William Burton Bembridge, lovingly known to all as Dad, Bill or Billy, was born in the Rosetown area on December 1, 1930. He was the eldest son of Lucille and Bert Bembridge. After the passing of Bill’s father, the family relocated to a farm in the Brockington area to be closer to his mother’s family. At this time, Bill stepped in to help his mother with anything that needed to be done; from working on the farm, herding his siblings off to school and tinkering with the vehicles and equipment on the farm. At the young age of 12, Bill’s love of cars found him messing under the hood and by the age of 14 he was a hardworking farmhand with a driver’s license. The family eventually left the farm and moved into Melfort.
In 1948, Bill met the love of his life, Noreen. After a year of courtship, they were married and began their family. Bill worked very hard all of his life to support his family. He had a very strong work ethic and never shied away from any challenge. He was a dedicated and valued employee with CN Rail until they shut down their operations in Melfort. He then switched careers and worked for SaskTel to avoid moving his family out of Melfort. Bill also worked after hours and weekends at a variety of jobs. In the early years, this included driving stock trailers, operating the concession booth at the Melfort Arena as a family affair, then the curling rink concession and followed by a 3-year stint as proprietor of Melfort Bowl. Bill retired reluctantly from SaskTel at the age of 65, but could still be found offering a helping hand to anyone in need, was active in the SaskTel Pioneers, volunteered at the Melfort Mustang games selling 50/50 tickets and assisting his family with home improvement projects. Bill was known as a “jack-of-all trades.” He would take on any task involving carpentry, plumbing or electrical, not to mention automotive.
Bill was truly an outdoorsman at heart. He loved working outside, always finding something that needed to be done. He enjoyed attending sporting events and watching them on TV. His greatest passion was fishing and his family enjoyed many, many camping trips to Candle Lake. Every second year he would load up his family and drive out to BC to visit Noreen’s family. Later on in life, Bill and Noreen would regularly travel down to the Black Hills in South Dakota where they had a trailer at Hart Ranch. They also traveled a few times to Aruba and spend a month each winter in Florida attending the Blue Jays training camp until his health began to fail and they could no longer travel.
Bill was a pillar in the family. He loved his children very much and always made time for them. He was very kind and mild mannered. He loved having the family come over for coffee or a meal and would often be found sitting around the table sharing a story. He was the go-to person that family called when faced with a problem or the need for advice.
Bill was diagnosed with dementia approximately 11 years ago, but remained in his house until January of this year. Throughout this time period Bill never lost his trademark smile, often of a mischievous nature, or the twinkle in his eyes that was loved by all. Bill’s eyes would especially light up when his grandchildren and great-grandchildren would come to visit. It became necessary for Bill to move to Parkland Place in February and he remained in their care until he left us on Monday, October 2, 2023.
Bill will be remembered lovingly by his wife of 74 years, Noreen; his sons, Allan (Marilyn) and Gary (Cheryl); his daughters, Donna (Brian) Woolsey, Susan (Greg) Wittig, Cheryl (Myron) Thompson, Wanda Scherban, Sandra (Randy) Wittig and Marilyn (Kelly) Corrigal; 52 great grandchildren and 7 great-great grandchildren; his sisters, Anna (Gerald) Matthews, Judy Jones and Linda (Ralph) Meisner; his brother, Leslie (Iris) Wikman; as well as numerous nephews and nieces.
As Bill was 92 years of age when he left us, he was predeceased by many family members and relatives, too many to list in detail. His closest family members that went on before him was his father, Bert; mother, Lucille Wikman; stepfather, Anders Wikman; brother, Lorne Wikman; sisters, Wilma McCrae and Winnie McRae; son-in-law, Peter Scherban; grandson, Matthew Bembridge; granddaughter, Renee Thompson; as well as brother-in-laws, Leonard McCrae, Lyall McRae, and most recently, Harold Jones.
Memorial donations in memory of Bill may be directed toNorth Central Health Care Foundation (Furnishings) and or a Charity of Choice.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William Bembridge, please visit Tribute Store