In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


William Henry (Bill) Evans


Lieutenant-Commander, RCN


Born: 13 Aug 1932, Winnipeg, Manitoba


Died: 27 Aug 2020


EVANS, William Henry (Bill) - Bill was born in Winnipeg on August 13th 1932 to Helen and Harry Evans, the oldest of 3 brothers. While his father was away serving in the 2nd world war, Bill took the Big Brother responsibilities while his mother worked. He excelled scholastically and athletically and after graduation from Daniel MacIntyre Collegiate, he headed to Royal Roads University where he started his military career. He and his classmates started what would turn out to be friends of a lifetime. They studied together, socialed together, performed musicals together, and even married together. Bill and several classmates participated in a British/Canadian exchange, where they finished their formal schooling at Greenwich College in England. While there, Bill and 2 classmates all married their sweethearts, standing up for each other in what were very intimate celebrations of Marriage. September 15, 1954 Bill married Janet (Farquhar) at St Mary the Boltons in London England.


Bill and Janet returned to Canada in ’55 to live in Halifax NS where they welcomed the birth of Michael in ’56 and Brian in ’58, completing a Communication Specialist Course in Cornwallis NS. The next assignment saw the small family journey to Virginia on loan to the US Navy for 2 years serving on the VALLEY FORGE and then back to Halifax where Bill retired in 1963 from Naval Service as Lieutenant Commander. Throughout his tenure with the Canadian Navy he held posts on HMCS BEACON HILL, ONTARIO, MAGNIFICENT, HURON, CORNWALLIS and NIAGARA.


His roots called him back to Winnipeg in ’63, where he took on several corporate executive positions with Eaton’s. The family welcomed the birth of Tim in ’64 and Heather in ’67. He was an active member of the Eaton Curling Club, the Niakwa Golf Club and the Winnipeg Squash Club. There will be many medical practitioners who marvelled at his courage and perseverance in regaining feeding and speech following a near-fatal car accident in ‘66


The opportunity to relocate to Toronto in ’71, saw the family settle in Etobicoke where they became an integral part of St George’s Golf & Country Club, both in golf & curling, and in several musical productions which Bill directed, including Pajama Game and Guys & Dolls. He was well-known for the intricate Car Rallies he planned & mapped, up to as recently as 2019.


Bill moved over to Hudson’s Bay Company in ’74. In ’85 Bill took on the Presidency of the Hudsons Bay New York Fur division and commuted from Toronto to New Jersey for 4 years. Retiring in 1990, Bill was coerced to the other side of the table and served as Marketing Director for American Mink Council & North American Fur Association, negotiating with HBC on behalf of the fur farmers.


Vancouver Island always had a special place in Bill’s heart and as a result, Bill & Janet moved to Nanoose Bay in 1998, where Bill continued his tenure with AMC/NAFA for several more years, finally handing over the reins in 2012.


Not to slow down, Bill took on the Presidency of the local Strata, key roles with the local Probus, all the while revelling in the achievements of his children & grandchildren. A fierce competitor, there was always a game of cards or dominos or a friendly banter about sports or politics at hand. Growing up a choir boy in the Anglican Church, retirement gave him the opportunity to give to St Mary Nanoose Bay Church in many capacities. His effective leadership in his community and his church has earned him the praise and gratitude of all who knew him.


Bill loved flowers, live theatre & musicals, sports, books and being a leader. Bill faced many years of serious medical challenges, against which he fought the good fight until his last battle which was not winnable. Through it all he was always positive and tenacious. Despite his speech difficulties, Bill was a leader, a prolific storyteller and a take-charge guy in any setting.


Bill was predeceased by his brother, Murray, his parents Helen and Harry. He is survived by his wife, Janet, sons Michael (Mary Jane), Brian, Tim (Christine) and daughter Heather and the 4 grandchildren he adored, Alyssa, Chad, Matthew and Stephanie. Brother Gary (Evelyn) and their 4 children and Sister-in-law Emily all reside in Winnipeg. Brother-in-Law Laddy (Karen) and their 2 children reside in Halifax.


The family will hold a private service. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Bill can be forwarded to St Mary Nanoose Bay, 2600 Powder Pt Rd, Nanoose Bay, BC V9P9E8


Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Uncle, Grandfather, Co-worker and Friend. The memory of a good person is a blessing to all who knew him. (Saltwire Network 05 Sep 2020)


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