It is with sadness that the family of William Russell Waldie announces his passing Friday December 23, 2016 at Hogarth Riverview Manor.
Born May 26, 1919 in Roblin Manitoba, he spent his early years on the Waldie farm near Holmfield, Manitoba. With the outbreak of WW2, he joined the RCAF and was overseas for 2 years between 1942 and 1944 serving as a navigator, flying sorties both in Britain, Ireland and Burma. He married his wife Hazel August 2, 1942 and after the war they settled in Atikokan ON where they raised their 3 children. Dad was an active member of the community involved in the United Church, Kiwanis, the Legion and developing the Atikokan Ski Hill. He loved skiing and flying having co-owed a small airplane. He worked for North American Lumber, Investors Group and was manager of the Atikokan Airport before he and Hazel retired to Comox BC. They enjoyed the warmer climate and making new friends. Russ was active in the church and enjoyed singing in the choir. He both downhill and cross-country skied at Mount Washington well into his eighties.
His real passion in life was his music. From his teen years when he learned to play the piano, he was involved in playing for dances, in Manitoba, in Atikokan and in Comox/Courtenay. He also played the trumpet and was called upon to play Taps at Remembrance Day services both in Atikokan and in BC. Even into his later years he continued to play at seniors’ homes with his other band members. Because of increasing dementia, he moved to Thunder Bay in 2012 to an apartment at Chartwell Select. He entertained other residents there playing the baby grand piano in the dining room. Others would join him around the piano and sing well- loved songs of the past. After moving to Hogarth Riverview Manor in March 2016, he continued to play the piano. Unfortunately after a broken hip Dec. 2016, and a stroke in May, his life took a downward turn. Unable to play at the piano very well, he still enjoyed singing along as best he could to songs from his song book
Survived by his three children Brent (Kathryn) of Surrey BC, Douglas of Atikokan (Nym Lake) and Adele (Robin) Crowley of Thunder Bay; six grandchildren Cameron of Shirley BC, Amanda (Ryan) of Toronto ON, Megan(Brad) of Caledonia NS, Sean of Vancouver BC, James of Toronto and Brent of Kingston and 4 great grandchildren. Also surviving are his sister-in-law Ellen of Winnipeg, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his wife Hazel in 1998, a sister Janet in infancy, his three brothers Dave, Bob and Murray and sisters-in-law Madelaine and Dorothy.
Special thanks to the staff at Chartwell, St. Joseph’s and Hogarth Riverview Manor for their loving care of Russ. A very special thank you to Veronica of Freedom Recreation for the many hours she spent with Russ, singing, playing the ukulele, helping to enhance his quality of life over the past year.
Cremation has taken place and interment of his ashes will take place in Manitoba at a later date. Should friends desire, donations to Alzheimer’s Society would be appreciated. Arrangements have been entrusted to Simpler Times Cremation Centre, 332 North May Street, Thunder Bay.
His music has stopped but the memory of it will live on in many hearts.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de William Waldie.source
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