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Born: Jun 16, 1955

Date of Passing: May 06, 2021

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June 16, 1955 – May 6, 2021

Bill died suddenly at his home on the morning of May 6, 2021.
Bill was predeceased by his father Hugh Mckay Fraser, and his son Christopher. He leaves behind his loving family - mother Anne, wife Heather, son Hugh (Jaclyn), sister Lesley (Ross), brother Jack (Shelly), sister Carol, sister Janine (Kevin), and brother Bud (Maria). He also leaves behind his nieces and nephews and friends whom he loved dearly.
Bill grew up in Charleswood with his family on Laxdal Road. He had fond memories of exploring outdoors and adventuring with his brother Jack and their group of friends, many of whom he stayed close with his entire life.
As a child, Bill spent summers at the family cabin at Victoria Beach, and also with his Baba and Gido in the Souris Valley in Bienfait, SK. His love of camping and the outdoors was fostered during these summers and during family road trips in the tent trailer. Bill always held a very deep love and respect for his parents, Hugh and Anne, who instilled in him his strong sense of morality, and what it means to be a good person.
In his early 20s, Bill met the love of his life, Heather Mackenzie, in May 1977. They began their journey through life together, that would not end until his death. They were married in September 1981. In November 1981, their son Hugh was born. Hugh was the first child in Bill's family, and among his group of friends. After their son was born, Bill and Heather bought a house on Seekings Street in Headingley, where he would remain for the rest of his life. Bill was a very involved father and held a very deep love for his son. He was always so proud of Hugh's accomplishments, and was the biggest influence and role model in his life. As a family, Bill, Heather and Hugh spent summers camping and staying at the family cabin at Victoria Beach, and visited family and friends outside of Manitoba, especially in Alberta, BC, and closer to home in Kenora.
In the late 1970s, Bill started working at Ilford Riverton Airways / Air Manitoba as a shipper, and before long began his apprenticeship as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME), eventually becoming a licensed AME. This began his lifelong career in aviation. He excelled in his career, earning the respect and admiration of his co-workers, many of whom he shared lifelong friendships with. He became maintenance crew chief in the mid-1980s. Bill spent his years at Air Manitoba working at the hangar in Winnipeg, and also flying to remote locations in the North to repair aircraft. Bill left Air Manitoba in the late 1980s to try his hand at writing and journalism. He studied writing at the University of Winnipeg, and authored articles for the CBC, Winnipeg Free Press, and the aviation magazine Wings.
Bill returned to Air Manitoba in the early 1990s, in order to prepare C-46 Commando aircraft to fly to Kenya, Africa and support UN relief efforts into Sudan. Bill and his crew modified these aircraft and flew with them to Africa, where he spent time maintaining the aircraft and living at the airstrip in Lokichogio, Kenya. During this time, Bill and his good friend Ted Hector hatched the idea to start a motorcycle repair shop. After returning from Africa, Bill and Ted opened Thunder Road Motorcycles on Sargent Avenue in Winnipeg. Bill ran the shop for several years, and he was able to share his love of motorcycles and enjoy running a business together with his friend.
In 1996, Bill returned to aviation as an AME Instructor at Stevenson College in Portage la Prairie. The college expanded to Winnipeg, and Bill was the project manager for setting up a new Aviation Training Center at YWG and developing the AME diploma program. Over his years at Stevenson, Bill was promoted to Chief Instructor, and eventually promoted to Chair, Aviation and Aerospace, Red River College, Stevenson Campus. Bill educated many students over the years, from all over Canada, and had a positive impact in the careers of many AMEs. Bill also authored an aviation textbook, CARs for the AME, which is now the industry standard study guide for the Transport Canada AME License. At the end of his career in 2013, Bill was honoured with the Manitoba Aerospace Award of Excellence for Education and Training.
Bill and Heather retired together in 2013, deciding to retire early so they could enjoy their golden years together. Bill was never idle or bored, and spent his retirement travelling, and working on all kinds of projects. He and Heather wrote, filmed, and produced two documentary films: The Locomotives of Bienfait, and SALT, which just had its premiere at the Park Theatre in the fall of 2020. Bill was also involved in his community and made a film for the Headingley Grand Trunk Trail Association to promote their portion of the TransCanada Trail. Bill and Heather went on many trips together, all over Europe and to various tropical destinations. The last trip they made was a very special trip to Ukraine, with his brother Jack and sister-in-law Shelly, where they visited the village in which his mother was born.
Bill was an accomplished musician, having played guitar almost every day since he was a teenager. He wrote and played his own original songs, and loved to play music with his family, friends, and Heather. Bill had many friends, and he always made a point of staying in contact with them. He had very close friends from his childhood in Charleswood, whom he still saw regularly. He also had a group of friends from his career in aviation, who called themselves the AMEgos. They met every week in Bill's garage at his home in Headingley to solve the problems of the world.
Bill was always with his wife Heather, as they were inseparable. They were both so happy that their son Hugh had moved back to Manitoba, after a decade living in BC. Bill and Hugh were able to spend the last year together, and they both cherished these moments.
Bill's sudden departure from this world has left a great hole in many people's lives. He was the best of men, modest, a loving father and husband, and a great friend. Words can't express how much he will be missed. He was taken too soon from us.
In lieu of flowers, if friends so desire, donations may be made in Bill's memory to the Winnipeg Humane Society, 45 Hurst Way, Winnipeg, MB R3T 0R3.
A memorial service will be held at some point in the future when we can celebrate Bill's life and love together.


Publish Date: May 15, 2021


Unexpectedly, on Thursday, May 6, 2021, Bill passed away at the age of 65 years.
Longer notice to follow.


Publish Date: May 8, 2021

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 08, 2021, May 15, 2021

Condolences & Memories (15 entries)

  • We are so very sorry Heather and Hugh to hear of Bill's passing. Although we did not know him well, it was clear that Bill was a smart, extremely funny and an all around wonderful guy who loved his family and friends. Please accept our sincerest condolences. May you be comforted by the beautiful memories. - Posted by: Hiroko Kagawa and David Visentin (Friend of a friend) on: Jun 09, 2021

  • Heather and Huey - We were so sorry and shocked to hear about Bill. We knew some of Bill's wonderful qualities but had no idea of the scope of all his talents. He will be missed. Take care. - Posted by: Lorna and Peter Pankratz (Previous neighbours) on: Jun 05, 2021

  • Missing our dear friend Bill who has been by our side through life's ups and downs for over 50 years with the treasured gift of his friendship. Bill was always there for us in times of need or celebration - always sharing the fun and zest he had for life and his many talents and passions. He will live on in our hearts, never to be forgotten. To Heather, the love of his life, and son Hugh, his greatest joy, and to Bill's family he so loved and admired, we extend our deepest sympathy for the loss of your forever loved and cherished son, brother, husband, and father. - Posted by: Boyd, Jo-Anne, and Kyle (Friends) on: May 20, 2021

  • My condolences to Heather, and family. I can't imagine how hard this loss is for them. I met Bill after he and Ted opened Thunder Road Motorcycles. After he had resumed his aviation career, he would come to the shop for some of the Friday, Thunder Road happy hours. He and Ted would jam on their guitars. I got to see another side of his artistry when he was doing his aviation text book. When he saw how much I liked the cover art, he gave me a version of the cover photo. I had it framed and am glad to have it to remember him by. I'm also glad to have a copy of his DVD, Salt. We who have known Bill will greatly miss his company, and his talent. Jim Harrison - Posted by: Jim Harrison (Friend) on: May 18, 2021

  • My sincere condolences to the Fraser family. We lived next door at the cottage and had many visits with the family. My heart goes out to Heather, Hugh and the extended family. - Posted by: Bev Macmillan (Lake neighbours ) on: May 18, 2021

  • Very sorry to hear of Bill's sudden passing. We worked at Ilford -Riverton together. Before he started in maintenance we worked cargo together. He came to work for me as long as he could take time off to play music at what ever venue he had booked. No Problem, I am glad that he managed to maintain that commitment to both careers. We shared a number of trips together to Oshkosh for the airshow and Island lake for their famous freeze up parties. Always up for a good time we shared the odd beer up in Whisky Towers. My sympathy to Heather and Hugh at this most difficult time. I posted Bill's obituary on the Ilford Facebook page and it has received numerous posts from Bill's old friends from days gone by. - Posted by: Tim Paul (Friend) on: May 16, 2021

  • It is with my deepest sincere condolences to each and everyone, family, relatives and friends during this sad time. Although I have not seen Bill in the past number of years, he was always an genuine, trustfull and compassionate man. He had great love for his wife Heather, son Hugh and late son Christopher. A man with many creative passions, with strong heart for his family, friends and loved ones. In our younger day, we all shared lots of good times and sad but always good laughs were had. My heart goes out to you all at this sad time. He is now on his next journey carrying the deep love of the many who loved and respected him. May you all feel love and support at this time of sadness. Much love to you all Maureen Woodward - Posted by: Maureen Woodward (friend) on: May 15, 2021

  • Our sincere condolences Anne to you and your family. Bill was obviously very much the wonderful man his father was and we are so sorry for your loss. - Posted by: Larry & Grace (Laurie) Hoskin (Family friends) on: May 15, 2021

  • Heather and Hugh, my heartfelt condolences. Bill was a great and many talented guy. He will be missed. Louella - Posted by: Louella Lester (Friend) on: May 15, 2021

  • Our sincere condolences to Heather, Hugh and the entire Fraser family. We were very sorry to hear of the untimely passing of Bill. Being lifelong friends of the Frasers, we heard about the endeavours of all their children and Bill was most talented and accomplished. May you take comfort in the knowledge that he lived a good life and was well respected. Sincerely, Anne & Gord Gooding - Posted by: Anne & Gord Gooding (Friends of the Frasers) on: May 15, 2021

  • We are so sad to hear about Bill's passing. Thinking you all during these tough times. - Posted by: Ken & Michelle Rowson (Family Friends) on: May 14, 2021

  • Ed and I are sending Our Sincere Sympathy to your Family. Of course no Words are enough at this time, Bill was always a Gentlemen. Choose a Memory that Brings A Smile to Your Hearts and Cherish it Always, Eddie and Shirley (Lepoder) Thomas. To Janine, I Have thought of you many times over the years, My arms are wrapped around you with the passing of Bill. - Posted by: Shirley Lepoder Thomas (school mate) on: May 14, 2021

  • On behalf of the Antique Motorcycle Club of Manitoba, please accept our condolences on the sudden and tragic loss of Bill. Many of our members attended the release of the film "Salt" and enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a pleasure getting to know Bill and to see his enthusiasm around the Salt project (and for Bien Fait)...we were looking forward to many more features from Bill. We are so sorry for your loss...Kim Robinson, President AMCM - Posted by: Kim Robinson (Friend) on: May 11, 2021

  • My sincere condolences. Bill was a true artist and I knew him first as and old motorcycle lover back when he and Ted teamed up. His film making skill have become legendary and and I am shocked to have received the news. To Heather and Bill's sister who I have known for years, I am truly sorry for your loss...Ross Metcalfe - Posted by: Ross Metcalfe (Friend) on: May 10, 2021

  • Bill was so much more than a mentor to me, he was who I wanted to become as an AME, truth and righteousness describe Bill. I never had the opportunity to know Bill outside the classroom well but to those who knew him well he was the measure I strive to be to this day. Top instructor I remember and always will be thank you Bill I will always remember!! - Posted by: Andrew Hedlund (Student mentor of ) on: May 09, 2021

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