February 3, 2020
With great love, but heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Bill, our loving and devoted husband, father and friend to all whose lives he touched, on February 3, 2020. He left us peacefully at the Ridge Meadows Hospital. He was in his 90th year.
Born in Vancouver, Canada, he led an exciting youth of life-guarding on the beaches and skiing in the mountains. He purchased a salmon fishing boat to help finance his post-secondary attendance at the University of British Columbia (UBC), a boat which he unfortunately sank in a storm soon after he completed his Agriculture degree in 1953.
Bill met his loving wife, Patricia (Pat), after he moved to Saskatchewan to work in the oil production field. They married in Weyburn in 1956 and settled in Arcola to raise their family which soon grew to four children. Then the oil industry hit a downturn, and he turned to what would become his favorite career – teaching.
Bill moved his family back to British Columbia in 1963, settling in Maple Ridge. He taught at Garibaldi, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge Secondary high schools. He completed his Masters of Education (MEd) in 1968, again at UBC.
Bill was disturbed by the amount of pollution he saw in the rivers and creeks around Maple Ridge, and organized clean up parties to remove the tons of filth people had dumped in them. In 1973 he started up a recycling program “SPEC” at the Maple Ridge landfill site on Cottonwood Drive to curb the excessive garbage being dumped. He became involved in local politics, joining the Maple Ridge Council both in 1970 and again in 1980. He retired from teaching in 1985 at age 56.
As an avid horseman, Bill championed a trail network throughout Maple Ridge and into Golden Ears Park. His trail work earned him the nickname of “Trailboss” which he took great pride in. His last great trail building project was working on the Trans-Canada Trail.
Bill loved being part of any group he felt could change things for the better, so he created and/or joined many organizations. Some of these included the Horse Council of BC, Haney Horseman, Trails BC, Backcountry Horseman, Trans Canada Trail and Endurance Riders of BC. He generally held positions of significance within the groups.
Bill will be dearly missed by his loving and devoted wife of 63 years, Patricia. He was the beloved father of Kerry, Darcy (Bob), Shelley (Randi) and Rob (Linda); and proud grandfather of Ryli, Nic, Danny, Megan and Kristen. Bill was predeceased by his sister Margaret Rithaler in 2012.
Bill lived a full life as a wonderful example of one who strives to give back and make this world better than he found it. He will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts.
Happy trails, dad.
The family would like to thank Maple Ridge Senior Village for making it possible for Dad to enjoy the final chapter of his life with mom in a well-cared for manner, with lots of activities to pass the days. We would also like to thank Ridge Meadows Hospital’s doctors and nurses for their compassion.
A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at the The Ranch Pub & Grill (part of the Maple Ridge Equi-Sports Centre), 21973 132 Avenue, Maple Ridge on Sunday, February 23, 2020, 12:00pm. Flowers or donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation are welcome.
Condolences/comments/memories can be left at https://www.asimplecremation.ca/obituary/William-Archibald