MCCANN, WILLIAM THOMAS (BILLY)
We are profoundly saddened to announce the sudden passing of our beloved Billy McCann on Sunday evening June 23 at his new home at the Royal Brock Retirement in Brockville Ontario. Left to mourn are his brother-in-law Doug Shields, his nephews Robert (Lisa) Shields and Christopher (Mary-Ann) Shields and their children Ellie, William, Matthew, Ryan and Emily. He was predeceased by his parents Ed and Irma McCann, his brother Robert and his sister Beth. He was the last of his line.
Billy was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia in 1941 where his father was an engineer building Avro Anson trainers for the Canadian Air Force war effort. After the war, Mr. McCann came to work at Phillips Cables in Brockville. After his father’s death in 1967, Billy went to work at Phillips as a mail runner and claimed to have walked hundreds of thousands of miles over his twenty-eight years of service. He was very proud of the fact that he had worked longer at Phillips than did his father.
Billy had a life-long relationship with the Brockville Operatic Society, starting during the time that his mother was a pianist for the orchestra. His support and engagement with the Society was a source of pride for him.
Soon after his mother died in 1979, Billy began a life-long relationship with BACLA (Brockville and Area Community Living Association). It was only with their support that Billy was able to continuously live independently. One of his longest serving Special Counsellors was Helen Windsor.
After retirement, Billy’s daily routine usually involved a visit to 1000 Islands Restaurant, where George always had Billy’s seat reserved and his cup of coffee ready. George’s kindness extended to including Billy in some of the restaurant celebrations and even included Billy in certain special family events.
The family would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to Courtney LePaige who befriended Billy and took him under his wing in the Civitan Organization where with his mentorship and guidance, he and Billy became a team for 34 years involved in fund raising, community support, Christmas parades and National conferences. During that tenure, Billy received many, many awards recognizing his commitment to and work on behalf of Civitan. It was only fitting that Billy wore his Civitan vest on his funeral day.
Billy faced many challenges in his life, but with the love and devotion of his mother and the support of many others, he became a responsible citizen and was fully engaged in his community. He never had a bad word to say about anyone and lived his life in joy and harmony. If anyone could, Billy lived life in a state of grace and came to be regarded as an institution in Brockville.
In memoriums may be made to BACLA or a charity of your choice.
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