Earl William “Bill” Daly, age 83, of Spirit River, AB, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on April 24, 2023, at the Central Peace Health Complex, after a year of declining health.
Bill was predeceased by: his parents, Earl and Thelma Daly; brother Rodney; wife Gail; niece Anita; grandson Max Drasak; son Shawn; and close companion Adaline Edey.
Missing him dearly are: his children, Carol (Frank) Drasak of Edmonton, Brice (Loretta) of Spirit River, Sharon (Chris) Checkel of Coronation, AB; daughter-in-law (Sherri) Daly of Grande Prairie; grandchildren Michelle (Logan) Matthews, Ryan (Bree) Daly, Robin Daly, Matthew Checkel, and Noah Drasak; as well as great-grandchildren Digory, Claire, Winston, Phoebe and Cassie, who all called him “Pop.” Bill is also survived by: brothers Richard, Keith and Bert; sisters Fran, Colleen and Jan; aunts Dorothy Cox, Elenore Bell and Esther Daly; in addition to numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Bill was born on Nov. 9, 1939, in Prince Albert, Sask. to Earl and Thelma Daly. He was the first of eight children: Bill, Frances, Dick, Colleen, Keith, Janice, Rodney and Bert. The family moved to High Prairie in 1946. There he courted a local girl, Gail Bell, and married her on Aug. 11, 1961. Their first year, while attending SAIT in Calgary, Bill drove back every second weekend to their home in Kinuso, to spend time with his new bride. Here, in Kinuso, Gail taught school. For Bill, this was a 1,200-km return trip from Calgary. After all that driving, Bill hated Calgary for the rest of his life.
After SAIT, they moved to Grande Prairie where they would start a family. In 1967, Bill was transferred to Peace River, where they would live for the next six months, before being transferred to Spirit River. It was here Bill and Gail would settle down and raise their family.
Bill worked for AGT, which later became Telus, from 1964-99, spanning four decades. Back in those days, everyone with a telephone knew Bill Daly. Some people called him “Phone Bill.” His job involved a lot of driving, from Bonanza to Watino.
To their four children, Bill and Gail were best parents. We suspected it as kids, but we are certain of it now. Summers were for camping and fishing; winters were for snowmobiling and ice fishing. Dad never did like cats (at all!). He pretended not to like the dog, but he didn’t fool us. He did like working with his hands. He was an able electrician, carpenter, blacksmith, fisherman, storyteller, mechanic, firefighter, handyman, volunteer, anonymous do-gooder, bread baker, bingo caller and chicken cooker. He was pragmatic, with a sometimes twisted sense of humour; he was irreverence mixed with compassion.
This is the tip of the iceberg. To hear more, please join Bill Daly’s family at his Celebration of Life, to be held at the Centennial Hall in Spirit River at 1 p.m., July 29, 2023. Interment to follow at Spirit River Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, consider making a charitable donation. Dad liked STARS, MS Society, and CNIB, but there are many worthy causes.