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Obituary

BILL KERNAGHAN (published on September 09, 2011)



BILL KERNAGHAN William Robert Kernaghan passed away September 1, 2011 in Victoria, BC after a very brief hospitalization with cancer at the age of 78. Bill is survived by his four sons Russell (Maria), Murray (Aeleen), Mark (Sheree) and Grant; his second wife Cecile; his six grandchildren; and his sister June Black (Harold) and brother Neill (Joyce). He was predeceased by his parents Isobel and William, and his sister Arlene Friesen. Bill was born on April 6, 1933 in Winnipeg. After leaving school at an early age, he started in the printing department at Eaton's in the early 1950s, and subsequently worked for a number of printing companies. In 1959, he joined the St. James Fire Department and worked as a firefighter for 35 years, apart from a brief period working as the building engineer at the Pan Am pool. After rejoining the fire department in 1979, he was proud to be called the oldest rookie in the department. Through the years, Bill had a wide variety of other jobs. He apprenticed as an electrician with his father-in-law Steve Vance and subsequently started a successful electrical business in the Whiteshell in the 1970s and 1980s. He also worked at Shelmerdine Nursery which fostered a lifelong passion for gardening. Later, Bill worked for Eaton's security for several years. He would often come home and describe how he chased a shoplifter down Portage Avenue. While in his 40s, he took up long-distance cycling and then marathon running and completed the Manitoba Marathon several times in its early years. Running was a passion he shared with his brother and which he passed on to all of his sons. Bill was also a long-time member of the YMHA. Bill served as President of Sturgeon Creek Community Club and went on to serve on the board of the Greater Winnipeg Community Centre Council. After his retirement from the fire department, he enrolled at the University of Manitoba and earned a B.A. degree in Labour Relations. Ever looking for a deal, this achievement qualified him for Toyota's new graduate discount program to the shock of the car salesman. Bill developed a strong bond with the University and has directed that his estate establish the William Robert Kernaghan Scholarship in Labour Studies. Bill also had a passion for antique collecting, particularly gramophones. This led him to travel extensively throughout North America with Cecile and at one point he had over 40 in his collection In 2005, Bill moved to Victoria. He made many new friends and enjoyed life on the island. Never one to slow down, while in Victoria he joined the Commissionaires. He purchased a motorcycle, which he continued to ride regularly until a few months ago. As per Bill's wishes, cremation has taken place and a private service is planned.


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