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Born: Apr 16, 1947

Date of Passing: Sep 17, 2022

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William Samuel Hechter passed away at his home on Saturday, September 17, 2022, surrounded by his loving family.
He was the son of the late Henry and Shirley Hechter, beloved husband of Linda Hechter, cherished father and father-in-law of Sloane and Marc Freeman, and Brooke and Michael Yasskin. He was the adored Papa of Henry Jack, Sammy, Bobby, Paige, Bridget, and Asher. He was the loving brother and brother-in-law of Roberta Hechter and Robert Gowenlock.
Will was born on April 16, 1947, in Winnipeg. He grew up surrounded by family and friends spending his summers at Clear Lake, Manitoba. His parents and grandparents instilled in him a love of education, justice, and hard work. He attended law school at the University of Manitoba, graduating in 1970. He served as the first editor of the Manitoba Law Journal from 1969 to 1971. While attending law school, he received the honour of clerking for Mr. Justice Samuel Freedman of the Manitoba Court of Appeal. After practicing for a few years in Winnipeg, he went on to Harvard Law School, obtaining a Master's of Law. He was admitted to the Bar Associations of Manitoba, Ontario, Minnesota, and Massachusetts.
He met the love of his life, Linda, in Minneapolis. They have been married for 47 wonderful years.
After teaching law in Minneapolis, Linda and Will moved to Toronto where they settled and raised their family. Will served as a Crown Attorney for four years. His passion for advocating for the underdog led him to establish his own firm where he practiced as a criminal defense lawyer for the remainder of his legal career. He appeared at every level of court in Ontario, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada. Along the way, he founded and published Canadian Lawyer, Canada's first leisure magazine for lawyers.
Will had a lifetime interest in the arts. At the age of 19, Will brought Simon and Garfunkel to Winnipeg, as well as many other popular groups. Will also started Winnipeg's first Art Cinema, "Cinema 3". In 1980, Will collaborated with Andy Warhol to produce a portrait of Canada's prima ballerina, Karen Kain. Later in his life, his love of film and creativity led him to conceive and produce two award-winning documentary films: "Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story" and "A.K.A Doc Pomus". Both aired in Canada and the US, and were played at festivals around the world.
Throughout his life, Will generously supported many community institutions and foundations. His philanthropy also extended to quietly supporting many individuals in need.
Above all, family meant everything to Will. He showered his children and grandchildren with love.
Will will be remembered for his love of family, generosity, creativity, and enthusiasm for life.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Sep 20, 2022

Condolences & Memories (4 entries)

  • I was shocked to hear of Will's passing. He was always the strongest and most positive in spirit of all of us who grew up together in Winnipeg. Will befriended me when my family moved here in 1958, welcomed me to his home, and invited me to join his family in Clear Lake, too. I recall Will organizing Kadima AZA as a new B'nai Brith chapter in Winnipeg. Although our lives separated after school, the friendship did not. When my brother Les passed two years ago, I received a condolence phone call from Will. Although we had not spoken in decades, it was as if no time at all had passed. We spoke for a long time, and each hoped to meet again soon. I can add only one more quality to the glowing list in the obituary, and that is loyalty. Will never forgot a friend, and I won't forget him. My deepest condolences to Will's family, Roberta and those I have yet to meet. - Posted by: Steve Rome (Friend) on: Sep 30, 2022

  • I remember Will as early as Grade 1 at Brock Corydon School and we were in the same class for a few years after that. I remember him as having a brilliant sense of humor and being very bright. My deepest condolences to the family whom I never had the privilege of meeting. Best wishes, Jim Weidman - Posted by: Jim Weidman (Old friend and colleague) on: Sep 21, 2022

  • Dear Linda, Roberta and Family. I share my sadness and send love at this time of loss. I was always inspired by and felt a special connection with my Cousin Will. Not just because we were both namesakes of our grandfather but simply because he was a good guy. I’m grateful for our recent time together in aspen and Rochester. May his memory be a blessing to All. Lots of love Billy - Posted by: Billy Weisman (Cousin) on: Sep 20, 2022

  • Fondly remembered - Posted by: Mary Hall (Former colleague with Crown office -Toronto ) on: Sep 20, 2022

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