WILLIAM HARRY "BILL" STEPHENSON

Obituary
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WILLIAM "BILL" HARRY STEPHENSON Passed away peacefully on Thursday evening, February 27, 2014. Born in Belleville to Mariah and Isaac, December 2, 1917. William left high school for the Royal Bank of Canada and it was in front of his branch in the village of Warkworth, Ontario that he met "the love of his life", Norma Lillian Helson. In 1940, they were engaged before William went overseas as a fighter pilot, serving in the RCAF. He crash landed while fighting on the Middle-Eastern Front, was wounded and captured by the Italians and later taken to Stalag Luft III where he spent the duration of the war as a POW. He received the Distinguished Flying Medal for his service. One week after his return, he and Norma were married and would have been celebrating their 69th anniversary in June. He will be missed by Norma and his daughters, Carol Jane and Janet Elizabeth, sons-in-law Michael Harpur and Ronald Judge and grandchildren Matthew, Katryn and Alexander. He is survived by the youngest of 5 siblings, Thomas. William had a fulfilling career with the Royal Bank and volunteered as Treasurer for the Save the Children Fund and for the Toronto Parks Authority, raising funds for Pioneer Village which meant a lot to him, as it was one of his favourite spots to take his family. He loved woodworking and gardening and was prepared to tackle all of our "fixer-uppers". He loved to spend time travelling with Norma, the POW "Stay Alive till 95" was a happy reunion trip. His family is so grateful to him for his quiet integrity and kind, generous way. His presence will always be with us. The family wishes to thank the staff at Sunnybrook Hospital, especially at the Veterans Wing, for the comfort they gave to William and his family. Thank you also to Canterbury Place staff, and to Sonia who cared for him. A funeral will be held at R.S. Kane Funeral Home (6150 Yonge Street, at Goulding, south of Steeles), on Tuesday, March 4th, at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Sunnybrook Veterans K-3 Centre, 416-480-4483 . Condolences www.rskane.ca
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Published in the Toronto Star on Mar. 1, 2014
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