June 05, 1925 – February 20, 2012
William Thomas Hamilton passed away peacefully at Nanaimo Regional District Hospital in the company of his family following a brief illness. “Bill” was the second of three children born to John (Jack) and Florence (Dolly) Hamilton in Nanaimo, B.C. He was predeceased by his parents, sister (Mary) and first wife, Velma. He will be very much missed by his loving wife Shirley (nee Piper), brother Charles, sons Gary and Douglas, daughter Anne, as well as many grandchildren and great grandchildren (both of his blood and his heart), in addition to a great number of devoted and dear friends.
Bill’s formative years were spent in Youbou on Cowichan Lake and where he began his working career in the local mill. At the beginning of the Second World War his family moved to Victoria where he pursued a machinist’s apprenticeship. At eighteen Bill volunteered to join the armed forces where he proudly served with the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada. Following the war, he finished his apprenticeship and worked for several years aboard the Prince George cruise ship as a marine engineer. In 1952 he married his first wife, Velma (Hunter) and they started a family. At this time he sought employment ashore and, subsequently, worked at Canadian Industries Limited on James Island for the next several years. Bill was an avid outdoorsman and had an incredible ability to mix and manage his love for hunting and fishing with work, his volunteer activities with the Central Saanich Fire Department, and his devotion to his family. When the James Island plant closed in the early 1970s, Bill found a new career at the Lucky Lager (Labbatt’s) brewery where he continued to work until its closure in 1982. Bill again found work as a stationary power engineer with the Department of National Defence where he stayed until his retirement in 1985.
Sadly, Velma was taken from him by cancer in 1989. However, in 1991 Bill married his current wife, Shirley, and moved to Nanoose. After several years of travels and gardening, Bill and Shirley returned to Nanaimo where they have enjoyed a relaxed lifestyle with family and friends. Bill will be sorely missed by the fellow members of his Thursday luncheon group with whom he has shared many good times over the years. Service to be held at Central Saanich Fire Hall on March 11, 2012 at 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon.