ROMAN, William (Bill) Harold
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February 2, 1915 - November 12, 2012
Bill passed away peacefully at home with loved ones at his side on Monday, November 12, 2012 just short of his 98th birthday. He now joins his beloved wife Anne, who predeceased him in 1983, to spread smiles, mischief and goodwill to all their friends and relatives who have gone before them. Dad was a proud, native Calgarian, born at the General Hospital to pioneers Anna and Matthew Roman. At a very young age, he proved to be an entrepreneur. He raised chickens and ducks… he went to empty boxcars and swept out the grain to feed them, then to City Hall Market where he picked up greens that were discarded from the vegetables. He was able to get one egg a day from each chicken and he sold the eggs for 90 cents a dozen to the grocery stores. At 16, he trapped rabbits for five cents a rabbit and sold them to the farmers. Once, in a week, he trapped five hundred rabbits and lived in a shed with the First Nations people. Dad met mom when they were 15. Everyday he walked from his home in Bridgeland to visit Anne at her family's farm in Forest Lawn. At the Forest Lawn farm, they grew potatoes, and Dad would get orders from restaurants and then deliver 100 lbs. of potatoes to the restaurants for $1.00. He gave all the money he made to his and Anne's parents. Dad had an exciting life - at 17, he worked for a farmer in Standard and rode boxcars to Vancouver to visit Anne where she was nursing. He graduated from Crescent Heights High School then went on to Tech (SAIT) where he took mechanics. He worked for White Rose covering Southern Alberta, servicing gasoline pumps for $25.00 a week. Anne and Bill were married February 14, 1942 - then Dad joined the army where he taught mechanics in Kingston until 1945. In 1945, Dad built the house in Rosedale that he still lived in. He dug out the basement with a team of horses and excavated his backyard using a motorcycle. He worked on steam engines for the CPR for thirty-four years and was the last person to fix the locomotive that stands outside Heritage Park. Anne and Bill were charter members of the Calgary Winter Club. In 1969, they bought a beautiful cabin at Buffalo Lake where they loved entertaining, boating and riding their motorbikes - Dad was known as Buffalo Lake's oldest teenager. Bill was predeceased by his wife Anne; son Donald in 1995; sisters Eileen, Mary, and Sally; brother Joe; and his mother and father, Anna and Matthew. Dad was a selfless and devoted family man who cared and loved his children, wife and immediate family unconditionally. He will forever be in the hearts of his family - daughter Heather; cherished granddaughters, Vicki (Drew) and Trish (John); and his adored great-grandchildren, Isabella, Nicole, Sarah, Zachary, and Declan. After Anne died, Dad accompanied us to Maui and England numerous times where he fixed many things, especially on Donald's sheep farm and made countless, lasting friendships on both islands. Bill was a wonderfully talented man who could fix anything and who would help anyone. He was a true gentleman who never lost his temper nor got angry with anyone. For many years, he was known as the candy man for always handing out candy. He was kind and compassionate and we will all miss him immensely. His characteristics of impeccable integrity (he never told a lie), generosity, kindness and decency were hallmarks of his character. Memorial Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY'S Chapel of the Bells (2720 Centre Street North) on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In living memory of Bill Roman, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park.
Published in The Calgary Herald from Nov. 16 to Nov. 20, 2012