January 24, 1954 - July 7, 2021
William Bernard Robertson of Okotoks, Alberta passed away on July 7, 2021 at the Foothills Country Hospice at the age of 67 years old. Bill is survived by his wife Elaine; sons Michael (Calli), Jeffrey (Nicole), and Bradley (Nicola); grandchildren Mason, Jace, Brady and Rylen; sisters Elizabeth, Kathleen, Pamela and Gail; brother Robbie; and numerous nieces and nephews. Bill was predeceased by his mother, Margaret and father, Bernard. Bill was born in Calgary, Alberta on January 24th, 1954. Bill was the third oldest in a family of six, and spent his childhood in the Glamorgan area of Calgary. Upon his graduation from High School, he attended the University of Calgary where he graduated with Degrees in Geography and Education. Bill met his wife, Elaine, while they both worked at the Calgary General Hospital in 1976. Bill would come to the hospital kitchen and ask Elaine for a cup of water, but clearly hoped for something more. This marked the beginning of a relationship that would span 45 years, three children, and four grandchildren. Although Bill wore many hats over the course of his life, above all else, his family came first. He loved being a father and loved being a grandpa. As a parent and a grandparent, Bill constantly looked for any opportunity to instill or teach values, morals or wisdom to his family. His sons and grandsons could attest that there was always a lesson to be learned from any life experience, small or large. His boys will forever be grateful for this. Bill had a passion for public education, and his career led him and Elaine to the town they would call home for the rest of their lives: Okotoks. Bill would go on to teach for 33 years, with the majority of that time spent at Percy Pegler Elementary School. Commonly referred to as “Mr. R,” Bill cherished his role as a public educator and serving his community. Bill spent his career as a teacher teaching grade 6 and physical education. As a phys. ed. teacher, Bill was often quoted as saying that “he got paid to play games.” He especially enjoyed floor hockey, setting up the “mission impossible” obstacle course, being the coordinator for Percy Pegler’s annual outdoor “Sports Day”, and last but not least, coordinating the annual “Outdoor Ed” three-day camping trips for Grade 6 students. Bill further immersed himself in the community when he was successfully elected as a councillor to Okotoks Town Council in 1995, a role that held until he was elected Mayor in 2010. Totalling 26 years on Okotoks town council, Bill was a proud and enthusiastic advocate of the Town of Okotoks and took every opportunity he could to boast about the town he called home, while doing his best to serve the citizens of Okotoks to the best of his ability. Bill’s contributions to his community were not limited to his duties on council, as he also worked as an Adopt-a-park volunteer, spent 10 years as a volunteer Auxiliary Constable with the Okotoks RCMP, and gave his time to numerous charitable causes and committees. Bill also supported and joined community organizations such as the Okotoks Kiwanis club, the Okotoks Masons, and the Okotoks Legion. He also enjoyed being associated with several recreational groups and was especially a proud member of the Okotoks Spoilers softball and hockey teams. He also organized and participated in the Okotoks men’s floor hockey for over 25 years. Bill wasn’t just an enthusiastic team player in community sports, as he also enjoyed sitting on the sidelines and cheering on local sports teams. He was a dedicated Calgary Stampeders and Okotoks Dawgs fan and season ticket holder in more recent years. He loved cheering on the Okotoks Oilers, Calgary Flames and Toronto Blue Jays as well. He had a passion for exploring and adventures, which began in university and continued throughout his life. Travelling both solo and with his family, Bill visited six out of seven continents, continuously seeking out historical sights, experiences and viewpoints from across the globe. Bill’s lust for travel was not limited to planes however, and from a young age, Bill was a dirt bike and motorcycle enthusiast, spending much of his free time riding with his friends and doing weekend road trips. When not riding on two wheels, Bill also developed a love for a Swedish automobile brand that he would go on to drive almost exclusively over his adult life: Volvo. Bill took great pride in the various Volvo models he drove over the years. With his three sons present in the car, he was known to occasionally put the pedal to the floor in his ’86 Volvo 740 Turbo (much to the delight of his boys). In 1984, Bill and his wife Elaine, along with Bill’s mother Margaret, brother Robbie and his wife Mary, co-purchased land and built a cabin at Shuswap Lake, BC. This cabin would go on to become a staple of Robertson family gatherings and a frequent destination for Thanksgiving, Easter, and summer vacations. If Bill wasn’t spending time at the family cabin at Shuswap Lake, BC, or hanging out at the condo in Elkford, BC, he could be found exploring Saskatchewan, Alberta or BC campgrounds with his wife, children and grandsons, or making annual trips to the west coast to visit relatives. Lastly, no story of Bill’s life would be complete without mentioning his time working at ‘Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,’ The Calgary Stampede. For over two plus decades, The Calgary Stampede marked the beginning of Bill’s summer, where he worked as a Gate Foreman. Bill loved his role of being one of the first people to greet an arriving guest, and took pride in trying to make their Stampede Experience a great one. His family noted that that Bill wore many hats throughout his career, but the ‘cowboy hat’ was his favorite. Bill was known for his upbeat and positive attitude and was the eternal optimist. Bill constantly stated that “your attitude will determine your altitude,” and exemplified this by taking a glass half full approach to everyday he lived. Whether you knew Bill for 25 years or had just met him, he greeted you like a friend and took the time to say hello and ask how you were. He also believed in teamwork, inclusivity and working collaboratively. These were values that he demonstrated constantly as a husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend, neighbor, teacher and politician. As Bill’s family and the community adjust to life without him, it is easy to refer back to some of Bill’s favorite sayings and mantras for comfort. He was often known to share a poignant line or phrase when the situation called for it. Amongst these lines and phrases, his favorite expression was “Carpe Diem,” which in Latin means “Seize the Day”. As we celebrate Bill’s life, it is apparent that “Carpe Diem” is the epitome of how Bill lived every day, and how he selflessly strived to make the world a better place for everyone around him. We will miss you dearly, Bill. We love you. Memorial Donations can be made to the Okotoks Food Bank, www.okotoksfoodbank.ca, 220 Stockton Ave #120, Okotoks, AB T1S 2C3 or the Foothills Country Hospice, www.countryhospice.org, P.O. Box 274, Okotoks, AB T1S 1A5. A public Celebration of Life was held on Saturday, July 17, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. at the Foothills Centennial Centre. The Service will also be live-streamed and can be viewed on the Town of Okotoks website, www.okotoks.ca. Caring for the family is Lyle Reeves Funerals of High River (Craig Snodgrass) 403.652.4242.
William Bernard Robertson of Okotoks, Alberta passed away on July 7, 2021 at the Foothills Country Hospice at the age of 67 years old. Bill is survived by his wife Elaine; sons Michael (Calli), Jeffrey (Nicole), and Bradley (Nicola); grandchildren... View Obituary & Service Information
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