Bill passed away suddenly at home in Castor on May 7, 2014 at the age of 70 years.
Bill was born June 6, 1943 in Castor, Alberta. He was the third of six children of Tony and Edith Hronek. Their home was located between the Doan’s and the Jamieson’s, so was often the gathering place of the neighbours.
Bill took his schooling in Halkirk and then went to work at the coal mine for a short time before returning to the family farm.
Bill started a carpentry apprenticeship in Calgary which led him to a job constructing what is now Sunshine Village. Bill then got on with a seismic company, Bertam Drilling and worked in the Arctic for many years. He loved telling the story of when the polar bear came into their camp and they were trapped in the bunk house for 2 – 3 days until the natives came to their rescue.
It was during these years that he met his wife Mickey Elhard. They were married June 24, 1972. Bill and Mickey had two sons, Jason and Clinton. The family remembers travelling many miles in a holiday trailer following the pipeline across all of Alberta, north to south, east to west. At this time he was working for Caribou Pipelines installing gas lines for rural co-ops across the province.
On weekends, Bill and Mickey would drive home with the kids and spend the weekend clearing the half section they purchased for farming. When the kids were in middle school, Bill decided to change his career to be closer to his family. He took a job at the school, worked for Esso hauling fuel, then he started up his own oilfield maintenance company, Castor Oilfield Services. When he dissolved his company, he decided to retire.
In Bill’s early years, he enjoyed the race track and worked for Hally Walgenbach with his chuck wagons. Even to this day, Bill and Mickey followed the chuckwagon circuit each season in person or over the radio.
Bill loved fishing, camping, and being with his family. One of Bill’s claims to fame is that he got the first hole-in-one at the Castor golf course. Bill and Mickey travelled many miles and spent countless hours in arenas watching Clinton play hockey.
Bill finally got his two daughters when Jason married Lisa and Clinton married Tina. Bill would light up when the grand kids were around. His oldest granddaughter Hailey (Jason’s) had him wrapped around her finger instantly. We laugh as we remember when grandpa took Hailey fishing and she had to pee. Grandpa made her squat in front of the truck, which was a first for her. Later Maddox and Kennedy (Clinton’s) were added to the family.
He was notorious for allowing chocolate before breakfast and snuggling the babies to sleep.
The family spent time together at the Shuswaps at their lake lot and were joined by many visitors. Bill taught many kids and young adults how to play crib over the summer months and became a second dad and grandpa to the repeat visitors. We have many memories of camping together with the Howe family for their annual reunion. It was important to Bill to be a part of these family gatherings.
Bill was the guy that could fix anything and had the patience to re-finish things to make them look new again.
Bill leaves to mourn his loving wife Mickey; sons Jason (Lisa) and Clinton (Tina); grandchildren: Hailey, Maddox and Kennedy; his sisters: Darlene Reykdal of Red Deer, Marjorie Sorensen of Hanna and Dorothy Evers of North Bay, Ontario.
He was predeceased by his parents Anthony and Edith; parents-in-law Albert and Mildred Elhard; brothers: Donald and Robert (Bob) and brothers-in-law Bill Sorensen and David Reykdal.
A private family graveside service was held on Monday, May 12, 2014 in the Castor Cemetery at 1 p.m. with long time friend Phil Doan officiating. Family and friends then gathered for a luncheon at 2 p.m. in the Castor Community Hall.
Should friends desire memorial contributions may be made in Bill’s memory to Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital Foundation or to the Castor Minor Sports.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.parkviewfuneralchapels.com
Parkview Funeral Chapels & Crematorium were entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements. For further information please call 403-882-3141.