Obituary of Bill Bowman
William (Bill) Bowman passed away on July 20, 2023 in his 82nd year. A few lines in an obituary seems such an inadequate way of describing his life and what he meant to so many.
Bill became a firefighter at an early age and served his community selflessly, rising to the position of Fire Chief of the Haileybury Fire Department before eventually joining the Office of the Fire Marshall. His work as a firefighter meant dealing regularly with tragedy and loss and he did so with professionalism and compassion. Although he would never say it, he was quietly proud to be one of the many who fought to save the citizens of the Town of Cobalt from the disastrous fire of 1977.
He loved his job and he excelled at it, garnering the respect of firefighters from one end of Ontario to the other - many of whom became lifelong friends.
After his retirement Bill continued to give to his community, volunteering wherever and whenever he was needed. Whether it was driving for the Red Cross, setting up tables at the Legion, running the yearly Legion Poppy Drive, or chauffeuring competitive curlers around North Bay, he would show up on time, with a big smile and an open heart.
Perhaps above all, Bill was a family man. He was a loving and dedicated husband to his wife Pat and was affected deeply by her death in 2018. He was a proud father to Laurie, Kim, Patti and John and took great pleasure in watching them develop into the fine and caring people they are today. He also had a soft spot for their partners and was pleased that each of his children had found someone to love and trust. He loved and was loved by his grandchildren Matthew, Alison, Mitchell, Shane, Becca, Tyler, Jordahnn, Eric, Adam, Christopher and Jami and by his 11 great-grandchildren.
Bill was predeceased by his wife Pat, his father John (Jack) Bowman, his mother Margaret Rolph, his step-father Frank Rolph and his sister Anne. He will be sadly missed by his sisters Margie and Linda and his brother Bob, along with many nieces and nephews and the countless friends he made over the course of his life.
Bill was an active man who looked forward to getting in his 10,000 steps a day. In his younger years he took up running for a time and was honoured to carry the Olympic Torch on its trek across Canada in 1988.
Bill was also a social guy and although he enjoyed baseball, curling, golf, horseshoes, darts, cards and many other activities, he was all about being with others – sharing a story, a laugh or a tear.
Bill was given the opportunity to spend his last days with his family. It is time for which they will be forever grateful. We are all so much better for having known him. Bill’s memory will live on through the love and memories he shared with those who knew him best.
A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at the Callander Legion Branch 445 on August 3, 2023 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.
If desired, donations to the Callander Legion Branch, 445 would be greatly appreciated.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bill Bowman, please visit Tribute Store