POTTS, William Andrew (Bill)
We are sad to announce the sudden passing of our beloved husband, father, brother and friend on August 28, 2003. Bill collapsed at his business in Ladysmith and despite the valiant efforts of his family and the ambulance attendants, succumbed to a massive coronary caused by a blood clot.
Bill was born in Victoria, BC, October 13, 1941, and moved back to Duncan with his family after the war. Bill was educated at schools throughout the Cowichan Valley graduating from Cowichan High School in 1957.
Bill had a natural ability with machines of all types, he worked at Williams Bicycle Shop weekends and after school, and at Youbou and Chemainus Sawmills after graduation, but soon realized his future lay in mechanics. he moved to Edmonton to do his Pre-Apprenticeship course, returning to Duncan to work for businesses including Robinson Equipment, Wilson’s Garage, Crofton Pulp Mill, Mac & Bloe Copper Canyon and Midway Towing & Autowrecking. After completing his Automotive Ticket he went on to certification as a Heavy Duty Mechanic.
Bills love of cars took him to the racetracks of the Pacific Northwest, first as a crewman for others then as owner/driver of modifieds and stock cars. He competed successfully until his job took him to the Queen Charlotte Islands and away from racing. In the 1990’s Bill helped at the short lived Cassidy Speedway as a flagman, technical inspector, and crewman for his sons’ race cars.
Like most boys growing up in the Cowichan Valley, Bill was an avid hunter. As a member of the Cowichan Fish and Game Club he took his turn manning the gate at Welburn Division during hunting season and later taught his own sons to hunt and fish.
Bill married the love of his life, Dauna Wilkinson in May of 1969 and they moved into their home on Olsen Road in Saltair. their sons Roberts and Edward were born at Ladysmith Hospital, and “Daddys Girl” his beloved daughter Debbie was born while the family lived in Juskatja where Bill spent 4 years with Mac & Bloe. Friendships made during their stay in the Queen Charlottes continue today.
Over the past 30 years Bill & Dauna’s home has been the centre of ordered chaos welcoming family, friends, neighbours, customers and anyone else who happened by. Bill never turned away a person in need, and from his teenage years could always be counted on to stop to help a motorist stranded on the side of the road.
Despite long hours building Saltair Recycling into a thriving business which grew to include his 3 children, Bill dedicated many hours to volunteer work. He coached Little League Baseball and Soccer, supported bottle drives, firewood sales and school fun fairs. He supported Chemainus Dry Grad, in 1993, 1994, and 1997, he led in fundraising, organizing food and prizes, and acted as auctioneer at the conclusion of the event. Bill volunteers many hours as a member of Saltair Parks and Recreation Committee and was instrumental in negotiations to acquire land for Stocking Creek Park. he also worked on Centennial Park building trails and helping out at community events. He was President of the Central Island Coin Club and once again put his auctioneering talents to work at meetings and coin shows throughout the island. In 2002 Bill joined Dauna as a member of the F.O.E. Aeries 4400 and 2101 and was soon busy helping with their fundraising and community events.
Bill was predeceased by his father henry in 1985 and his mother Eleanor on July 16, 2003. He is survived by his devoted wife Dauna, Sons Robert, Ed (Heather) and daughter Debbie (Kevin). Bill’s death leaves a void in the lives of his brother Lionel, sisters Edith Green (Jim) and Marion Hof and his sister-in-law Christy Wilson (Wally). His spirit and generosity will be missed by his many nieces.
Bill’s life touched so many others, he always gave more than he took. In that spirit we request in lieu of flowers that donations be made to: CVRD Parks & Rec, 175 Ingram Street, Duncan, B.C. V9L 1N5, marked: Bill Potts Memorial Fund. In consultation with the family a memorial to Bill will be funded in Stocking Creek Park, to carry on the memory of a man who devoted so much time and energy to his community.
A celebration of Bill’s life will be held on Sunday, September 17, 2003 at 11:30 am at the Eagles Hall, 921 First Avenue, Ladysmith with refreshments provided by the Eagles and Eagles Auxiliaries. Arrangements confidently assigned to Telford’s Mid-Island Memorial Services.