictions we will be having a private service and will plan a ‘Celebration of Bill’s Life’ when it is safe to do so.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honour of Bill’s memory to ALS Research Canada at www.als.ca/research/als-canada-research-program/

 

 

 

Condolences

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From: H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

H.W. Wallace Cremation and Burial Centre Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Mary and Gerry Hof
Relation: church friend

To Winnie, and family
Our deepest condolence to you all, I had such high regards for Bill. He always smiled even when things were so tough. May he rest in peace, hugs to you Winnie,

From: Dave Paras
Relation: As indicated above,I Knew Bill through my past work.

While the family may not know who I am,I knew Bill when I worked at the CVRD.Bill was the Regional Director for Area “B” Shawnigan Lake for a couple of terms, and him and I had many interactions.While we may have not agreed on every aspect of the current and future bylaws being brought forth, I always respected his opinions and we generally got along well.
Please pass along my deepest condolences to the entire family, as I as well lost my dear wife last year as a result of ALS. Having witnessed first hand the devastating effects of this terrible disease, my heart goes out to all your family.For the past 2 years I have actively participated in the “Walk to end ALS”and have raised and donated money to aid research and patient care.

From: Murray Chantler & Christina Brown
Relation: Through the ALS Support Group

Dear Winnie, please accept our sincere condolences for the loss of your dearest Bill. May the passage of time heal your heart and may your loving memories of Bill comfort your soul. We feel blessed to have met you both at the ALS Support Group meetings; Bill’s positive attitude and genuine warmth was always a radiant light for those in attendance. Bill’s determination and perseverance in the face of this terrible disease was, and is still, an inspiration for all of us. Our thoughts are with you, Winnie and we send you our love and best wishes.
Many virtual hugs,
Murray & Christina

Service Schedule

Private service arrangements have been made.

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