January 7, 1924 – July 9, 2020
Our beloved husband and father, William Hugh (Bill) McRae, passed away at Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace British Columbia on Thursday July 9 2020 at the age of 96 years.
Bill was born in Smithers and later moved to South Hazelton. He left school at an early age to begin his diamond drilling career. He joined the army in 1943 and during WW II served with the Canadian Scottish Regiment in France, Germany and Holland. He never forgot the last days of the war in Holland and the liberation of the Dutch people.
For his service at Juno Beach in 1944, Bill was appointed a Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour by the government of France. He was very proud to have received this honour and to wear his medal.
Following the war, he worked as a diamond driller in many parts of Canada. He began his career in the forest industry in a small sawmill at Usk. There he met and married Helene Adams. They then moved to Terrace for the building of Skeena Sawmills. He had prospected many mountains in the area and maintained his interest in mining.
Bill was devoted to the development of the Terrace area. He served on the city council and was involved in many community projects. He was also appointed to a number of provincial development committees. He served on the board of Mills Memorial Hospital and was a founding member of the Dr REM Lee Hospital Foundation. He was named a Freeman of the City of Terrace in 1989.
He had a great interest in people and loved having company. He had a good memory, a strong interest in the history of the area, and enjoyed relating stories of the early days. He cared deeply for his family, friends, and community. He always said that one of the best things about his life was to have known so many good people.
He will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his devoted wife Helene of 69 years, children Dixie Samsom (Rob), Cathy, Marg Commins (Dave), and Doug (Anni), his beloved 14 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
He is predeceased by his son Bill Jr, two granddaughters Leigh Commins and Jane Lussier, brother Randy Haigh, sisters Alice, Jean, and Mary.
Special thanks to the staff of Mills Memorial Hospital, BC Ambulance Service, and to the Home Support Workers who cared for him with kindness and even a song.
No service is planned at this time. Memorial donations may be made to the Dr. REM Lee Hospital Foundation.
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