Bruce WILKS (aka Papa, Grandpa Bear) passed away suddenly on Sunday, September 11, 2022 just a few days shy of his 86th birthday. We all miss him terribly.
He was born and grew up in Toronto and wore many hats during his working life. He was a mechanic and owned and raced a drag car at tracks around southern Ontario – giving up racing shortly after I was born. He continued to work as a mechanic until an injury forced him to retrain. In his 40s with a little prodding from his wife of 56 years, Carol WILKS, he completed high school and teacher’s college. After several years of teaching, he decided he missed working with his hands, qualified as a Millwright, and worked at York University until his retirement.
In retirement, he could often be found at car shows with his flaming ‘47 Ford Coupe or working in his garage on his ’31 Ford Model A Roadster – getting ready to race it again. He was a little unsteady on his feet in his later years, spending more time reading, watching tv, puttering around his car and on summer evenings he and Carol could often be found cruising on Lake Kasshabog in their pontoon boat.
He was a proud dad to Sharon (Gary CURKAN) and David (Maddy CAMARA) and Papa and Grandpa Bear to Katelyn and Sophia CURKAN, and River WILKS. He was always happy to hear about their latest exploits and share his knowledge with them. He is also survived by his brother Dennis WILKS and sister Delores JENKINS.
His last day was a happy one. Having stayed overnight with his daughter, he and Carol headed to Orangeville for a weekend with their Buzz Meg pals. He spent the day telling stories as only he could, eating far too much good food and laughing a lot in the sun. He took ill in the night and was rushed to South Lake Hospital in Newmarket but could not be saved.
If heaven doesn’t already have a car show and swap meet going, we expect he and his best friend Bob McJannett will be starting one soon.
We really appreciate all the many kind words, treats, flowers and offers of help from friends and family near and far. Donations to the Barth Syndrome Foundation of Canada, a charity that was close to his heart, would be greatly appreciated.
He will be cremated, and his ashes will be spread privately. We will hold a celebration of life next summer. Details to come.