WILLIAM HAYES MITCHELL
July 6, 1932 – April 29, 2022
It is with great sadness the family of William (Bill) Mitchell announces his peaceful passing at St. Boniface Palliative Care Unit,on April 29, 2022 with his loved ones by his side.
Bill is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years Nancy (nee Sjoberg); sons, Bill and Doug, daughters, Karen, Cathy (Dave Finnbogason) and Leah (Ted Kosokowsky); grandchildren, Quentin (Trista, Devyn, Addison), David (Janelle), Rhys (Emily), Mark (Zia), Claire, Derek, Linnea, Scott and Shea (Matt); and great grandchildren, Mireya, Jamie and Eddie. Bill will also be sorely missed by members of the Mitchell, Hayes, Sjoberg and Trainor families as well as by his many friends and former colleagues.
Bill was born in Glendale, California and he and his older brother Graham were raised in Fort Rouge by their loving mother Lillian and cherished Aunt Grace. He attended Earl Grey and Kelvin High School and went on to study mechanical engineering at the University of Manitoba. As a student he spent his summers working for the HBM&S in Flin Flon, which is where he met and fell in love with his Swedish sweetheart Nancy. Bill and Nancy’s courtship continued while Nancy lived in residence at the U of M and they married in Flin Flon in 1955.
Bill began his professional career with Carrier in Toronto and Calgary and Green Blankstein Russell in Winnipeg. In 1965 he, along with Ray Scouten and Dennis Sigurdson, formed Scouten Mitchell Sigurdson (now known as SMS Engineering), a mechanical consulting firm which expanded to include an electrical department five years later. Bill led the company with integrity and professionalism and was immensely proud to see it continue to develop and grow after his retirement in 1992. During his tenure he served as President of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Manitoba and as a Director of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada. Bill’s contributions to his profession were recognized by Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba with an honorary life membership in 2005.
Bill was committed to the Manitoba community, leading a fundraising campaign for the Heart and Stroke Foundation within the membership of the Professional Engineers of Manitoba. He was elected to the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba in 1986, serving as its Chairman from 1991 to 1994. Bill also sat on the executive of the Victoria Beach Club including a term as President and was a board member of Fort Whyte Alive.
Bill and Nancy enjoyed many active years together playing golf, tennis and bridge, curling, attending opera and theatre performances, wintering in Siesta Key and Palm Springs and traveling in Europe. A particular highlight for Bill was visiting his ancestral homeland of Scotland in 2010. Although Bill’s physical activity had become limited in recent years, he looked forward to his weekly lunches with his buddies from the St. Charles Monday Putters League.
Known for his wry wit and his fondness for the driest of martinis, Bill was a voracious reader, political junkie and lifelong Liberal who took pleasure in engaging his friends in good-natured political debate.
Bill valued his family above all else and he, in tandem with Nancy, could be depended upon to provide encouragement for his children and grandchildren in their various educational, professional, personal, athletic and artistic pursuits and to dispense guidance during the occasional misadventure.
Bill’s favourite place to gather with family and friends was the beloved cottage at Victoria Beach and his fondest wish was to return there in the coming summer. He will be in the hearts of his family when they do so in the months ahead.
The family wishes to thank the medical teams at Cancer Care and St. Boniface Hospital, in particular Drs. Cooke, Kickbush, Kulas and Debroni and the nurses in the palliative care unit for their attentive and compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Cancer Care Manitoba, the Kidney Foundation of Canada or a charity of your choice.
A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at a later date when the entire family can be together.