May 21, 1942 – April 4, 2021
Willard “Bill” Douglas Jeffery passed away at the age of 78 in his Nelson, B.C. home on the morning of Sunday April 4th with immediate family at his bedside. Throughout his illness from a recent cancer diagnosis, Bill maintained his sense of humour, mischievous smile, and love for his family.
Bill was born on May 21st, 1942 in Jasper Alberta to parents Alan Douglas Jeffery (1905 – 1987), a skiing pioneer, and Phyllis Webb Jeffery (1915 – 2014), a watercolour artist. He is predeceased by his one older sister, Elizabeth (Bette) Weir. (1939 – 2014)
Bill’s youth was spent exploring the wild and unrestricted Jasper National Park of the 1950’s and 60’s. Bill was a talented and graceful skier throughout his life. He excelled in four-way Nordic Combined (Downhill, Slalom, Cross-Country and Jumping), making the Canadian National Team, and competing across the country. His ski coach Willi Pfisterer had a great influence on his work ethic and sense of adventure. In Willi’s later years, Bill was thrilled to take a road trip to Destruction Bay, Yukon, to work at Willi’s gold claim alongside his mentor.
Bill attained his Journeyman Mechanic certification in 1969 and it was at the full-service Jasper Shell Station where he met the love of his life, Judy (Penonzek) Jeffery. Bill and Judy married in 1969 and spent their early years in Coquitlam, BC, where son Scott (1972) (Ailis) and daughter Karleen (1973) (Dave) were born.
A move to Kelowna brought many good years of camping, fishing, and skiing. The times spent with the Thompson and Jackson families were particularly significant as well as his dedication to his family’s ski racing through the Vernon Ski Club at Silver Star Mountain.
Bill retired from Interior Lift Truck, and Judy from the IHA (Nurse) in 2003. Their move to Nelson in the same year allowed them to play an integral part in the lives of their grandchildren, Victoria (2000), and Christopher (2002).
Bill was incredibly proud of his grandchildren and when Karleen’s son Bodie (2010) was born, he and Judy made frequent trips to their home in Mammoth Mountain, California, and more recently, to Murren, Switzerland.
Bill was generous with his time and talent to all those who knew him. His sense of helping others was exemplified in his youth when alongside Gary and Don McGregor, he ascended the Athabasca Glacier to rescue Norman Worsfold from a crevasse fall on the upper Columbia Icefield.
Bill’s giving nature shone through the restoral and maintenance of his family’s VW vans, Beetles and heritage houses. He was the first to put aside his own projects and work for the benefit of friends, neighbours and family.
Bill and Judy recently celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary. Their enduring love and commitment to each other is exemplary. Bill will be missed by many, but his adventurous spirit and love of family lives on in the legacy of his children and grandchildren.
Please visit thompsonfh.com to leave a message of condolence for the family.
Thompson Funeral Home
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