OBITUARY

Newton Bill

October 8, 1922October 12, 2018

William James McGillvray (aka Newton Bill), 96, of White Rock, BC died Oct 12 on a beautiful sunny fall afternoon… a “Golden Day” as he might say. He was surrounded by love as he made his transition.

Bill was born in Manitoba on Oct 8 1922 but grew up in Vancouver. The first 30 years of his life were those that he said many times he would never want to live over again due to his battles with the bottle. During this time he did, however, travel the world with the Merchant Navy (which became fodder for some of his never ending stories) and later became a respected friend, worker and tradesman.

His real life began in March 1952 when he was able to get sober and joined the recovery community. At the time of his death he was 66 years sober and had become a respected old timer in that community. In that time the number of people he helped numbers in the thousands.

He met and married Margaret Gale (Peg) who he was with until her passing at age 84. They had two boys, Hugh and Craig who kept life interesting early on.

He worked for years as a saw filer in many different mills up and down the coast but retired from Lamford Cedar in New West many years ago. His real joy was attending meetings where he seemed to have a special knack of reaching the hard to reach cases and helping them on the road to recovery. His colourful language and stories made sure that all who came in contact with “Newton Bill” had a lasting memory. Almost without fail anyone who has been around the community for a long time has a favourite story of how they were impacted by this man.

Almost as much as his family, the friends that he held close and spent time with in meetings were the bright spot of his days and many returned that love in the later years by taking heartfelt care of him, running him to doctors, meetings or groceries…or just coming over for tea. For that we are very grateful.

He is survived by his two sons, his step daughter Jodie and two grand kids Owen and Griffin who loved their grandpa very much.

In lieu of flowers we ask that anyone wishing to please make a donation to the Alzheimer's Society (which Peggy suffered from) or simply buy a Big Book for a newcomer in Bills name.

Services

  • Memorial Service Saturday, October 27, 2018
  • Reception Saturday, October 27, 2018
REMEMBERING

Newton Bill

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Sharon Young

October 27, 2018

Remembering countless mornings in my first year. Me crying, you nodding at me and smiling. Until that day you ever so gently, your hands on my shoulders looking deep into my teary red eyes, told me that when the tears stop, the healing will begin. You were so very right. I held you in such high regard, my friend. Your beautiful wife Peg, by your side, jabbing you when you cursed. Watching the two of you made my heart smile. My special memory was at one of your cake roundups and my name was called to share. I was just a year or so sober and scared to death. An honour I'll never forget. Your friendship, I'll treasure, forever. Thank you, Bill, for trudging the road to happy destiny and sharing your sobriety with me. Get a lunch pail, get a job and go to meetings. The best is yet to come! 15 years sober now and I can hear you say, that's a good start.
Love & Hugs, Sharon Y

Clay mcmullen

October 25, 2018

I grew up or at least I exsisted in Newton,and was fortunate enough to have crossed paths with hugh and actually school(for short time)with Craig...
We were little burgers and usually up to know good,I remember Bill leaving AA pamphlets on the seat of Hugh car and I picked it up, Bill came out seen me holding it,I said I don't need AA,he smiled and said you will😎

When I was ready to take his advice, he was happy, genuinely happy to see me (and probably little glad that his prediction was correct)Great man great son's, and wonderful warm legacy he's left for us all

You have big shoes to fill,and because of this it's lucky there's so many of us able to pass along a little something we've all learned along the way

Adrian Cale

October 24, 2018

Digger or " Newton Bill " as others knew him, taught me many things . When he would share at the EDI club, sometime throughout it he would look me dead in the eye and say exactly what I need to hear. He also taught me how to pray. " Open your window in the morning and yell HELP ! and at bedtime open the same window and yell out THANK YOU ! RIP Digger

Sheri-Lynn Siciliano

October 24, 2018

☆♥♥❥❥❥✿☆ THE JEWEL OF NEWTON ☆✿❥❥❥♥♥☆
I met you when I was 23 years old, I walked into my first meeting (1,2,3), which you were chairing. You were quite boisterous, I liked you immediately ... well, up until I told you it was my first meeting and you told me that "my f*****g ass better be in that same chair next week!". Well, it was! Week after week after week, same chair - because I was mortified! I was so afraid that this mean, old guy was gonna come knocking on my door and drag me out! Little did I know (and my dear Father failed to tell me, was that you didn't have my address!). In spite of it all, I ended up with 6 months of sobriety, and continued on because of your laughter, your jokes, you made it fun to come to meetings, always calling me "the cute little blondie" (✿◠‿◠) I loved our chats, a 10 minute drive turned into 2 hours of talking about life (and usually you laughing at me lol). I will forever be grateful for you scaring me into recovery - and loving me into staying. You truly have affected a lot of lives, I will miss you.
Sheri-Lynn
(`’·.¸ (`’·.¸*¤* ¸.·’´)¸.·’)
♥ *** THANK YOU *** ♥
(¸.·’´(¸.·’´* :* `’·.¸)`’·.)

Trish Murphy

October 23, 2018

Often passed Bill on my way to work. He’d be walking up and down the block in front of his place picking up garbage while waiting for his ride. “.... and you don’t have to worry. You will.... but you don’t have to.” Thanks Bill 😊🙏💕

Sheri-Lynn Siciliano

October 23, 2018

☆♥♥❥❥❥✿☆ THE JEWEL OF NEWTON ☆✿❥❥❥♥♥☆

I met you when I was 23 years old ... I walked into my first meeting (1,2,3 Beginners), which you were chairing. You were quite boisterous, and I liked you immediately ... well, up until I told you it was my first meeting and you told me that "my ^#(*#&$*#$ ass better be in that same spot next week!". Well ... it was ... week after week after week, same chair ... because I was mortified! I was so afraid that this mean old guy was gonna come knocking on my door and drag me out! Little did I know (and my dear Father failed to tell me, was that you didn't have my address!). Needlesstosay, I ended up with 6 months of sobriety, and continued on because of your laughter, your jokes, you made it fun to come to meetings ... always calling me "the cute little blondie" (✿◠‿◠) ... I loved our chats, a 10 minute drive turned into 2 hours of talking about life. I will forever be grateful for you scaring me into recovery lol ... and loving me into staying. You truly have affected a lot of lives, I will truly miss you.

All my love, Sheri-Lynn
(`’·.¸ (`’·.¸*¤* ¸.·’´)¸.·’)
♥ *** THANK YOU *** ♥
(¸.·’´(¸.·’´* :* `’·.¸)`’·.)

Tami Smith

October 21, 2018

Thank you for believing in the program when I didn't know how to believe in the process. You told me I could have anything I wanted as long as I put the program first. I did and my life has been filled with miracle after miracle. Enjoy your peace with Peg. My condolences to your family.

Carrie Kerr

October 21, 2018

Although I admired you from a far for many years the best thing I heard you say when I was finally beaten to the point of desperation were the words that gave you hope in your remaking of your own life, no matter how old or broken we are when we come into recovery, there’s always the opportunity to start ove when we walk through that door. I needed those words so badly that day and will continue to pay your wisdom forward for the rest of my days.

I Love you to the moon and back Bill, I’ve admired you since I was 10 years old and your beautiful spirit and wise words will live in my heart forever, til we meet again my friend 💋

Susan Larson

October 20, 2018

I was sharing at the morning meeting that my dad was dying. Bill came up to talk to me after the meeting. He told people were going to die .I was going to go through all kinds of things on my journey in sobriety. He was right and I will be forever grateful for that day so long ago.
Heartfelt condolences to the family.
RIP Newton Bill
Gone but never forgotten 💞🙏🏼😇💞

Dorothy Chartrand

October 20, 2018

I had the great honor of meeting and sitting beside "Newton"Bill at my very first meeting I attended many years ago. He said something to me that made me laugh out loud at myself and completely lightened my mood. Quite simply he made me feel welcome and I often think about that day when I think about Bill. Thank you Bill for the years of laughter and advice and friendship...and teaching me to keep my neighborhood clean. I will never forget you....With Love. Dorothy C.