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Date of Passing: Sep 13, 2019

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William (Bill) James Hickerson died peacefully in the early hours of Friday, September 13, 2019.

He was much loved by his three sons and their families - John and Alison with grandsons Keith (Chantale) and Neil (Claire); James and Donna with granddaughter Amalia; Glen and Penny with grandson Aaron (Allie and great-grandson Xavier) and granddaughter Lauren (Ethan).

Bill grew up in a large, loving family in Farrington and later Fort Frances, Ontario. His brothers and sisters and their spouses were not only family but his lifelong friends as well. Bill's life will continue to be celebrated by his sisters, Florence, Donna (Willie) and Lois; his brother Frank (Frieda); sisters-in-law Fae and Mabel; as well as numerous beloved nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by wife Elaine; his parents William and Helen; brothers Horace and Ed; and his sisters and brothers-in-law: Irene (Felix), Shirley (Les), and Jessie (Merlin) and Murray, and in-laws Jack and Eleanor Paxton.

Bill was a minister of the United Church of Canada from 1957 and into the 21st century, through what his family joked was a serial pattern of retirements and returns to his calling in the ministry. Following ministries in Bowsman/Minitonas, Manitoba, (1957 - 1962), Thunder Bay, ON (1962 – 1970) and at Riverview United Church in Winnipeg (1970 – 1976), Bill served as Executive Secretary for the Manitoba and NW Conference (1976 – 1985). Bill returned to congregational ministry in 1985 at Immanuel United Church until retiring in 1994. After his retirement he remained an active member of the Immanuel Congregation, finding the fellowship of the men's study group particularly fulfilling. Bill and Elaine took great pleasure in their involvement with the Good Neighbours Active Living Centre and enjoyed the opportunity to sing together in their choir.

Bill was a passionate advocate for those left behind by society. He was an early supporter of rights for LGBTQ people at a time when such a view was unpopular. He worked to build bridges with Canada's Indigenous people and was proud of his role as speaker of the All Native Circle Conference of the United Church of Canada.

Bill earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1954 from the University of Manitoba and his Bachelor of Theology in 1957 from United College (now the University of Winnipeg). He earned a Master of Divinity degree in 1973 also from the University of Winnipeg. Bill guided others in their learning journeys at St. Andrew's College and at the Pastoral Institute at the University of Winnipeg. In 1987 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity (Theology) from St. Andrew's College at the University of Saskatchewan in recognition of his many years of service on its board.

The love of Bill's life was his wife Elaine. They were married from 1957 to Elaine's death in 2012. He never stopped missing her and loved her to the end of his days.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on November 16, 2019, at Immanuel United Church, 755 Golspie Street, Winnipeg.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the charity of your choice.

For those who wish to sign the online
Guest Book please visit

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Oct 12, 2019

Condolences & Memories (6 entries)

  • To Glen, I went to school with you (Churchill), and my Mum taught Sunday school at Riverview United, with Rev Hickerson. I still think of him as my Pastor and thought of him up tonight. While this post is late in coming, hopefully you know that people will remember him kindly for many days/years still to come. Hope all his family are doing well. Your father was a lovely man. - Posted by: Tracey wake (Friend of family ) on: Jul 27, 2021

  • My sincere condolences to the Hickerson family, my family lived just across the street and I was always welcomed in their home. A very loving family. Blessings and prayers to all . - Posted by: Hetty (Koch) Walker (Knew the Hickerson Family when I lived in Fort Frances ) on: Nov 16, 2019

  • I grew up in Fort Frances, the Hickerson family lived down the street in the next block, and they were a houseful. All friendly! Knox United Church was our church home, and Irene and Jessie were CGIT mainstays. But Bill being 'called' was special. My condolences to all, and thank you for such joyful memories...moo - Posted by: Marjoory Olsen Olson (Hickerson family friend) on: Nov 14, 2019

  • I extend my sincere sympathy to members of Bill's family as you mourn his death and celebrate his life. Bill was Chair of the Conference Staff Committee when I was Conference staff member. My experience of Bill was that he was fair, compassionate and justice-seeking in all of his deliberations. Those qualities were evident in all aspects of his ministry. Thus, I am grateful for his ministry personally and to The United Church of Canada. Blessings and Peace, Marion - Posted by: Marion Pardy (Very Rev. Dr.) (colleague) on: Oct 26, 2019

  • Bill celebrated life he didn't just live it. I'm grateful I had the pleasure of knowing him. He was a wonderful person and will be missed by many. I'm sure the Lord has a special place for such a wonderful human being. My condolences to his family. - Posted by: Valerie Johnson (friend) on: Oct 21, 2019

  • Sincere condolences to you and your family, James. - Posted by: Olivia Stadnyk (Former colleague of James) on: Oct 20, 2019

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home & Cemetery

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home & Cemetery

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

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