Maj William "Bill" James Milhausen, MiD (Ret’d)

    • Major Bill Milhausen, MiD (Ret’d)
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    • Maj William "Bill" James Milhausen, MiD (Ret’d)

    We regret to advise of the death of Major William James Milhausen, MiD (Ret’d), peacefully on 31 January 2016 in his 99th year in Toronto.

    A Royal Canadian Engineer veteran of the Second World War, He was co-author of the book: “Yet Another River to Cross” - The Royal Canadian Engineers in the Italian Campaign 1943-1945.” 

    Bill was born in Moosejaw, SK and raised in Manitoba. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in 1940 he worked for six months as a draftsman with the Surveys Branch of the federal Department of Mines and Natural Resources. In January 1941 he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Engineers (RCE). After his initial training at Petawawa and promotion to Lieutenant, he was posted to the A6 Canadian Engineer Training Centre at Dundurn, SK as an instructor. Bill went overseas to England in March 1942 and embarked for Sicily and Italy in 1943.

    Bill was with 1st Canadian Corps Troops at the start of the Italian Campaign and then transferred to 1st Canadian Infantry Division Engineers with 4th Field Company, RCE where he won a Mention in Dispatches. Later in the campaign, he transferred to 3rd Field Company, RCE as Second-in-Command with the rank of Captain. He stayed with that unit for the remainder of the action in Italy and in March 1945 his unit was transferred to the First Canadian Corps in Northwest Europe. Bill joined the Allied advance through Northwest Europe and took part in the liberation of Holland. Bill reports he was the first Canadian to enter Amsterdam when it was liberated in May 1945.  He later led the 3rd field Squadron home. He  was demobilized in Winnipeg in October 1945.

    Bill later enlisted in the Militia in 1948 and served for two years as Second-in-Command of 6 Field Engineer Regiment with the rank of major. In 1946  he began a very successful career in civil engineering. After a successful career in the public domain, he went on to head up an architectural firm that built many of Canada’s educational and financial institution buildings. Bill was a Life Member of the Engineering Institute and a Member and Designated Consulting Engineer of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario. 

    Bill’s first post-war employment was in April 1946 with the Highways Branch of the Manitoba Department of Public Works and he served as Assistant District Engineer for three districts. In 1949 Bill was appointed Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister of Public Works. In Spring 1950, at the time of the Manitoba Flood, he was District Engineer for the Northwest District. During the flood, his Regiment was called up for active service. Bill was in command of the army units and volunteers that successfully saved the city of St. Boniface. He resigned from the Reserves in the Fall of 1950.

    Bill returned to Winnipeg after the Flood and was loaned to the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as Assistant Supervisor of Construction for Western Canada. CMHC was heavily involved in Cold War and Korean War-related projects that included the programs of Defence Construction Ltd. at the Armed Forces bases, construction of the Pine Tree Early Warning Radar Line, and the new RCAF base at the Cold Lake. After a year in Winnipeg, he moved to Ottawa as Assistant Chief Engineer with CMHC. In December 1953 Bill was appointed Chief Engineer for CMHC and he held this position for two years during which time he was responsible for hundreds of construction contracts at military installations across Canada and north to the Yukon.

    With the Korean War construction program winding down, Bill left CMHC in December 1955 and joined the architectural firm of Marani & Morris in Toronto as an Engineering Associate and responsible for the administration and supervision of projects from tendering to completion. In 1964 he became a partner in Marani Rounthwaite & Dick and eventually was made the Managing Partner - until his retirement in 1984. Bill also served as President of Ardec Consulting Engineers.

    Among the buildings with which Bill was associated were: the head offices of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in Ottawa; London Life in London and Mutual Life in Kitchener; Sheridan College in Oakville and Conestoga College in Kitchener; York Central Hospital at Richmond Hill; Womens' College Hospital in Toronto; the Law and Social Science Buildings at Queens' University; the Science Building at the University of New Brunswick; the Osgood Hall Law School of York University; the head office of the Bank of Canada in Ottawa; and GO Train renovations at Union Station, Toronto.

    Visitation will take place on Monday, February 8, 2016 at the Jerrett Funeral Home "North York Chapel", 6191 Yonge St. (south of Steeles Ave.) from 1 p.m. until time of service in the chapel at 2 p.m with refreshments to follow. Online condolences can be left at www.jerrettfuneralhometoronto.ca .    {khFeb2016}