William (Bill) Edward McCracken passed away quietly on November 2, 2010 at Brandt’s Creek Mews in Kelowna B.C., survived by his loving wife Wendy, daughter Lori (Steve) Taylor, sons Liam (Melodie) and Todd (Cheryl), granddaughters Cati Taylor, Taylor McGrath and Emily McCracken, grandson Andrew Taylor, and special “family” Elsie Hastings and Ray Richardson. Sadly predeceased by daughter Lesley, parents William Howard and Ivy (Wood) McCracken, and his beloved Chocolate Lab, Maddy.
Born in Toronto Ontario in 1935, Bill’s life of education and service spanned over 50 years beginning with his graduation from Toronto Teacher’s College, University of Western Ontario (BA) and University of Toronto (M.Ed.) During his career Bill served as teacher, college instructor and adult education management in Seneca and Centennial Colleges in Toronto, through to the presidencies of Manitoba’s Assiniboine Community College (ACC) and Alberta’s Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC). He met Wendy in Washington DC in 1971 and enticed her to come north and join him as his career took him from Ontario to British Columbia. A former school board trustee, Easter Seals Telethon producer, Chamber of Commerce director, United Way director and campaign chair, Rotary Club executive, youth football and soccer coach, Canada Winter Games director, and chairman of the Council of Northern Alberta’s College and University Presidents, he was accorded the 1992 Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada from the Governor General of Canada, “in recognition of significant contribution to compatriots, community and to Canada.” Upon his retirement in 1995 the GPRC community created the Bill and Wendy McCracken Visual Arts Award in recognition of their involvement and support in the arts. In Kelowna in what he considered the most rewarding and productive part of his life, he created the ongoing Leadership Series for Supervisors running through GPRC, Okanagan College and the business community.
Bill had a wonderful ability to work with people to get things done. He was greatly admired for his honesty, integrity, enthusiasm for life, talent for putting staff and friends at ease, inspirational “life quotes”, Irish jokes, and beautiful singing. Nothing made him prouder than watching his sons and daughter become fine young adults embodying his same values. Throughout his struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, to the delight of all who met him, that personality remained, as he strove to the very end “to be useful” in life. His memory will continue to inspire and he will be sorely missed. The family would like to especially thank Drs. Appleby and Carlyle, and the staff (everyone one of them a jewel) of Apple Grove unit of Brandt’s Creek Mews for their most compassionate care, and the BC Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support group for sharing this final journey. No service by request. If desired, donations welcomed by BC Alzheimer Society.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.springfieldfuneralhome.com