William (Bill) Sheppard, 77, a former teacher in his home town, Toronto, and one of the founding members of the B.C. Branch of the Retired Teachers of Ontario (RTO) passed away March 1, 2011,at The Royal Jubilee Hospital, from complications, following emergency open heart surgery.

Bill Sheppard will be forever remembered as a loving and devoted husband, brother, father and grandfather. The memory of his love and loving example will continue to be celebrated by his loving wife Donna, his beloved Sister and best friend Betty Sheppard, and by Donna’s children and grandchildren, little 3 year old Matthew and 3 year old Addison who loved playing with ‘Papa Bill’.

Bill’s family in the Toronto area includes his sister Gloria; his daughter Patti and sons Paul and John. His children remember him as a committed, attentive Father who was a great coach and a lot of fun at their family cottage on the lake where every possible weekend throughout the year was spent playing games and entertaining guests. Matthew and Amanda, Bill’s grandchildren in Toronto, had a special bond with their grandfather and will miss his encouraging calls and emails.

Bill Sheppard moved from Toronto to Sooke in 1988. With his infectious enthusiasm, big smile and big heart, and with his wife Beverley almost always by his side, Bill busied himself with volunteer work. The Sooke Power Squadron and Search and Rescue Unit, and the Sooke Fine Arts annual show were three of several organizations that benefitted from years of Bill’s spare time and hard work.

One of Bill’s great joys in life was singing and he rarely missed a Sunday raising his voice to praise God as part of the choir at the Knox Presbyterian Church. The congregation could always count on Bill for his help and support, be it as a handyman or member of several church committees over the years.

Bill suspended his volunteering duties for a time to devote his energy to nursing his late wife Beverley, (referred to following her passing as his angel) throughout her lengthy struggle with cancer. About two years ago, Bill returned to serving the community he loved, first as a driver for meals on wheels. He derived a huge measure of joy delivering his extra-special brand of cheer at each stop. More recently Bill took on the task of helping his church on the board of the Knox Sooke Community Vision Society. He was excited and was looking forward to helping the society fulfil its goal of providing its congregation and Sooke with a cluster care housing facility that planned a new Church surrounded by Independent and assisted living suites plus a medical clinic.

Bill was a rich man in the best sense of the word. He lived his entire life centered in the firm and unwavering belief that to love and be loved is the best and most valuable currency anyone on this earth can own and distribute. He often said ‘that’s what God is . . . love’. Of this he was certain.

“A Luminous Light remains where a beautiful soul has passed” Antoine Boveue

Bill’s family invites you to join us in celebrating Bill’s life, and his love of life with us on, March 12th, 2p.m. at the Knox Presbyterian Church on Church Street in Sooke. Reception to follow in the Church’s reception hall downstairs.

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