Bill Poole passed away on June 29, 2013 doing what he loved most, hiking in the great outdoors.
Bill was born on October 12, 1944 in Vancouver, B.C. to parents Percy and Alice Poole. He was the baby brother to six older siblings who all grew up in a busy Vancouver household on East 61st Street. As a child, Bill enjoyed chucking baseballs and getting into mischief. As a teen, he left the stifling confines of school early so that he could get a head start on real life. He joined the army cadets, and then went on to exploring and working interesting jobs all over Canada and parts of the U.S. In his early twenties, Bill joined his brothers Dick and Gord in Hope, B.C. where they ran Poole’s Evergreen Resort on Kawkawa Lake.
In 1965, a Kiwi by the name of Rita Coman sailed from New Zealand to Vancouver to stay with her sister Ellen who was living at the Poole house. Rita caught Bill’s eye and just as she was about to move on with a planned tour of Europe, Bill made the best decision of his life and proposed that she stay and marry him instead. She accepted, and they were married on October 7, 1967.
Bill and Rita lived in Hope for a while before moving to Quesnel, B.C. in 1968. A short time after their first child Murray was born in 1969, they moved to the house that Bill built himself out on Ten Mile Lake, where they later welcomed sons Trevor and Kevin and finally daughter Jen. Bill and Rita lived the rest of their lives in that home overlooking Ten Mile Lake.
Bill worked hard to support his family, gaining invaluable experience at Weldwood through the 1970’s, and then in 1980 he and good friend Tony Bensted started Cariboo Forest Consultants. In the 1990’s he started taking a huge interest in geology and began teaching himself about prospecting and mining. Bill loved working his claims, maintaining his woodlot, and pursuing interesting business opportunities.
Other than his family, Bill’s greatest love was the outdoors. As a young man his brother-in-law Ernie Paré introduced him to mountaineering and together they summited many peaks (including Hope, Larrabee and Shuksan mountains). He enjoyed canoeing and went on numerous memorable trips (including down the Stikine River as well as around the Bowron Lake and Turner Lake chains); he’d often take Rita on quiet (and sometimes, unexpectedly, not so quiet) paddles. Bill took every opportunity he could to take his family camping and always looked forward to the annual Poole family reunion. He enjoyed hiking, especially in the alpine and amongst the wildlife. While Bill has hiked, climbed, paddled, worked and camped the vast majority of B.C., he and Rita (often with sister Joan and her husband Ernie) also explored the rest of the world, from New Zealand to Hawaii, from Mexico to the U.K., and many interesting places in between. Despite suffering a stroke in the late 1990’s, Bill persevered and continued living his life to the fullest.
On February 24, 2012 Bill lost the love of his life when Rita passed away suddenly. They had been married for a wonderful 44 years. With the help of many good friends and family, Bill still sought out the good in life and soldiered on as best he could. He continued getting out and enjoyed his visits with friends as well as his trips to see family.
Bill was predeceased by his wife Rita, his parents Percy and Alice, and his sister Barb.
Bill is survived by his siblings Dick (Nola), Roy (Sylvia), Margaret, Joan (Ernie) and Gord (Ellen), his sons Murray (Eva), Trevor (Susan) and Kevin (Angie), his daughter Jen (Kyle), and his grandchildren Tyler, Jordan, Rachel, Megan, Ashley, Katie, Julia, Will, Naiya, Trevin and Joey. He leaves behind a large extended family and many friends and business associates. Bill wasn’t exactly sure what was coming up next, but he died with his hiking boots on, so he was no doubt expecting the best.
A celebration to remember Bill’s life will be held at the West Fraser Timber Room within the Quesnel Arts and Recreation Centre on Saturday, July 13 at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, kindly make a donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.