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Obituary

WILLIAM G. (BILL) BURNS (published on March 01, 2010)



WILLIAM G. (BILL) BURNS 1932 - 2010 My summer romance began with Bill in 1955 at Chateau Lake Louise. It lasted much longer than one summer, ending 53 years and five children later on Friday, February 26 at Riverview Health Centre, when Bill, surrounded by his family, passed away peacefully. Bill is survived by: his wife of 53 years, Dwili (Campbell); daughters, Shannon (Normand Châtel); Lindsay; Sonya (Barry Olson) and son William Sandy'. Also left to mourn are: his brothers, David (Mary-Faye) Burns; John (Jackie) Burns; his grandchildren, Liam and David-Louis Châtel; Erik, Olivia and Georgia Mae Olson. He will be missed by his inherited son', Douglas (Gail) Jackson and their children: Shanlee, Alison (Jake Giesbrecht) and Mark (Karin) Jackson and their children. Bill was predeceased by: his parents, William and Besse (Crowe) Burns of Port Credit, Ontario; his sister, Frances McDowell, and his beloved son, David John Burns. Bill will be fondly remembered by all his nieces and nephews for his fun-loving nature, his string of magic tricks (two) and the numerous outings with the neighbourhood gang'. Although Bill was driving the car, it never occurred to him that he wasn't just one of the kids as they headed off to bowl, rollerskate or do some other activity. In wintertime, he took the kids tobogganing, and never said no to the boys who knocked on the door asking him out to play street hockey. The answer was always yes'. Bill was born in Calgary in 1932. The family moved to Port Credit, Ontario where he completed his education. Bill worked with the Canadian Pacific Hotel system, and it was at Chateau Lake Louise that the summer romance with Dilly began. Bill and Dilly were married in December of 1956. After three years in Toronto, they returned to Winnipeg, where they raised their five children. Bill began a career in real estate with his brother-in-law, Jack McKeag of McKeag Harris Realty. Bill was highly respected in the industry. The tribute paid by his peers at his 2008 retirement party included the comment that he was known as Mr. Ethics or Uncle Bill . The list of the committees on which he served and those that he chaired is long. Bill taught courses for the Winnipeg Real Estate Board. He chaired the majority of the arbitration and hearing panels to help members settle differences and make the profession a better place in which to work. As was his way, Bill mentored, counselled and supported the agents who required an understanding and compassionate hearing. This support extended to agents beyond his own company who called Bill in times of need. An absolute favourite was the chairmanship of the Citizens' Hall of Fame. During the latter years of his career at Royal Lepage Dynamic Real Estate, Bill enjoyed a close partnership with his colleague, Carol Carbert. To his delight, Bill was appointed as a Lay Bencher to the Board of the Law Society of Manitoba in 1997. Here too, he actively engaged in committee work and he contributed valuable knowledge when the committee had to consider real estate transactions. In 2007 Bill was also appointed to act as the Law Society Complaints Commissioner. The highlight of his association with the society was the presentation last Wednesday of an Honourary Life Bencher award. Bill had a passion for curling. As a long-time member of the Granite Curling Club, a big part of his social life revolved around activities on and off the ice. He organized the junior girls curling programme and he was a frequent Master of Ceremony at social events. Bill's dedication to the club earned him yet another lifetime membership in 1994. Bill was well known for his generous and caring nature. Upon his arrival in Winnipeg, he plunged into volunteering in civic affairs. He coached teams, knocked on doors, sat on committees, became president and did whatever job needed to be done in various organizations. Among these were: the St. James Y.M.C.A, Sir John Franklin Community Centre, St. James Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Mental Health Association of Manitoba, the Canadian Club, Creative Retirement Manitoba, the Metro Business Club and the Liberal Party. For years, Bill was a popular choice as a speaker for the United Way fundraising campaign, visiting offices and work sites. Bill Burns loved life. He passed away Friday on a wave of love. The family wishes to thank those at CancerCare Manitoba, and our community health nurse Harriet, for their kind treatment and care of Bill. In particular, we wish to express our deep gratitude to the staff on 3-East at Riverview Health Centre. The outstanding care from housekeeping personnel, aides, nurses and doctors, was significant in making Bill's stay there peaceful and comfortable. They were Bill's Gold Medal Champs! In lieu of flowers, if desired, donations may be made to Westminster Housing Society (14-165 Maryland Street, Winnipeg, MB R3G 1K9), or to the Riverview Health Centre Foundation (1 Morley Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3L 2P4) or to a charity of your choice. A service in memory of Bill will be held at 7:00 p.m., Monday, March 1 at Westminster United Church, corner of Maryland Street and Westminster Avenue.


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