Mr. William (Billy) Wilkie passed away peacefully but unexpectedly with family by his side on Thursday, May 10, 2018 after a brief illness in the Thunder Bay Regional Hospital Hogarth Riverview Manor Transitional Care Unit.
Born in Fort William on July 8, 1924, he married Katy Fitkowski on September 14, 1946 and they shared 64 ½ years together until her passing in 2011. As a teenager, he worked on Lakers shipping coal to Brit, Ontario and Chicago, Illinois. He also worked at MacDonald Douglas Aircraft plant in Malton, Ontario.
As a World War II soldier, he trained in Winnipeg and Shilo Manitoba with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. He transferred to the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and served in Halifax, England, Italy, France, Holland and Germany. He was wounded in Italy. After the war ended, he went to Germany to guard the German officers who were being held for the Canadian War Crimes Tribunal. He specifically guarded Brigadier General Kurt Meyer (Commanding officer of the 12th SS Panzer Division). He was discharged in 1946 as a Corporal and returned to Fort William.
He worked for the Great Lakes Paper Company for 40 years retiring in 1985 as an Operating Engineer. He was a member of the Great Lakes Athletic Association (where he coached hockey and baseball in his younger years); Union Locals 39 and 865; Branch 219 Polish Legion and Broadway United Church.
His family meant the world to him. He was proud of their accomplishments. He enjoyed many family gatherings and parties. He was known as “The Candy Man” he always had suckers for kids and adults. He enjoyed picking blueberries and mushrooms with Kay. They travelled extensively including Tarpon Springs, Florida; Treasure Beach, Jamaica; and an Alaskan Cruise. Many winters were spent in Mexico - San Juan Cosala, Busarias and finally settling in Puerto Vallarta for 20 years November – March.
Billy will be lovingly remembered by his sons Richard (Susan) Mississauga; David (Lorraine) Thunder Bay; grandsons James (Toronto); Adam (Streetsville); Grant (Leslie) North Bay; and granddaughter Anne-Marie (Pietro) Chelmsford. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive.
Predeceased by his parents John and Anne; his dear wife Kay, infant daughter Anne; brothers Mike, Joe and Maurice; sisters Olga (George) Dillabough, Helen (Victor) Goods and Minnie (Alex) Polowyck;
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at Broadway United Church (corner of Francis and Broadmore) at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Scott Gale officiating. Interment in the family plot at Mountain View Cemetery. Visitation will be on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 from 6-8 p.m. in the Blake Funeral Chapel, 200 May Street South. In lieu of flowers, if friends desire donations may be made to Broadway United Church, The Manor House Adult Day Program or the charity of your choice.
William Wilkie will be remembered in the Blake Funeral Chapel Memorial Grove. Annual dedication service Sunday, June 9, 2019.
St. Joseph's Care Group - Manor House Adult Day Program
63 Carrie Street, Thunder Bay ON P7A 4J2