1922 - 2021
It is with sadness the family of Bill Brooks announces his passing at the Swan Valley Lodge on January 7, 2021 at the age of 98.
Willard Harrison “Bill” Brooks was born at the Hamiota Hospital on April 4, 1922, a twin brother to Betty. He was the fifth member in a family of five boys and two girls. Bill grew up on the family farm, attended school in Hamiota and graduated from Grade 12 in 1940. He had many happy memories of growing up on the farm and of the boys teasing their two sisters. Lots of arguing took place especially when it came to whose turn it was to do some of the not-so-pleasant jobs around the farm. Usually the older brothers won out.
In the spring of 1942, after two older brothers had enlisted in the army and gone overseas, Bill joined the air force and then trained for a year as a radar mechanic. He served in England, India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan until his return home in December 1945.
In 1948 he got his electrician’s license and went into the electrical contracting business. It was a career that continued for thirty-nine years. He found his work very fulfilling, commenting that he never had trouble getting out of bed in the morning to go to a job that he loved.
On November 18, 1950, he married Eunice Colbeck. They had three children: Keith, Karen and Donna Mae. In 1971, the family made the move to Swan River where Bill worked for other contractors for a couple of years before starting up his own business again.
Bill served his communities in several capacities. He was on the boards of the United Church in both Hamiota and Swan River. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion joining in 1946. Bill was a member of the board of directors of what is now the Veterans Community Hall from the time it was built until the time of the mortgage burning. Bill and Eunice enjoyed many trips from the west coast to the east coast, Hawaii, and Florida. They had many years of camping, golfing and curling. On his 85th birthday, Bill checked off one of the things on his bucket list: a ride in a hot air balloon. His 90th birthday was celebrated in Toronto at a Blue Jays game.
Bill was predeceased by his parents and all his siblings, his son Keith in 2006, and wife Eunice of sixty-four years in 2014. Bill will be missed by his two daughters: Karen (Doug) Gade, Donna Mae (Archie) Riddell, as well as his six grandchildren Ashley (Dave) Gaden, Ian Gade (Steph Swayn), Dallas (Robyn) Gade, Lesley (Michael) White, Darcy (Lindsay) Riddell, Jeffrey Riddell (Kaili Gilroy) and six great grandchildren Graham and Elliot Gaden, Jensen Gade, Gracie and Brooks White and Taylor Riddell. Bill is also survived by one sister in law, Ruby Mathison and many nieces and nephews.
In keeping with Bill’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a service will be held at a later date.
If friends so desire, donations in Bill’s memory can be made to Community Foundation of Swan Valley Box 1509 Swan River, Manitoba. R0L 1Z0.
Swan Valley Funeral Services
363 Kelsey Trail, Swan River, Manitoba
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Willard (Bill) Harrison Brooks, please visit our floral store.