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BILL EZINICKI  Obituary pic

BILL EZINICKI

Date of Passing: Oct 11, 2012

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BILL EZINICKI Bolton, MA, USA-3 Time NHL Stanley Cup Champion, PGA Tour Champion, devoted husband, father and friend, Bill Ezinicki, 88, died Thursday, October 11, 2012, at Addison-Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, MA, after a brief illness. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 52 years, Jane (McPherson) Ezinicki, and their son, William F. Ezinicki. He is survived by two loving daughters, Claudia J. Ezinicki of Lancaster, MA; and Julie G. Zammuto and her husband Rick of British Columbia; a sister, Carolyn Hamilton of Winnipeg; several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his siblings, Rose Allason, Frank, Joseph and Lillian Ezinicki. Bill was born March 11, 1924, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to the late Frank and Elana (Herchuk) Ezinicki. His childhood talent triggered a professional hockey career that began with the Winnipeg Rangers and quickly led to a position with the Oshawa Generals Memorial Cup Championship team of 1944. One of the most punishing body checkers to ever play the game, Wild Bill became the first-line right winger for the Toronto Maple Leafs three consecutive Stanley Cup Championship teams from 1947-1949. He was elected to play in the NHL All-Star games of 1947 and 1948 and was later traded to the Boston Bruins, where he skated for two seasons before finishing his NHL career with the New York Rangers. Upon his hockey retirement, Bill enjoyed paralleled success from the game of golf and became one of the greatest players in New England PGA history. A long-time head professional with several courses including the International Golf Club in Bolton, MA, Ezzie notably won titles throughout the region, including 1956 and 1958 New England PGA Championships. His finest year professionally in 1960 earned tournament victories at the Massachusetts Open, Rhode Island Open, New Hampshire Open and Maine Open. Following time on the PGA Winter Tour, Bill became a contender on the New England PGA Senior circuit, notably winning NEPGA Senior Championships in 1981, 1984 and 1987. His accomplished career as a dual sport professional athlete is acknowledged with great recognition, including inductions as Honoured Member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, Toronto Maple Leafs Hall of Fame, New England PGA Hall of Fame, and Massachusetts Golf Association Hall of Fame. He received the distinguished Skip Wogan Award for Player of the Year from the New England PGA three times, in 1958, 1960 and 1964. Ezzie will be affectionately remembered for his passion of the game and dearly missed by all who had the pleasure to have known him. Private Funeral Services will be held under the direction of the Philbin-Comeau Funeral Home, 176 Water St., Clinton, MA. Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Bill Ezinicki to: Boston Bruins Foundation, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114. Online condolences may be placed at www.philbincomeaufh.com

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Oct 22, 2012

Condolences & Memories (4 entries)

  • Bill was a favourite of mine when he ws with the Leafs. Later I had the honour of meeting him when he played briefly for the Sudbury Wolves senior team after his NHL career. He was the only player I knew who did not take an afternoon nap. Instead he went for long walks. A real gentleman. I was the Wolves broadcaster at the time. - Posted by: Joe Spence (friend) on: Feb 16, 2013

  • As a kid in the 40's I felt the Maple Leafs could do no wrong. My favourite player on that team back then, it wasn't Ted Kennedy and it wasn't Tod Sloan and it wasn't Max Bentley it was Bill Ezinicki. When he was on the ice the opposition had to keep their heads up or be lying flat on the ice. Sorry to hear about his passing. - Posted by: Robert Wilson (Hockey fan) on: Dec 06, 2012

  • BILLY LOVED WEARING PLUS 4'S WHEN GOLFING AND WAS FEARLESS. IN HOCKEY HE HAD A KNACK OF GIVING BODYSHOTS TO HOCKEY OPPONENTS WHICH WERE ONE OF HIS STRONG POINTS. ON AND OFF THE GRASS OR ICE HE WAS ALWAYS GRACIOUS. - Posted by: ROCKY (FAN & COMPETITOR) on: Oct 25, 2012

  • I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Ezinicki who was my favourite hockey player when I was a child. I had his name scribbled on all my school books. Playing hockey in the snow on the farm, I would always pretend I was him. He was good looking and strong. I remember his fight with Maurice Richard ..he rubbed Richard's face on the ice. We all cheered. He was a tough hombre but also a good guy. I still have pictures of him. My condolences to his family! - Posted by: Ivan Bilash (Fan) on: Oct 23, 2012

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