William Hepburn "Bill" Ellis

    • William Hepburn "Bill" Ellis
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    We regret to advise of the death of William Hepburn "Bill" Ellis, formerly of San Francisco, California and Fanny Bay BC, peacefully at the Ocean Front Village Care Centre in Courtenay BC on 19 January 2024.

    Bill was born in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia, but returned to Canada in 1938 with his mother and sister after the untimely death of his father in Bulawayo. His early years were spent in Hamilton and Mount Forest ON. After graduating from high school, he joined the Canadian Army with the Regular Officer Training Plan and studied civil engineering at McGill University. Following graduation with a B. Eng. (1958), Bill served as an officer with the Royal Canadian Engineers for a short period before retiring from the Canadian Forces and pursuing graduate studies in agricultural engineering at the University of Saskatchewan.

    Following graduation from U. Sask. (1964), Bill took his first posting with a British engineering firm on a project in Pakistan. This set him on the road to a long and successful career in the engineering and agricultural fields, working primarily on international development projects that brought clean water to impoverished regions of the world - including in Pakistan, Bangladesh, throughout Central Asia and the South Caucasus.

    After living more than 40 years in San Francisco and employment with American engineering firms, Bill's identity remained Canadian. He returned to Canada (Fanny Bay, BC) in 2006, where he lived in retirement, pursuing his interests in sailing, exploring the mountains and forests with his canine companions, and sharing his intimate knowledge and experiences of the world by teaching at the local Elder College.

    A Celebration of Life will be held in Courtenay, BC, at a later date, with interment to follow at St. Peter's Anglican Church in Tyrconnell, ON. Online condolences may be sent to the funeral home.