With deeply saddened hearts, the family of Bill Donaldson announces his passing at St. Joseph’s Hospice, surrounded by his family on February 19, 2013. Bill leaves Betty, his loving wife and dance partner, of 28 years. Loving father of Margaret Donaldson-Kuntz (Cameron), Betty Oldham (Brian), Dr. Steven Donaldson (Anna), stepdaughter Dr. Avaleen Vopicka (Dr. Eric Winquist); proud grandfather of Allan Nekkers, Lindsay Oldham, and Matthew, Cainan and Lauren Winquist; great grandfather of Jaxon Nekkers; dear brother of Allan Donaldson (Elizabeth), sisters Marion Kehoe and Evelyn Secord, and also survived by many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his parents William and Willamina Donaldson, sister Gladys Zimmer, sister-in-law Majorie Brush, brother-in-laws Carl Zimmer, Frank Kehoe and Jim Secord.
Born in Chatham, Ontario, Bill was a member of the Sea Scouts in his youth and also built his own kayaks, enjoying a life along the banks of the Thames River. Bill was employed with Ontario Hydro for 39 years, retiring as a control room operator in 1987. Bill was a member of the Ontario Archaeological Society (OAS), in addition to other professional societies, and was widely known and respected for his archaeological knowledge. He traveled extensively and enjoyed visiting many archaeological sites worldwide, with a focus on Central America and Mexico. He built an invaluable publication record with eight major reports. His first OAS report, “Research Guide to Pottery Sequences in Ontario”, remains a classic and still forms part of several Ontario universities’ archaeological curricula. Bill’s early study and survey of the Rouge River Valley and watershed aided the current movement to preserve part of the Rouge Valley in its natural state. For his accumulated decades of reputable archaeological experience in Ontario, Bill was awarded the J. Norman Emerson Silver Medal, the highest recognition given to avocational archaeologists by the OAS. Bill was an original member of the Sarnia Rock and Fossil Club and subsequently became one of the founding members of the Stones n’ Bones Museum. His enthusiasm and drive led to the successful establishment of this Sarnia museum. The many hours he spent volunteering there showed his continuing dedication to pass on scientific knowledge through public outreach to learners of all ages. Bill was also a member of the London Gem and Mineral Society and took part in all activities, with a special talent for demonstrating soapstone carving. Bill was a very active member of the Sarnia Ballroom Dancing Club (SBDC). In 2001, Bill, as Director of Music, was awarded Honorary Life Membership for his years of faithful service. Bill will be fondly remembered for organizing the annual SBDC Mardi Gras events that were enjoyed by all.
A special thank you to the nurses and caregivers of CCAC, VON, Alzheimer Society, and the staff of Bluewater Health and St. Joseph’s Hospice. Also, a special thank you to Dr. Garrett, Kay Mott and Dr. Maddison. A celebration of Bill’s life will take place at SMITH FUNERAL HOME, 1576 London Line, Sarnia, on Saturday, April 13, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with a reception to follow at the Smith Family Centre. In lieu of flowers, sympathy may be expressed through donations to St. Joseph’s Hospice (cheques only at the funeral home please). Memories and condolences may be sent online at http://smithfuneralhome.ca/