Life StoryBill had lived at the Green House at L’Arche Daybreak since 1993. Prior to that he lived in several other Daybreak homes, including the old Avoca House in Toronto and at Genesis Place in Richmond Hill. Bill was a founding member of the Woodery where he worked for many years. Bill developed his artistic gifts in mid-life, designing and decorating pottery and candles at the Craft Studio where he became a talented artisan. More recently Bill had begun to spend time at The Club where he brought his coaching skills to the weekly bowling ritual there. He had been a champion bowler on a Richmond Hill amateur team until his bowling retirement in 2007. Bill had also become a mentor to many new core members who looked up to him as a wise and fun-loving community elder. Bill was a close friend of Henri Nouwen. He travelled extensively with Henri, giving retreats throughout North America. There is a photograph of Bill with Henri on the jacket of Henri’s book “In the Name of Jesus”, a book where Henri writes about his friendship with Bill, including his great sense of humour. Bill was a master joke teller, a gift he carried to the Intensive Care Unit of York Central Hospital last week to be treated for pneumonia. Bill regaled his nurses with jokes.
Bill is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Tom Foley, several other brothers and sisters, and a legion of friends. Visitation will be on Monday, May 4th from 2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 8:30 at the Dayspring Chapel at L’Arche Daybreak, 11339 Yonge Street in Richmond Hill. The funeral will take place on Tuesday morning, May 5th at 9:00 at Saint Mary Immaculate Church in Richmond Hill. A dear friend of Bill’s, Father Ralf Schmitz, is coming from Germany to celebrate the funeral mass. Ralf is a former assistant at the Green House. Bill visited Ralf many times in Germany. His last big trip was to see Ralf and his many German friends in May of 2007.
While we grieve here at Daybreak, we are deeply grateful for Bill’s very fruitful life.