July 30, 1931 – February 24, 2020
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our Dad, Grandpa and Papa. On Monday, February 24th, 2020, William Alfred McChesney passed away peacefully in his home with his family by his side. He will be greatly missed and always remembered by his sons Tim and Rick (Jacquie). He was a loving Grandpa/Papa to five grandchildren, Courtney, Kristi, Sarah, Justin and Liam and great grandson Myles. He leaves behind his brother Bob (Iris), brother in law Mickey (Irene), nieces Charlene and Tania, nephews Michael and Billy, and many cousins. Bill is predeceased by the love of his life, Leona Margaret McChesney. Bill met Leona when he was playing basketball for the BoMeHi Rainmakers and Leona was a cheerleader. Bill and Leona were married for fifty-four years.
Bill was born on July 30th, 1931, in Prince George, British Columbia. He was the son of the late William and Beatrice McChesney. The family moved to Prince Rupert in 1939, arriving by train. As an 8-year-old moving from Prince George, it was like moving from the country to the city as the war was in full swing. Growing up, he was a member of the Sea Cadets and sold the Empire newspaper on the busy Prince Rupert street corners. Bill worked in local fish plants and the liquor store before getting a position pumping gas and washing cars at McRae Motors. He worked his way up to eventually becoming part-owner and general manager. On April 1st, 1971, Bill and Leona purchased Cooks Jewellers, where they ran a successful business for many decades. It was here he became known to many of his customers as ‘Diamond Bill’. Bill was the founding president of Prince Rupert’s first hockey team, the Prince Rupert Halibut Kings. He enjoyed curling, badminton and golfing with his friends and family. In his retirement, Bill purchased a 50-foot Gulf Commander to enjoy his love for the ocean and operate the successful Grandee Charters. Papa was deeply invested in both the Rainmaker Basketball and Volleyball programs, as well as Swim Club. Where you could always find him cheering extra loud for his grandchildren.
Bill was a man of integrity, who cherished his many friendships while putting his family first. His wittiness and sense of humor were always present. Bill had a love for all animals, especially horses and dogs. The dogs in the neighborhood are going to miss his pocket full of treats he had on his daily walks. The family wishes to acknowledge the tremendous care Bill received from Doctor John Croft, and the home care nurses.
A celebration of life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers Donations can be made to the North Coast Health Improvement Society (Box 326, Prince Rupert B.C. V8J 3P9).
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