William "Bill" Sr. Stewart King

December 3rd, 2020

It is with broken hearts that we announce the passing of William Stewart King (Bill Sr.), on December 3rd 2020, in his home surrounded by his family. The incredibly generous and loving husband, father and grandfather passed away at age 90. He is survived by his wife Glenna, his daughter Linda, daughter-in-law Paulette and grandsons Matthew and Corey.

Bill was born on September 15th, 1930 in Tisdale, Saskatchewan to Irish Immigrants, Patrick and Minnie King. He spent his early years working on the family farm where he developed his love for the outdoors, animals and a hard work ethic. The family moved from Saskatchewan to BC when he was 12 in 1942. He attended Nelson High School in Nelson, BC and this is where he first entered politics as a teenager in 1943, when he acted as a runner between polling stations and the campaign headquarters for the CCF (Co-operative Commonwealth Party). When Bill was 17 he moved to Trail, BC and this is where he started his career with the CPR as fireman, shovelling coal for the old steam engines. In 1952, he moved to Revelstoke and he became an organizer for the CCF and a union representative for the CPR. In 1953 he married his first wife Audrey, leading them to having their two children Linda and Bill junior. While raising his young family and working for the CPR full time he still managed to find time to continue his passionate work for the CCF party. In 1966 Bill was first elected to the BC provincial legislature as the MLA for the Revelstoke-Slocan riding and then in 1972 he took a leave of absence from the CPR to join Dave Barrett’s cabinet to become Labour Minister of BC. During his time as Minister of Labour, King introduced BC's first Labour Code and Human Rights legislation, and was the first to appoint women to key civil service positions in BC. In 1983 after serving for 11 years in the government Bill returned to the CPR to finish off 3 more years of service which led to his retirement in 1986 at 56 years old. Bill was known for his quick wit, his infectious laughter, and his kind and compassionate spirit. He spent his retirement years travelling, golfing, curling, hunting, picking mushrooms and huckleberries and spoiling his grandchildren.

Bill was preceded in death by his father, Patrick, and his mother, Minnie and his seven siblings and his first wife Audrey.

There will be no formal service by request. Bill Clark of Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services™ was entrusted with arrangements.

The family would appreciate friends sharing their stories and personal memories by posting them here.

As an expression of sympathy, donations to a local charity or Christmas hamper program would be greatly appreciated.

Messages:

My condolences to the family on the recent passing of Mr. King. He was a good friend to my dad (Al). My introduction to politics began when my dad took me to the legislature as a young child to see Mr King. I imagine there are many political conversations going on between my dad, Val Berry, Bill Murdoch and Mr. King as they reunite. I will always remember the twinkle in eye and his infectious laugh. May treasured memories bring a smile to your face.

Sincere condolences to the King family on the passing of Bill. My Mother, Pauline ( King) was a cousin of Bill and I had the pleasure of meeting him many years ago when he came to visit Ireland. May he rest in peace.

I adored Bill Senior. He was a pillar of strength in the City of Revelstoke and always had time for whomever he encountered. He served in politics but he also served organizations such as the Moberly Park Manor Society. One of his legacies is Slocan Community Health Care Centre which came into being during his term in office. The community shall be forever grateful. He was adored by so many especially Frances Harding whose husband was an MP for so many years. He always had my vote. So sad to hear about his son Bill King Jr. too. My step son, Joe Hart worked for him when he finished his degree in Forestry and admired him just as much as I did his Dad.

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