February 1, 2019
Bill was born William James Goodacre, to James (Jim), a grocer, and Margaret Goodacre, a nurse, on August 15, 1951, in Smithers, BC. Bill grew up surrounded by his two brothers, John and Donald, two sisters, Mary and Patricia (Patti) and many extended family members. He attended the newly built St. Joseph’s Catholic School and the public high school.
In his teenage years, Bill was a member of the Bruins Junior Hockey team as a goalie. His love for hockey had him playing up until a few years ago. He married Joanne Chartrand and raised two children, Murray and Sarah, living in Vancouver and later in Terrace, BC.
He returned to Smithers in 1990 and worked at the family grocery store, Goodacre’s Super Valu. In 1993 he married Mary Etta Cloud and welcomed her four children, Mareca, Tamia, Silene and Denali into his life.
Throughout this time Bill was a member of the Town of Smithers Council off and on for over 20 years, he served at the provincial legislature for Bulkely Valley-Stikine as MLA and served on numerous boards including the Friendship Centre and Community Services both in Smithers.
He received the Queen’s Jubilee Award for community achievement in 2012 and upon his retirement from politics in October 2018, the Town Council bestowed their highest honour to Bill by presenting him with the “Freedom of the Municipality” – the key to the Town.
Bill’s commitment to social justice in regards to First Nations, led him to serve on the board of the Friendship Centre when it opened in Smithers and pursue the relationship with Wiset, formerly Moricetown. He was passionate about reconciliation and wanted the historic challenges that aboriginal peoples confronted to be acknowledged in order to find bridges to overcome misunderstanding. Always patient and always personal.
Bill suffered from Type 2 Diabetes and worked to promote awareness of the condition with the Canadian Diabetes Association for a number of years. When complications arose and he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure he slowed his involvement in town council and committees to focus on the Shared Histories project which was central to his core beliefs that the value of this community is dependent on the relationship we have with the original inhabitants of the lands.
After battling many health issues, Bill passed away peacefully with his wife by his side. Always an ever-present figure in a coffee shop or community event and ready to engage in conversation, Bill will leave a huge void.
He left the world a better place and will be loved and missed. May he rest in peace.
A Celebration of Bill’s life was held on February 2, 2019, in the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre in Smithers. In lieu of flowers, donations made to the Bulkley Lodge, PO Box 3640, Smithers, BC, V0J 2N0, would be greatly appreciated.
Condolences may be offered at www.raschraderfuneralhome.com.