1929 - 2023
Our family sadly wishes to announce the passing of William (Bill) Pohl. He passed peacefully in the wee
hours of April 4th., in his bed, at home, at the age of 93, 4 days shy of his birthday.
Bill was born in 1929 in Swan River. His parents, Joseph, and Hulda (Besselt) raised their 6 children in
the Municipality of Minitonas, Bill being the eldest. He received his education at Swanford School. As
recently as 2021 he enjoyed visiting the still standing one room schoolhouse. He left the farm at 18 to
pursue employment elsewhere but after several years and many various jobs, he returned to fulfill his
true passion, Farming.
In 1954 he would meet his life partner Yvonne and in 1956 they were married. In 1959 the first family
home was built, a year before the land on which it sat was purchased, confident, his word and a
handshake was all that were needed and indeed many contracts in the future were sealed precisely in
that manner. Bill and Yvonne would raise their four children across the road from Craigsford School.
With the family growing and their home seemingly getting smaller, in 1972, the decision was made to
move into Bowsman. The big brick fireplace was the selling feature for Bill, although the previous owner
had forewarned him, “It’s the COLDEST house in Bowsman”. But that fireplace was used! A fire could
be found burning from late Fall till early Spring, almost every evening. 45 years and four generations
would create long lasting memories in that house, never to be forgotten. In 2017, Bill and Yvonne
moved to Swan River into the Midtown Estates, where Bill would live out the remainder of his life, warm
in the winter and cool in the summer.
Bill was a farmer, taking agriculture courses to supplement his natural instincts. He always emphasized
safety around the farm equipment. The wind, sky and the clouds were Bill’s gauge on the weather.
Farm life was a way of living for Dad, sitting on a lawn chair, enjoying another one of Mom’s boxed
lunches, including sealers of water and juice wrapped in newspaper and a hot thermos of coffee. Dad
always took time for a break, sitting down to have lunch and listen to the farm report on his transistor
radio. Out of respect for his Parents beliefs, he never worked on a Sunday. Yvonne retired from
teaching to join Bill farming, for 10 years, until he retired at the age of 65.
After retirement Bill continued to drive out to the farm most days, first project... to build a treehouse for
the grandkids. He mowed grass, cultivated Yvonne’s Garden with his still running, 1961 Deutz tractor,
planted trees, cleared, and maintained paths in the bush, surrounding the yard site. Bill enjoyed picking
berries and gathering wood out of the bush to burn in their FIREPLACE. Back and forth he drove, the six
miles, very SLOWLY for 22 years... officially retiring at the age of 87. Bill witnessed his LAST HARVEST, in
amazement, this past Fall, as their home half was harvested in mere hours.
Dad was the son of Eastern European immigrants, he was a very proud first generation Canadian, flying
the Canadian flag. Dad took a keen interest in politics, enjoying lively discussions on the topic, definitely
a Westerner! Mom and Dad did some traveling and spent several winters on Vancouver Island, but Dad
was content and happiest at Home. Dad’s passion of late were puzzles... as one completed another was
Dad lived through several close calls, including being hit by a train! He instilled the importance of taking
care of #1... YOURSELF... So, he walked, always wearing sunglasses, sharing pearls of wisdom with three
generations as we walked beside him throughout the years, embracing Nature. He continued to walk
ten minutes, four times per day, every day, till his very LAST. When asked, “Any advice for living a long
life” ... he replied, “Keep moving, don’t vegetate”. Dad also gave credit to Mom and appreciated her
every day for taking such loving care of him.
He was very generous, loyal, and proud of his family, a kind and gentle soul he unconditionally loved,
each member. Family was everything to Dad. He loved hearing and telling jokes and stories, (the sillier
the better), playing cards and games, and enjoyed the fellowship of sharing food with family. One son,
one grandchild and three great grandchildren bear a form of his name. He always greeted us with a
smile and a thanks for coming, as we departed. Always optimistic, one of his sayings... It’s Not So Bad, it
Could Be Worse. We are thankful and grateful for his life and the life lessons he passed along to us.
Last sunrise... last meals... last puzzle... last walks... last day with Yvonne... last sunset... last kiss... last
heartbeat... last breath... Dust to Dust...
Left to cherish the memories of William... Yvonne, his loving wife of 66 years, daughter Marlene
Anderson (Dale) of Bowsman, sons Don (Susan) of Dauphin, Robert (Keri Lynn) of Oakville MB., Sheldon
(Marilyn) of Winnipeg, 9 grandchildren plus 2 from a blended family and 16 greatgrandchildren.
Survived by his youngest brother Eric (Jeannie) of Regina and sister in-law Janet of Chilliwack.
William is predeceased by his parents Hulda and Joseph, sisters Marlene and Ruth, and brothers
Kenneth and Arthur.
As per William’s request, there will be no formal service. Cremation has taken place. Memorial
donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation 1379 Kenaston Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R3P 2T5 on his behalf.
Swan Valley Funeral Services
363 Kelsey Trail
Swan River, MB R0L 1Z0
To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of William Harold Pohl, please visit our Tree Store.
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba
1379 Kenaston Boulevard, Winnipeg MB R3P 2T5