It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Superintendent William (Bill) Francis Spearn (beloved husband, father, son, and brother). Bill passed away peacefully at Langley Hospice on March 20, 2022. Bill is survived by his wife Vanessa, daughters Hailey and Julia, father William Senior, sister Deborah (husband Jim), and many other extended family members and friends. Bill is predeceased by his mom, Ruth.
Bill was born in Edmonton to parents Bill and Ruth. He grew up and attended high school in Terrace, B.C. After graduating he attended the University of Victoria where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree. He worked in B.C. Provincial Corrections before he was hired by the VPD in 1996.
Vanessa and Bill were married in 1996 in Victoria, before moving to Langley were together for the past 31 years raised a family and created lasting memories. Bill enjoyed spending time with family and together annual trips were made to the Abbotsford Air Show, Manning Park, and Whistler. Bill’s hobbies included fishing, barbequing, and cheering for the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Blue Jays. Bill treasured going on walks with Vanessa and the family dog Penny in Fort Langley every weekend.
Bill had a very successful 25-year career with the Vancouver Police Department. In January 2020, Bill was promoted to Superintendent. In the last four years of his career his work travels took him to Poland, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Washington, D.C, Chicago, and all over Canada.
In 2019, Superintendent Spearn was the recipient of the H.B Spear Award, an international award given to those involved in law enforcement who have demonstrated a balanced regard for the needs of enforcement and human compassion. Bill was seconded to CFSEU-BC, in 2020, as the Deputy Operations Support Officer.
Bill was considered an ally in the fight for drug policy reform in Canada and was respected by his peers for his commitment to try to find solutions to end the opioid crisis and save lives.
Mike Howell, a Vancouver reporter recently published an article that paid tribute to Bill’s career; https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/local-news/vancouver-cop-was-an-ally-in-fight-for-drug-policy-reform-in-canada.
Bill fought a courageous battle against brain cancer. He will be missed greatly by all that knew him. Bill’s family is honoured by the outpouring of condolences from around the world.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr David Chapman, and the wonderful staff at the BC Cancer Agency (Abbotsford), and the Langley Hospice Residence who gave Bill the absolute best in care. Their dedication and compassion will always be remembered.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Langley Hospice Society at https://langleyhospice.ca/donate/ or BC Cancer Foundation at https://bccancerfoundation.com/ways-to-give/give-in-memory-honour-or-celebration/.
You will be missed Bill! It was my pleasure to have worked with you and God bless you and your family!
Vanessa ,Hailey, and Julia. I worked with Bill many years ago when we were both detectives. I know you have heard this many times but Bill was a great person. He was always upbeat and kept the office laughing. His enthusiasm for the job was contagious. As our careers went different directions and I retired I sadly lost contact with Bill. I was honored to be able to visit him a couple of times over the past few weeks. Our hair was greyer and Bill was a little slower physically, but his mind was still sharp. I brought up a couple of old stories and Bill brought up several more that I had long forgotten. It was great to reconnect with Bill even under the terrible circumstances. The turnout to the memorial service indicated how well Bill was liked and respected The loss of Bill will be felt by many. Our sincere condolences. Terry and Joann Pierce
Vanessa, Hailey and Julia (and Penny), we are so very sorry for your loss. Our hearts are breaking for you during this very tough time. We know Bill will be with you in your hearts and minds forever. Bill, you fought so very hard; be at peace with the Lord now. Love, from your neighbors across the street, Jim and Carol (and Coco too).
Bill was all about helping people, while putting the real bad guys in jail. And, as a leader, he was right in saying that at the CFSEU-BC, being in charge of so many like minded people; all committed to apprehending the worst of the bad guys, was a dream job come true. You did well Bill! Rest in Peace.
My deepest condolences to the Spearn family. I worked with Bill at CFSEU from 2005-2009. He was the best investigator I have ever worked with! I think back fondly of the investigations where Bill was the PI and I was the analyst. Paragon and Pistology were 2 of my career highlights! I admired Bill for his intelligence, tenacity, courage, and genuine care for people. He came back to CFSEU in 2021 and we reminisced about the good old days at Annacis! I will miss you dearly my friend! Winston Soriano
Vanessa-We spoke yesterday and you all have my condolences for your loss, with the knowledge that the extended time Bill had after his operation was well used by him both for family and his deep-held wish to help others via his career. Bill was one of the 'Good Guys', exemplified by, as I became more frail, extending his trimming of your front lawn to include mine. It was my privilege to know him for 17 years and follow his career from Constable via his business cards with cellphone No., given so I could call if I needed to let him know about an apparent house problem. My door is always open if I can help in any way.
Deepest condolences on this great loss. Bill was a great supporter of our work in harm reduction, he was very compassionate, intelligent and genuine. It was an absolute privilege to know him. I enjoyed him so much as a person and will miss him. Rest in Peace, Bill.
Dear Vanessa, Hailey, Julia, Bro Bill, Debbie, Jim, Jayden We are so sad for your loss. Though we had lost touch over the ensuing busy years, we do have fond memories of the spunky little boy, and the promising young man. He was special to you, and so to us. He won't be forgotten. You are ever in our hearts. Rest in peace dear Bill. Love and prayers, Auntie Eileen, Uncle Gerry and Family