William J. (Bill) WHEELER
1931 - 2020
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Bill Passed away at Markham Stouffville Hospital on January 21, 2020 at the age of 88. Born in Port Arthur (Thunder Bay) in 1931 to Margaret and Charles Wheeler. He graduated from the Ontario College of Arts in 1955 and married fellow student Pat Smith. He leaves behind three sons Donald (deceased), Douglas and Christopher (Susan) and grandchildren Michael, Elizabeth (Josh) and Katelyn. Bill worked in a number of art studios before he became Head of the Art Department at West Hill C.I. for 28 years, retiring in 1994. In the 60's Bill furthered his education with completion of a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto. He did many illustrations for magazines and the Toronto Star Weekly and did numerous books with his wife Pat. In 1962 meetings were held in Bill's home to discuss the formation of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS). He became the unpaid editor for the National quarterly publication for 45 years. He also served as the President of the Toronto Chapter. As an author he published four aviation books - Images of Flight (1992), Skippers of the Sky (2000), Flying Under Fire (2000), Volume 2 (2004). Bill was active in Markham by serving on the local Architectural Conservancy advisory committee (LACAC) in the mid 80's and on the Program committee of the Frederick Horsman Varley Art Gallery, where he was also a docent. Bill enjoyed the great outdoors and camping. Canoed both the Nahanni River in the Yukon and the Stikine River in Northern B.C. Thank you to the caring staff at Markham Stouffville Hospital. Visitation will be held at the Dixon-Garland Funeral Home, 166 Main Street N. (Markham Road) Markham on Wednesday, February 5th from 2-4 p.m. & 7-9 p.m. Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, February 6th at St. Andrews United Church, 32 Main Street N., Markham at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to Markham Stouffville Hospital or Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated.

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Published in York Region News on Jan. 25, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
February 8, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of your husband's passing Pat. My sincere sympathy to you and your family.
Pat Stewart
Pat Stewart
February 7, 2020
Bill was an incredible man. Very talented, warm kind hearted and an absolute joy to have know. He carved the totem pole at our family cottage. He will be missed by many. Rest In Peace Bill. Our sincere condolences to Pat, and family. From Jean, Kim and Adam Topple.
Adam Topple
February 3, 2020
So sorry to hear of Bill's passing. I have had a few contacts with him over the years because of his friendship with my husband, Will Davies. What a gentleman. I also remember Pat's sweet Christmas cards as well.
Ruth Davies
January 31, 2020
It is with sadness that I have learned of Mr. Wheeler's passing. For five years he and his art department at W.H.C.I. guided my teen years by helping me develop my skills in visual expression and then encouraged me as I applied to NSCAD University for further visual arts study with the aim of Art Education. He was a patient teacher pointing out the advantage of happy accidents in my work, something of him I was sure to pass on to my own art students in Nova Scotia. I feel very fortunate to have been influenced by his gentle perspective.
Thank you for sharing him with all of us at West Hill Collegiate Institute.
Suzanne Crichton
January 28, 2020
My deepest sympathy to my dear friend Pat for this very sad loss. I am thinking of you and hope we can speak soon. Love Marion.
Marion Green
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