Advanced Search:

Regular Search
❮ Go Back to Listings


Date of Passing: Jun 25, 2017

Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory

Adjust Text Size: A+ A-

WILLIAM JOHN BIRTLES It is with great sadness that the family announces the death of their beloved husband, father, and grandfather, on Sunday, June 25, 2017 at the Victoria General Hospital. Bill was predeceased by his parents, John and Winifred (Hughes) Birtles and his siblings, Mary and Hugh in their infancy. He leaves to mourn his loss, his wife Heather (nee Liddell), and his daughters, Anna (Frederic) and Sarah (Christopher). He will be greatly missed by his grandchildren, Owen, Vivienne and Drew, his cousin Lorne Thompson, sister-in-law Christine Liddell, and extended family members and friends. Born and raised in Alexander, Manitoba. Bill completed his high school education at St. John's College School in Winnipeg, where he made lifelong friendships. He first taught on permit and then graduated from the Provincial Normal School Class of 1951/1952. He went on to receive his BFA and BEd degrees from the University of Manitoba. He taught in rural and city schools in Manitoba, enjoyed teaching in Northern Manitoba where he felt privileged to learn the Ojibway language, and also taught in the UK. He was keen to promote the importance of art in the communities where he lived. He loved to travel and to visit museums and galleries. His own drawings, paintings and sculpture are in private and public collections in Canada, the USA and the UK. Bill loved music and was an accomplished pianist. He often played for church services and in retirement played for services in personal care homes. He was a man of deep personal faith and throughout his life enjoyed worshipping in the Anglican Tradition. He was proud of his pioneering family history and his research added a great deal to the family record. DNA testing revealed Viking roots, which delighted him. Bill enjoyed membership in a number of community organizations in which he usually took an active role. He served the Manitoba Society of Artists in this way for many years and the family is pleased to announce that the William J. Birtles Award for Sculpture has been established to pay tribute to his life as an artist and art educator. Contributions to this are welcomed, and can be sent to the society at Box 21056, Winnipeg, MB R3R 3R2, if friends so desire. In 2002 he was honoured to receive the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal. The family is grateful for the many health care personnel who offered Bill kindness and care in the last months and days of this life. A service to celebrate his life will be held at St. Mary Magdalene Anglican Church on Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. with Reverend Canon Mary Lysecki presiding. Following this, interment of ashes will take place at the Cathedral Church of St. John. For those who wish to sign the online Guest Book please visit our website. Chapel Lawn Funeral Home, 204-885-9715
Publish Date: Jun 28, 2017

WILLIAM JOHN BIRTLES 1930 - 2017 Bill died at the Victoria General Hospital on Sunday, June 25, 2017. Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 29, 2017 at St. Mary Magdelene Anglican Church, 3 St. Vital Road. Longer notice to follow. For those who wish to sign the online Guest Book please visit our website. Chapel Lawn Funeral Home, 204-885-9715

Publish Date: Jun 27, 2017

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jun 28, 2017

Condolences & Memories (9 entries)

  • Dear Heather, Anna and Sarah, our sincerest condolences on your loss of your husband and father. I will never forget my friendship with Bill. As a fellow artist and art teacher, we spent many hours talking about art, the MSA, the teaching of art, etc. We also spent years serving together with the Manitoba Society of Artists, working hard to promote other MB artists and their art. Bill and I also exhibited our work together, with the most exciting, being an exhibit together in Bemidji, MN. What a fun time we had together! Thank you, Bill, for adding an special dimension to my life. After we moved to BC, I truly missed our connection time. There were phone calls, but it wasn't the same. We did have a few special times when I returned to Winnipeg for short visits and Heather, Bill and I would have lunch together, including one time with my daughter, Jocelyn and her children. Thanks to all of you for sharing your lives with us! - Posted by: Les and Jan Dewar (Friends) on: Feb 11, 2018

  • To the family, I have oftened wondered what happened to Mr. Birtles, the man who was my art teacher in Transcona way back when and it wasn't until now that I was on the MSA website that I noticed his name and picture and realized that I knew that fellow. I only wish I'd noticed it sooner so I could have touched base with him to say that his instruction in school must have made an impact as I am a successful artist today. My condolences to you on your loss. - Posted by: Terry Mellway (nee Hunt) (Former student in Transcona) on: Sep 12, 2017

  • Dear Mrs. Birtles and family, I was student of Bill's in Carman. He encouraged a love of art and encouraged my endeavours in art. He has enriched my life many fold as I dabble in art for recreation and wind my way through art galleries on all continents. I learned many things from my teachers over the years, but because of Bill I have felt many things. Please know that he has left a legacy. - Posted by: Cathy Gamble (Kitching ) (Former Student) on: Jul 23, 2017

  • Dear Heather, Anna and Sarah, My sincerest condolences to you all on the loss of your father/husband. You have been in my thoughts and prayers especially over the last few days. I have so many fond memories of spending time in your home throughout the high school years and remember having various conversations with Mr. Birtles about art and education! I am thankful too that we were able to connect again in Toronto for lunch in the last several years. God’s peace and comfort to you all during this time. Love from Leanne Alstad Tiessen - Posted by: Leanne Tiessen (friend of Anna's from high school and university) on: Jun 29, 2017

  • I had only met him in the last 2 years at various art events and admired his talent. What an interesting guy! Condolences to his family. - Posted by: Kathleen Black (MSA fellow artist ) on: Jun 29, 2017

  • We were very fortunate to have had Bill as a teacher in Midland School Division. He was a very talented and caring man. Sending condolences to Heather and family. - Posted by: Barbara Lepp (Former student and colleague) on: Jun 28, 2017

  • I attended school at Elm Creek in the 70's. Mr. Birtles was our art teacher and I found him to be a great encouragement in my creative endeavors. He was a teacher who had a very large impact on my life. Thanks Bill, and go in peace. - Posted by: Harold Kenyon (student) on: Jun 28, 2017

  • I was saddened to hear of your dad's passing, my heartfelt sympathies to you and your family. ♥ May he rest peacefully. - Posted by: Wendy (Fisher) (friend of Anna's fm University) on: Jun 27, 2017

  • Our sincere sympathies to you, Heather, Anna, Sarah, & families on the passing of a dear husband, father & grandfather. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. May you feel God's love surrounding and upholding you during the pain of loss through the love & care of so many dear friends. We have so many fond memories of the years shared in Carman--we will treasure them always. Love & prayers! - Posted by: Margaret Hall & family (Friend) on: Jun 27, 2017

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home & Cemetery

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home & Cemetery

4000 Portage Ave. (Map)
Ph: 2048859715 | Visit Website

❮ Go Back to Listings