September 3, 1928 - June 5, 2019
Bill was born in Timmins, Ontario, September 3, 1928 and died in Cobourg, Ontario, June 5, 2019.
Bill was predeceased by his parents Alex and Molly Ramsay and his first wife Elizabeth Ann Gilbert. Ann was the mother of their children Rick (Jeni) and Rachel Hendry (Stephen) all of Acton, Ontario.
Bill adored his grandchildren Kate and Reid Hendry and Austin (born on Bill’s 60th) and Garrett Ramsay.
Bill married Lynn Kirby February 4, 1984 and became the best step-dad to Stacie Dickerson (Jody) and Stephen Brackenbury (Meghan). Loved by two more grandsons Andrew and Graham Dickerson.
Bill arrived in Cobourg in 1951 to be the new Trinity United Church’s organist and choir director.
He also took on teaching music in the schools of North and South Hope and North and South Hamilton Townships. He would only stay for two years and wanted to go back to the city. Well that didn’t happen.
He loved his jobs, the area and the people. Bill remained at Trinity as well as taking on the position of Head of Music at Cobourg District Collegiate Institute East finally retiring from the church in 1977 and CDCI East in 1987. Bill always said he had the best job ever and he loved all his students. Later in years he would say, “I don’t remember your name but you played a flute”. The students loved it.
While at the school Bill’s Pit Band played for musicals such as Mame, Lil Abner, Bells Are Ringing, and on and on. One year the band played for over a day to try and get into the Guiness Book of Records and they did.
Bands went on excursions to Nova Scotia, Vancouver, Boston, Bermuda, Quebec City all under the leadership of Bill and his fellow music teachers.
Bill also helped as vocal coach and accompanist for the Cobourg Opera and Drama Guild. He was a member of the Board of Directors for Northumberland Festival and devoted many hours to organize festival events in the area. In addition he found time to conduct the Cobourg Concert Band for four years.
After retiring Bill and Lynn spent time in Florida where Bill conducted sixty voices of a mixed chorus for a few years as well as the men’s chorus called the Heedless Horsemen. Bill was ecstatic when he got the job of playing piano with Ranchero’s sixteen piece dance band. He did that for eight years and loved every minute.
Bill also had more time for his gardening and woodworking and of course more time at the cottage on Lake Kawagama which he built years before with the help of a few wonderful friends.
Bill was predeceased by his brother Donald and his wife Margaret of Toronto. Will be missed by his sister Grace Luke (the late Eric) of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He will be sadly missed by Lynn’s sisters Diane Pritchard and Debbie Quigley-Quemby and their families as well as many nieces and nephews of the Ramsay and Gilbert families.
A big thank you goes out to ALL of the staff of Streamway Villa Nursing Home in Cobourg for looking after Bill these last 14 months. The care and love was just wonderful.
Bill was Cobourg’s Mr. Music for many years and he will be missed by all those who knew him.
Bill’s service will be held at Trinity United Church, 284 Division Street, Cobourg on Saturday, June 15 at 2 pm with visitation from 1-2 pm. Reception to follow at the church. Condolences received at www.MacCoubrey.com.
Saturday June 15, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Trinity United Church, Cobourg
Saturday June 15, 2:00 pm
Trinity United Church, Cobourg
This obituary is protected by copyright by MacCoubrey Funeral Home Limited.
Proudly serving Northumberland County in the province of Ontario, Canada.
All rights reserved.