It is with heartfelt sorrow that the family of William T. (Bill) Matthew announce his passing on Oct. 18, 2005, at home, as he wished.
Bill was born in Rainy River, Ont. on Jan. 5, 1932. He was united in marriage to Bernice Acthim in 1954.
Bill and Bernice operated the Rainy River 5¢-$1 store for many years. His firm kindness was felt by many students as they visited his candy counter at lunch hour.
Previous to operating the five-and-dime, Bill’s younger years sent him on a tour of North America playing professional hockey. His talents had Bill playing in the WHL with the Tacoma Rockets for his rookie year, the Hershey Bears of the AHL, and the Troy Bruins of the IHL.
Bill also spent time playing with the Sidney Millionaires, Terrace Bay Superiors, Port Arthur Bruins, and the Warroad Lakers.
Bill was captain of the Fort Frances Canadiens when they won the Allan Cup in 1960.
But his hockey career took second place as he and Bernice raised their four children in Rainy River.
Bill worked briefly with the CNR, and also obtained his carpentry papers. He was the carpenter in charge of building the local community centre in the 1960s, and also worked on the local hospital.
Bill was an avid curler for many years and also instructed at the “Border Town Hockey School” in Rainy River.
He served on town council and was president of the Chamber of Commerce at one time. He also was a Legion and Moose member.
Bill enjoyed spending his summers at the cabin on Taylor Bay, visiting and fishing with family and friends. He and Bernice spent many hours searching the shoreline for arrowheads and other artifacts.
Bill loved warming his bones in the sauna with the Taylor Bay crew, and, of course, sharing a few beers.
Bill was predeceased by his wife, Bernice, in 1985; both parents, Alexander Matthew and Stella Kowal; stepfather, John Kowal; in-laws, Nick and Mary Acthim; brother-in-law, John Acthim; sister-in-law, Helen Hunter; and brother-in-law, Norman Hunter.
He is survived by his children, Barb and Peter Street, Elizabeth and Joe Nucci, Robert and Cheryl Matthew, and Judy and Don Rusnak; and grandchildren, Justin, Myles, and Nicholas Nucci, Michael and Alexander Matthew, Jennifer and Alison, and Scott and Jessica Rusnak.
He also is survived by his brother, Gene and sister-in-law, Leona; nephews, Cameron, Terry, and Brian; nephews, Bruce Acthim and Dwayne Hunter; and niece, Patricia Acthim.
In memoriam donations may be made to the Rainy River Hospital or the Salvation Army.