1923 - 2019
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BELL, WILLIAM (BILL) HAMILTON October 14, 1923 - November 24, 2019 Athlete, teacher, coach, husband, father and grandfather. Born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Dad slipped away peacefully in his 97th year, on Sunday, November 24th. Dad was a proud WWII veteran serving in the RCAF assigned to 427 "Lion" Squadron part of the Canadian 6 Group stationed in England from March to December 1944. Dad served as a mid upper gunner in his Halifax bomber, surviving 34 missions with his fellow crewmen. After completing his tour of duty, Dad returned to Toronto and successfully tried out for the Toronto Argonauts playing a variety of positions (required in those days) as a scat back, defensive back, punter and backup quarterback. His name is proudly displayed on the Grey Cup three times, winning consecutive championships in 1945, '46 and '47 with the Argos. In those years, pro football did not generate anything close to a reasonable income and so additional employment opportunities were constantly being sought out during the off season. One such opportunity involved Dad taking a summer job in the northern community of Kapuskasing, ON, working for a local pulp and paper company where he was introduced to a very pretty young lady (Logia Trukan) working in the office. One thing led to another and they were off on their first of many dates before marrying in 1948. Mom and Dad were soul mates, enjoying each other's company happily married for 54 years. After his Argo football career, Dad pursued his degree and teaching certification at Queen's University which included playing four years with the Queens Golden Gaels football team. More wonderful memories and friends were collected over those university years. After graduation, Dad and Mom packed up and headed north once again to start a family and teaching career in the mining town of Lively, ON, just west of Sudbury, raising sons Mike, Colin and Tom. Sadly, Colin passed away in infancy. Dad eventually became Head of the Physical Education Department at Lively & District Secondary School. Along with being an educator, Dad excelled in coaching and helping students develop their athletic potential. After a career in education spanning 30 years, Dad and Mom built their retirement home on Irish Lake just outside Markdale, ON. The next 20 years were spent in happy retirement, blending into the community, making friends, golfing, cross country and downhill skiing, fishing, a few trips here and there sprinkled in and many an evening fire enjoyed together. Following Mom's passing, Dad found companionship with Rosamond Nicholas. After marrying, they spent a number of years together living in Markdale, travelling to Florida in the winter and Nova Scotia in the summer. Dad was predeceased by sisters Pauline Dooley and Jewel Russell, and brother Garnet. The family would like to thank all the dedicated staff at both Whispering Pines Retirement Residence and Grove Park Long Term Care Home in Barrie, ON, for the wonderful care Dad received. Cremation has already taken place. A celebration of life is being planned in early May. Announcement to follow.

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Published in Toronto Star on Nov. 30, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
January 28, 2021
Ran into Mr Bell in Markdale in 1985 . He didn't remember me so much but remembered my brother Albert . He was a much adored Great Teacher .
Sincere condolences to Mike , Tom & Family .
Roy Anderson
June 30, 2020
I was a student at Lively Public School when Bill Bell was a principla and teacher there. He was a great father figure to me which I really needed. I have searched for any info about him over the years.
David evans
David Evans
December 8, 2019
So sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Bell. He was a great coach and mentor at Lively High School.
Bill Trezise
December 3, 2019
Mike,Tom and families:
I am so saddened at the news of your dad's passing. "Uncle Billly" was the greatest! Many a late night spent around that fireplace at Irish Lake (that no one but your dad was allowed to touch) enjoying your mom's treats or the fresh loaf of Italian bread we would bring weekly from London. Treasured memories to be sure! Please accept my sincere condolences and I hope to be able to attend his celebration of life in the spring.
Frank Vita
December 3, 2019
Mike , Tom and families. Your father was an outstanding man. He encouraged Mike and I to live out our passion for reaching kids and always was game for a xcountry ski on Sunday in the back forty! We enjoyed so many fires in the living room at your parents cozy home toasting bread on the fire, eating your mom's blonde brownies and drinking her perked coffee. Never have had a good coffee since!!
Please let us know when the celebration of life for your dad will be as we would hope to come.
We really loved your parents as second parents...they were an amazing couple.
Joan and Mike Vita
December 2, 2019
An amazing man and teacher. Grade 7 , 8 and 9! He went to High School same year as our graduating class. That was wonderful. He had us outside and active in all kinds of weather. Taught us about other children around the world and mentored us in such a positive way. A significant role model in my life.
Sympathies to the family and a very fond farewell to you Mr. Bell.
December 2, 2019
My deepest condolences to all of Mr Bell's family. I remember him very fondly. Having Mr Bell as a teacher in elementary school in Lively was a true blessing for us kids.
Monique Hawkins
December 1, 2019
I purchased property on Irish Lake in 2011. I met my new neighbour Billy Bell and thought I had won the lottery! I was so sad to see him put a for sale sign up as he moved on to the next chapter of his life.My heart goes out to his precious family for their loss!
Nancy McGowan
December 1, 2019
Uncle Bill was one in a million! He was loved by his family and their children. He made memories for us all and he is forever in our hearts. Missing him and sending love to the Bell family. xo Carol & Kent
Carol Cochrane
December 1, 2019
I am writing on behalf of my 91-year-old father Jack Sisson - a teammate and classmate of your father's. Dad called me last evening from Belleville (I'm the keeper of the family history, photos & tales) to tell me he'd just happened to notice an obituary today as he perused the Toronto Star. He then proceeded to tell me about some of his memories of Bill Bell.
Almost the first words out of Dad's mouth were He was a good guy a super good guy. And he repeated this sentiment more than once during our conversation. He went on to tell me about his many connections with your father. Dad first met Bill when he played some exhibition games with the Toronto Argonauts in the summer of 1948, just before entering Queen's University that fall. They both enrolled in Phys.Ed. and, once again, played football together, this time for the Golden Gaels. Dad recalled Bill being older than his classmates he'd fought in the war beforehand and was already married. Dad thinks he remembers your parents living in the Married Students' Quarters at Queen's, in what sounded like temporary buildings on the property of St. Mary's of the Lake Hospital. Dad and Bill both went on to teach high school Phys.Ed. for many years and coach numerous sports teams.
There was another connection though that brought a smile to my face and gave a little tug to my heart strings. We always knew that my mom, Elinor Oaks, had asked my dad out on their first date a Suzie Q dance at Queen's. And we were always told she got his phone number from another member of the football team (something about being on a scavenger hunt on a train carrying Queen's students to a football game, with the phone number of a member of the football team being one of the items to be collected). Well, Dad told me yesterday that Mom knew Bill from biology class and that he was the player she got Dad's phone number from! It is indeed a small world!
So, I give thanks to your father for handing over that phone number so many years ago, for giving my Dad a few moments of happy memories yesterday and, most of all, for being the super good guy he was. On behalf of my father, I send our deepest condolences.
With sympathy,
Anne (Sisson) Blaser,
Kingston, ON
Anne Blaser
November 30, 2019
My deepest sympathies.
I remember Mr. Bell with great respect..he was a super athletic coach and mentor to many. May he Rest in Peace.
Karen Dumencu
November 30, 2019
What a great coach and teacher! Fondly remember his coaching the basketball and track & field teams at Lively High School in the 1960's. Great road trips to Timmins for NOSSA championships.

More than just a coach, he shaped many lives by being an exemplary role model.

Sincere condolences to Mike and Tom and families.
Fred Taggart
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