A Long and Happy Life

That is the description of Bill Cary in his obituary in the Outlook newspaper. I first met Bill at St. Michael’s Anglican Church in Canmore, Alberta. Later I met Betty Walker whom he married sometime after his wife Marion died. The three of us always got together when they were in Canmore as they split their time between Bill’s house in Canmore and Betty’s in Delta, B.C. We did a few hikes together and Betty and I occasionally did some cross-country skiing.

One time the three of us plus my brother Phill went out for dinner in Canmore and later I told Phill that Bill was 83 years old. Phill was amazed, because Bill didn’t look or act like someone that old. He was a young man all his life from my point of view.

One time I invited them to come with me on a backpack hiking trip to Stanley Mitchell Hut in Yoho National Park. Unfortunately Betty was busy with an obligation and couldn’t come, but Bill, after hesitating for a minute, said he would come. He was about 70 years old at the time and I think he realized he’d never get another chance to see this beautiful area. We took three days and were able to hike to Kiwetinok Pass one day and hike out over the Iceline Trail. It was typical of Bill that he took advantage of opportunities when they arose. For instance when he was 79 years old he sailed around the world on a freighter. He was an avid golfer for most of his life and golfed in many countries on special golfing holidays.

Bill served in the Canadian navy during WWII after which he attended the University of Alberta and graduated as a chemical engineer. He worked in Arvida, QC, Jamaica, Edmonton, AB, Provost, AB, Timmins, ON, and Ft. McMurray, AB. He once told me that when he had to fire someone the man thanked him for firing him. The guy couldn’t bring himself to quit although he knew he wasn’t doing a good job. I was once in the same position.

Bill was one of those people who was given the gift of old age. Not everyone gets this gift, but Bill Cary certainly did and lived to be 94 years and 8 months.

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