October 24, 2020
On October 24, 2020, at the age of 87, William (Bill) Slessor was reunited with his wife of 60 years Beryl (lovingly nicknamed Birdie), who predeceased him April 30, 2019. After living a wonderful life, his daughters Karen (Ian), Cathy (Ron), adored grandson Carter and son Rick (Andrea) will remember him with full hearts and cherished memories.
Bill loved his family of whom he was always so proud. His lively, gregarious and larger than life personality ensured the Slessor household was never dull.
Bill’s professional career was spent in the insurance industry. After years as a private adjuster, he joined ICBC for its launch in the early 70’s. Decades later he retired, but not before leaving a positive impact within the corporation and the community of Penticton.
He was always active – whether out on the golf course, watching local sports, supporting community arts or any local event, Bill was always part of the action! Witty, intelligent and humorously persuasive, he loved a debate or lively discussion on almost any topic. There was nothing Bill liked better than an interesting conversation with good friends or a new acquaintance. He could strike up an engaging conversation with anyone! Friends that knew him well will say his storytelling and ad- libbed monologues are truly legendary and best enjoyed together over a good scotch.
Bill was passionate about music, whether playing hype man and emcee for the Penticton Rube Band for over 30 years, as a long-standing director of the Penticton Jazz Festival or just listening to his favourite tunes on his back deck, music was always part of his day.
Active in community service and volunteering on many levels, Bill had been instrumental in initiating many programs in the city. Among them – the Penticton Senior of the Month Award, the Ambassador’s Program at the Trade and Convention Centre and the music program at the Okanagan Summer School of the Arts. Bill not only helped establish the very first Dry Grad in BC at Pen-Hi in ’83, he volunteered as their Master of Ceremonies and fundraiser for over a decade. Not at all the bashful type, Bill was routinely called upon to emcee and fund raise for countless charity, service club and community events. He served as director of the Penticton Golf Club for many years and president of the Gyro Club, where he was recognized for 50 years of service. He’s been honoured as a Penticton Senior Citizen of the Year recipient and served multiple terms on the Provincial Senior’s Advisory Council.
The COVID pandemic prevents us from gathering together to toast and roast Bill. In keeping with his love for the community, instead of flowers, we ask that you support one of Penticton’s local restaurants, businesses, or charities.
Bill was so well known for his many impersonations and ‘one-liners’. Just picture him saying…
“Here’s looking at you kid – CHEERS!”
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