July 4, 1931 – March 6, 2021
With sorrow, the family of Bill Cherwak announce his passing on March 6th at the age of 89 years, after a short battle with cancer.
Bill is survived by Shirley, his wife of 41 years, son Tim and daughter Lorinda (Howard), sister Chris, nephew Bryan, niece Susan, step-children Brad (Carol), Brent (Theresa), and Barbara (Bert), and grandchildren Katrina, Caitlyn, Chelsea, Clayton, Jon, Carl, Andrea, Evan, and Neil.
He was predeceased by his parents, his first wife Gwen, and brother-in-law Derek.
Bill was born on July 4th, 1931 to Michael and Christina Cherwak, in Kenora, Ontario. At the age of 19 his desire for adventure and travel inspired him to join the Navy, just in time for the outbreak of war in Korea. He made it through the conflict unscathed, but he did lose friends there, and he never forgot the suffering of Korean civilians that he saw.
Luckily, he served the rest of his time in peace, leaving the Navy in 1968 so he could spend more time with his young family. After being discharged he briefly worked at a shipyard in Halifax, where he had been posted, but his restless spirit caused him to pack up and take his family to the opposite coast, settling in Port Alberni in 1969.
He spent the first five years working as Chief Engineer on the Lady Rose, then spent four years working as a mechanic for Mars Contracting. In 1978 he started working as a mechanic for Port Alberni Parks and Recreation, where he stayed until retirement in 1990.
Even in civilian life Bill maintained his connection with the military: he was an active, longtime member of the Canadian Legion, and he was a founding member of the Korea Veterans Association, both of which afforded him opportunities to put on his uniform and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow veterans. Several times he addressed ADSS students at their Remembrance Day assembly. As a quiet, reserved man, Bill must have found this difficult, but he always could manage to do the things that needed to be done.
Bill and Shirley enjoyed retirement with a vengeance. They drove across Canada twice in their motorhome, the first time immediately after retiring, and they spent many winters in Yuma, Arizona. They took trips overseas, most notably Britain and Korea, and they enjoyed an Alaskan cruise.
Best of all, though, was the cabin at Salmon Beach, a location and lifestyle that suited Bill perfectly. There were always chores and projects to putter on, fish to catch, shellfish to gather, prawns and crabs to trap, and inlets and islands to explore in the boat.
After days of outdoor activities came quiet evenings with a drink and a good book, or on occasion, a festive evening with several drinks and the company of good neighbours. No doubt Bill loved the place more than any other on Earth, and he had a wide and varied field of reference.
We owe a debt of gratitude for the compassionate and attentive care given to Bill by Dr. Johnsen, home-care nurse Catherine, and the staff at Ty Watson House. You are all amazing, and the world is a better place because of you.
Cremation has taken place, and a celebration of life will be held at a later date. If you wish to donate, there is no more deserving recipient than Ty Watson House.Obituary-
July 4, 1931 – March 6, 2021
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