Your Guiding Hand On My Shoulder Will Remain With Me Forever
It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of our father William ‘Bill’ John Abley on Thursday, December 19, 2019 at the age of 72. Bill was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, teacher, leader, mentor, and friend. He will be remembered by everyone who knew him for his diligence, optimism and tireless devotion to everything he undertook. Bill loved to tell a good story and his sense of humor engaged all who listened.
Bill was predeceased by his parents William and Lilian (Hughes) Abley and his loving wife, Gwen (Angell) Abley. He is survived by his three children: Bill (Nicole) Abley of Prince George, Jayne (Michael) Latta of Kamloops, Andrew (Lisa) Abley of Kamloops and his brothers Alun (Alison) Abley of Chetwynd, Wales and Stephen Abley of Kelowna, BC. He is also survived by six grandchildren: Christopher, Nicholas and Julia (Prince George), Isaac and Hannah (Kamloops) and Kenzie (Kamloops). Bill also leaves behind sister-in-laws, Gail Muliner-Ovington and Linda Angell, brother-in-law, Silvano ‘Tony’ Anthony Muliner, nieces, Brenda Muliner (Dmytro) and Tegan Abley and nephew Nathan Abley.
Bill was born in Nottingham, England on August 9, 1947 and spent the first 10 years of his life in Llandudno, Wales where he developed his love for European “football.” When he was 10 years old, Bill’s family immigrated to Canada, and settled in Kelowna, BC. This was where he developed his love for football (both the CFL and the NFL) and hockey.
In the summer of 1964, Bill met his future bride, Gwen Angell. They married on August 24, 1968 and they shared a deep and abiding love until Gwen’s passing in 2017.
Bill started his working life with a career in banking. He worked at the Royal Bank branches in communities all over BC, eventually becoming a bank manager in Kitimat BC.
Bill’s true passion was working with children and in 1976, he became a teacher with the Kamloops-Thompson School District 73. His gift for leadership took him into administration when he became the Vice-Principal of Aberdeen Elementary in 1987. Over the years he served as the president of the Kamloops Thompson Principals/Vice Principals Association (KTPVPA) as well as a member on the board of the BC Principals Vice Principals Association. In 2013, Bill finished his career as Principal of both Dufferin Elementary and Savona Elementary and was named a lifetime honorary member of the KTPVPA for his contributions and outstanding service. Bill will be remembered as a tireless advocate for his students and a dedicated mentor to his colleagues.
But, Bill was not content with an idle retirement and became a marriage commissioner in 2014, marrying hundreds of couples.
In addition to his career as an educator, Bill was a founding member and at one time even the president of the Kamloops Heritage Railway. He was instrumental in getting the Spirit of Kamloops, Engine 2141, out of the park and back on the rails.
Bill’s faith was a cornerstone of his life. He was a founding member of the Kamloops Alliance Church and spent many weekends teaching Sunday School and serving the Lord through his leadership with the Stockade Christian boys club.
Bill was devoted to his grandchildren and he created a myriad of family traditions with them. From the annual boat races and “Kick the Can” at the Shuswap cabin to the full contact games of “Spoons”, Bill was a creative and fun-loving grandfather who simply adored spending time with his grandchildren. He will be remembered for the wisdom he bestowed and the joy he sparked.
The Funeral Service to honour his life will take place at 11:00 am on Friday, January 3, 2020 in the Kamloops Alliance Church, 200 Leigh Rd, Kamloops BC, with Pastor Andrew Picklyk officiating.
Bill’s family would like to thank the nurses, care aids and other staff of the Ridgeview Lodge in Kamloops who took exemplary care of Bill in the last years of his life. A special thank-you to Nadine, Kyla and Lyndsey who were so loving with his care.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the BC Heart and Stroke Foundation or the Terry Fox Foundation.