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Born: Jul 17, 1921

Date of Passing: Oct 03, 2021

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July 17, 1921 – October 3, 2021

Bill passed away peacefully at the milestone age of 100 and is now reunited with the love of his life, Josephine.
He is lovingly remembered and will be sadly missed by his daughters, Nancy (Don) and Susan (Bill), sons, John (Shirley) and Bill (Sharon); eight grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. Bill was the last surviving member of his generation in the Neil and Schan families.
Bill was born and raised in North Winnipeg. In his formative years, he attended St. Joseph's Roman Catholic School, and later became a lifelong devout parishioner of St. Joseph's Church. Bill graduated from St. John's High School and was an accomplished athlete in many sports, excelling in both baseball and hockey. Future career goals were interrupted when Bill volunteered to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces during the Second World War. Bill attained the rank of Sergeant - wireless operator in the 8th Reconnaissance Division. Following training in England, Bill and his comrades landed in Normandy in June, 1944. The war ended for Bill when he was severely wounded in August, 1944. His armoured car was hit with an 88mm shell, leading to the loss of his left arm.
Bill returned to Canada and was hospitalized for three months at Deer Lodge Hospital to heal from his injuries. Afterwards, he returned to school and eventually was employed by the Prosthetic Services Department at the very hospital in which he recovered. Bill later became the Regional Superintendent of the department until his retirement. In his spare time, Bill was an avid golfer and curler.
Bill was an active member of the War Amps Manitoba Branch and served in the following capacities: Member, Civilian Liaison Program; Manitoba Branch President; Manitoba National Director; Chairman, War Amps National Council; Vice-President, War Amps National Council; National President, War Amps; Chairman, Joint Veterans Association during which Bill was instrumental in restoring 4800 gravesites in the Field of Honour at Brookside Cemetery.
Bill was also instrumental in the formation of the Child Amputee Program in 1975, sharing his knowledge and positive outlook through CHAMP seminars, media interviews and school presentations. Bill received the Distinguished Service Membership and Honorary CHAMP membership awards.
Bill and Jo were married on June 21, 1947 at St. Joseph's Church and enjoyed 66 fulfilling years together. Despite their many varied interests, family was always a priority. Whether it was standing on snow banks at hockey games, watching baseball games or listening to countless hours of piano practice and recitals, Bill and Jo were always in attendance providing their children with never ending support.
Bill and Jo were accomplished card players. In fact, a few years ago, Dad achieved a "29 hand" in cribbage which was an accomplishment he never let us forget! Dad served on the Executive and as President of the St. John's Sportsmen's Club and spent many summers vacationing at Green Lake. Dad and Mom also loved to travel, visiting Britain, France, Russia, United States, Mexico and of course, the country of which they were most proud - Canada!
The family would like to extend sincere appreciation to the Prime Program at Deer Lodge Centre, specifically Dr. Roche, Dr. Albak and Nancy Fiebelkorn. Their support and that of Friendly Caregiver Seniors Care, made it possible for Dad to remain in his home.
A memorial service for immediate family only will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 12 at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the War Amputations of Canada CHAMP Program.
Publish Date: Oct 9, 2021

July 17, 1921 - October 3, 2021

Bill passed away peacefully at the age of 100 and is now reunited with the love of his life, Josephine.
A memorial service will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 12 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, Mountain and Andrews. Please inform a family member if you are planning to attend or email, (204)391-1618, understanding all attendees must provide proof of vaccination. The number of attendees may be limited due to COVID restrictions.
Longer obituary to follow.
Publish Date: Oct 6, 2021

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Oct 06, 2021, Oct 09, 2021

Condolences & Memories (8 entries)

  • Thinking of all of you during this sad time. Glad you had your dad/grandfather for so many years. - Posted by: Dena & Floyd Woycheshin (sister-in-law) on: Oct 17, 2021


  • So sorry for your loss. I have lots of memories of War Amp gatherings. - Posted by: Janet Henderson (Davidson) (Daughter of Harry Davidson(War Amp)) on: Oct 09, 2021

  • Bill is remebered in my family as a great advocate for amputees and their families. He is much appreciated for the help he gave my Mom and Dad. As my Mom said " nobody can light a fire under a civil servant like Bill Niel". - Posted by: Mike Forbes (Son of war amp) on: Oct 09, 2021

  • Sorry to hear of your dad's passing. I remember him with my dad Alec Kirsch on the baseball diamonds. My aunt dorithy often spoke of him and your mom at Green lake Condolences from the Kirsch family - Posted by: Bonnie Kirsch Harrison (Friend) on: Oct 09, 2021

  • So sorry for your loss Nancy to you and your entire family - Posted by: Linda and ray mcmurtry (Friend ) on: Oct 08, 2021

  • Dear Bill, Carson, Taylor and family. So very sorry to hear of the loss of your dad & grandfather. He lived a fulfilling and long life. Now he can rest peacefully. Sincere condolences to all of you. Kevin, Judy & Alexa - Posted by: The Tyndalls (Neighbours) on: Oct 07, 2021

  • Dear John & Shirley Andrew and Jayne, My sincere condolences to all of you. You are in our thoughts. All our Love, Bruce & Tina - Posted by: Bruce Gowanlock (Very good family friend) on: Oct 06, 2021

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