William “Bill” Gurney 1936 — 2021

William “Bill” Gurney

 

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our mentor, our hero, our rock; Bill Gurney on September 9, 2021. Bill passed away at home surrounded by his loving family after an extremely courageous and lengthy battle with cancer.

Bill is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sharon, his children: Lisa, Janis (Jay), Steven (Michelle), daughter in law, Denise, his devoted workforce and project helpers consisting of his grandsons: Willis, Jacob, Nathan, Matthew, Adam, and nephews: Cody, Dustin, Ty, as well as numerous other family members and friends who were all important and special to him.

Bill was the oldest of five boys born to W.H. and Olive Gurney. He will be deeply missed by his 3 surviving devoted brothers; Don, Jim and Bruce. Bill was born and raised in Kamloops, B.C. and graduated from the University of British Columbia. He began a teaching career in Kamloops in 1966 and was a positive influence in the lives of many during his 30 year career at NorKam Senior Secondary School. He was also involved for many years with Kamloops Minor Hockey and Youth Soccer at coaching, executive committee and “super fan” levels. He derived much enjoyment as a loyal Kamloops Blazer’s fan.

Bill was an avid historian and genealogist and loved to share his wealth of memories of earlier generations. He had many talents and interests, and accomplished much in his life, but he will be remembered most for his kind and cheerful heart, his compassionate nature, as well as his genuine interest in others.

Our hearts are broken, but we will “muddle on” without him enjoying our lifetime of wonderful memories. We will be forever grateful for his lasting legacy of our family cabin that he built from hand at his beloved North Barriere Lake.

“I saw behind me those who had gone, and before me, those who are to come. I looked back and saw my father, and his father, and all our fathers, and in front, to see my son, and his son, and the sons upon sons beyond.
And their eyes were my eyes.
As I felt, so they had felt, and were to feel, as then, as now, as tomorrow and forever. Then I was not afraid, for I was in a long line that had no beginning, and no end.” -Richard Llewellyn

Following Bill’s wishes there will be no formal service.
Donations in Bill’s memory may be made to the Canadian Red Cross whose Health Equipment Loan Program provided practical support and comfort to Bill and his family.

Condolences may be sent to the family from

www.kamloopsfuneralhome.com

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3 Tributes

  1. Tanya Martin
    Posted September 14, 2021 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I have great memories of being his student at Norkam and the wonderful teacher he was, the excitement he installed in me and the wonder of learning in his class. It was a great surprise and a wonderful coincidence that he became part of my family by being a wonderful grandfather to my nephews, Willis and Adam, and for that I am forever greatfull. My thoughts are with Sharon and her family at this time.

  2. Rianna Fiorante
    Posted September 14, 2021 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been at a loss for words these past couple of days on how best to commemorate Papa Bill’s passing, and I still don’t think words can truly do him justice on the legacy he has left behind.

    Ever since I met Papa five years ago, he has always made me feel welcome and included like family. I fondly remember the time he appointed me as a “project manager” to help oversee the building of the new cabin and clearing of some trees by the lake because my braun skills were utterly useless compared to the men, and his special “cabin instruction lists” that normally were directed at Jacob, but on occasion included a task with my name beside it as well, which always made me feel extra special. 

    I don’t think I have ever met someone at his age who was so vibrant, full of life and endless stories despite his health struggles. I always looked forward to hearing his stories during our pre and post cabin visits. He was a trooper; a truly remarkable man. 

    I will forever be grateful to Papa for playing a substantial role in making Jacob the incredible person he is today. I believe I have Papa to thank for Jacob’s thoughtfulness, family-first attitude, story-telling skills, and handyman skills.

    I am grateful that during my last visit with Papa in July, Jacob and I were able to share with him our stories from our adventure driving to Bella Coola and show him the photos that we took along the way. He was impressed that my 2004 Honda CRV made the drive up and down “The Hill” but not surprised and figured I still have at least 50,000-100,000 km left in my 266,000 km car before I’d need to get a new one.

    I’m sure you may or may not be already discussing arrangements, but please let me know if I can be of assistance in any way. It would be my pleasure and honor to help. I’m thinking of the family ❤️

    With love,

    Rianna
    (Grandson Jacob’s Partner)

  3. Pierce Graham
    Posted September 16, 2021 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Sharon and family; I worked with Bill from 1966, a year after I joined NorKam, until 1973, then again, when returned twelve years later. He was one of the people who made NorKam one of the best, most inclusive, most encouraging and most positive places to work in…work was a daily pleasure. He was a prince of a man, a beacon of calm, dedication and good sense, and he contributed much to the school’s unique character.
    My deepest condolences

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