Bill passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by many of his loved ones, after a battle with cancer. He was predeceased by his parents, Harris and Elizabeth Watkins of St. John’s, Newfoundland, sister Merle, California and brother Eugene of St. John’s.
Beloved husband of Pearl—Puff to many of you— loving brother of Diane (Dave). Devoted father to Robert (Carolyn), Beverly (John) and Donna (Craig). Loving Papa to Robyn (Will), Danielle (Brandon), Matthew and Tyler (Ashley). GreatPapa to delightful little Tegan. And wonderful uncle to Lesley (Bryan), J. (Mary), Laura (Jerry), Wanda (Rick), Sherry (Malcolm), Tracey (Derek), Siobhan (Chris), Verna (Gary), Karen (Bill) Rick (Tasha), Scott (Jodyne), Rhonda (Trevor), Chris (Christine), Chad and Edith. Dear friend to Fred and Shirley, Enid and LeRoy, Jim and his dearly departed Marg and many, many others.
Bill met Puffy in a soda shop in 1954 and thus began a love affair the likes of which most of us can only dream of. Through good times and challenging times, Bill’s main goal was to make Puffy happy. And he did, for over 64 years. He was an over-achiever all his life, scholastically, athletically and vocationally. He excelled at everything in which he was involved and strived all his working life to make everything possible for his wife and family.
After attending Curtis Academy in St. John’s, Bill began his working life at the Justice department in Newfoundland, then moved on to Imperial Oil. Through many years of determined hard work, he retired as an upper level manager, well-loved by his employees. In retirement, he had more time to ski, become an excellent toastmaster, play golf, curl, make wine and beer, and enjoy his favourite pastime, gardening.
He was a man of integrity and honesty, with a deep sense of social responsibility. He keenly felt for those who were less fortunate than himself. Bill gladly gave whatever he could to help anyone in need—a true philanthropist and gentleman, he never passed a needy person with hand extended without making a cash gift. He was a loyal friend with a great sense of humour and was renowned for his toastmaster skills and puns. We have all benefited tremendously for having had him in our lives. Bill was truly a great man who will be forever missed by all of us who were fortunate to have known him.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, no service of remembrance will be held at this time. A celebration of life will be hosted by the family later in 2021 when it is considered safe to do so.
If anyone would like to do something in remembrance, in lieu of flowers we ask that you consider a donation in memoriam to your local Salvation Army or Doctors Without Borders -Bill strongly supported both of these organizations.