June 21, 1925 – July 4, 2019
Bill is survived by his children, Rick Sim (Claire), Roxi Hermsen (Tony), Randy Sim (Nancy), Russ Sim, his grandsons Bram Hermsen (Kaydin), Bryan Sim (Amanda), Kevin Sim, Matthew Sheer (Jesse), his granddaughter Nicole Wilson (Jamie), great grandchildren Tristan, Claire and Kai Hermsen and Kayla and Emily Wilson, brothers Ron and Alister Sim, sister Winnie Thompson, many nephews and nieces, and great nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his wife Margaret (1999) and grandson Shea Hermsen (1996).
Bill was a people person, a world traveller and member of the Knights of Pythias. He loved kids and inspired many through coaching baseball and soccer, leading cubs and scouts, developing an apprenticeship program for electricians and volunteering for organizations like the Meraloma Rugby club. After a move from Vancouver to Vernon BC and retirement, Bill decided he would like to start a science centre.
Tributes to Bill from Darren Handschuh and Jim Swingle offered the following words. “The beloved founder of the Okanagan Science Centre passed away; he had just turned 94. The vision of the centre was planted when he was a young man living in Vancouver. As a Scout leader, he took 120 young people to the Seattle Science Centre. Sim was impressed at how much an impact the centre had on the children and an idea was born. Always humble, Sim deflected the success of the centre from himself to the many volunteers and board members who have kept the OSC going over the years, and to Bruce Aikenhead, one of the top space engineers in Canada.” DH
“Bill had a vision. He wanted science accessible to everyone. 28 years ago, the Science Centre was a room in the basement of the old Tolko building. Bill and those other dedicated volunteers, including Bill’s wife Marg, worked hard and together they grew that vision. A few years later the centre moved out of the basement and into our current building, a former schoolhouse in Polson Park. The Okanagan Science Centre has grown to host over 25,000 visitors with planetarium shows, dinosaurs, and a range of exhibits. Tourists and visitors come from around the world to visit the Science Centre in a relatively small town in the north Okanagan, Bill dreamed of science education for all kids, to create a better world. Located in Vernon, because this is where he lived, he put in the hard work to make his vision a reality.” JS
In his last years he lived, close to family, at the Lakeside Manor where he was the life of the party, dressing up for all occasions and dancing with all the ladies at mix and mingle, and was a wonderful ambassador welcoming many new residents. Healthy to the end, he wore the rubber tips off his walking sticks by walking all over Salmon Arm.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the Okanagan Science Centre in memory of Bill, its founder and whose dream and vision it was that became reality. http://www.okscience.ca/
A Celebration of his life will take place at the Okanagan Science Centre, Sunday, September 15 at 1pm, Polson Park, Vernon, BC
Share memories and condolences through Bill’s obituary at www.fischersfuneralservices.com.
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