MWO Wilson William “Bill” Bray, CD (Ret’d)

    • MWO Wilson William “Bill” Bray, CD (Ret’d)
    • CME Badge
    • MWO Wilson William “Bill” Bray, CD (Ret’d)

    We regret to advise of the death of Master Warrant Officer Wilson William “Bill” Bray, CD (Ret’d) on 13 August 2020 in Pembroke ON at age 78. Bill served a full career of 30 years with the Canadian Military Engineers.

    Bill was born in Mayerthorpe AB and was raised on his family's farm. At 17, he decided he wanted to see more of the world and enlisted in the Canadian Army. He started his military career as a Field Engineer with the Royal Canadian Engineers and served in 1 Field Squadron in Petawawa ON, 2 Field Squadron in Camp Gagetown NB and in Germany with 4 Field Squadron. Bill remustered to the carpenter trade and rose to the rank of Master Warrant Officer in the Construction Maintenance trade. He served on Army and Air Force bases across the country from Chilliwack BC to Goose Bay NL and as far north as Alert NWT. During his career he completed two tours in Germany and a 1980 United Nations Peacekeeping tour of Cyprus.

    While stationed in Edmonton as a corporal in the 1970s Bill received his Private Pilot's Licence and became an avid fan of private recreational planes. He owned his own Cessna180 and flew for several years in the Western Provinces and Ontario. Later, he often said: “I bought an aircraft when I was a corporal. When I got promoted to Warrant Officer I couldn’t afford it.” The parking fees, insurance and maintenance got too expensive and he had to sell his Cessna.

    Bill retired in 1991 at CFB Petawawa as MWO Contracts Officer in the Base Construction Engineering Section. He began a second career in 1992 with the local Canadian Tire Store in Pembroke ON where he worked as an assembler, repair man, maintenance assistant and all-around handyman, nicknamed “Macgyver” as he could figure out how to fix almost anything.

    Bill  had learned his carpenter trade in the military and was an exceptional finish carpenter. He   showed his excellent skills when he planned and constructed the family home in Petawawa After they had both retired, Bill and his wife Sandra enjoyed years of travel, first on their Gold Wing 1500 Motorcycle and, later, as RV'ers crossing many parts of the US and Canada, especially spending time in the Western provinces visiting family and friends and wintering in Florida to escape the worst of a Canadian Winter. [khAug2020]