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William Brown

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William Bill Zion Brown

June 18, 1930 - June 9, 2017


Bill Brown of Nelson, British Columbia died Friday, June 9, 2017 at the age of 86. Bill succumbed to brain cancer, facing terminal illness, as he faced life, with remarkable humour and grace.

Predeceased in 2010 by his wife Polly (Korda), Bill leaves four children, Bill Jr., Brita Wood (Peter Wood), (Linda) Susan Brown (Steve Karpik), and Judy Brown; grandchildren Emily Ekelund, Henry Ekelund, and William (Billy) Wood (Amanda Verigin); great granddaughter Ayla Wood; his sister, Brita Elliott; and many close friends in Nelson and across Canada.

Born on June 18, 1930 in Saskatchewan to William Elliott Brown and Linda Lindskog Brown, Bill graduated Technical Collegiate in Saskatoon in 1948 and enrolled in general arts at the University of Saskatchewan. In 1950 Bill taught in a one-room school house in Cabana, Saskatchewan, near Meadow Lake. Following his father’s death that year, he worked as a copy boy at the Globe and Mail in Toronto. Bill returned to university and served as a writer, photographer, and editor of The Sheaf, the U of S student newspaper. Bill Brown married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Polly Korda, on New Year’s Eve, 1951.

After earning a law degree in 1956, Bill discovered a lifelong attraction to the various challenges and rewards of practicing law. His legal career spanned 56 years in towns and cities in Alberta and Saskatchewan, including Brooks, Medicine Hat, Calgary, North Battleford, and finally La Ronge. Bill spent much of his career in general private practice, but also worked with legal aid services, often flying with the court team into remote communities in northern Saskatchewan. He took much pleasure in helping clients to navigate some of the most difficult and stressful moments of their lives.

Living on the prairies, Bill became an avid golfer, bird hunter, and bridge player. With a great eye for photography, Bill shot and developed many candid and affecting black and white prints of Polly and their children and relatives. In La Ronge Bill and Polly became keen anglers, frequently taking family, friends, and visitors out on Nemeiben Lake to cast for big northern pike.

In 2013 Bill shut his law practice in La Ronge, Saskatchewan and moved to Nelson, BC to live close to family. He quickly embraced life in Nelson, serving on his condominium Strata Council and at age 86 began teaching other seniors to play bridge. A lifelong movie buff, Bill often spent Thursday evenings watching independent and foreign films at Nelson’s Civic Theatre.

As a boy in small town Saskatchewan during the dirty thirties depression, Bill whittled whistles out of willow twigs in the spring. Much later, Bill became the “Whistle Man”, spending sunny spring days in local parks in La Ronge carving whistles for children and passers-by. In exchange for a whistle, children signed their names in his whistle notebook. Bill continued this activity in Nelson, taking great joy in delighting children of all ages, eventually giving away over 5000 willow whistles.

Bill’s family extends much thanks to Dr. Michael Vance, Nelson Home Care Services, and 3rd Floor Staff at Kootenay Lake Hospital for their wonderful care. Special thanks also to our dear friend and neighbor Dr. Anne-Marie Baribeau for her love and guidance.

A memorial celebrating Bill’s life will take place at Kalein Hospice Centre, 402 West Richards Street, Nelson, BC at 3:00 pm on Friday, June 16, 2017.  Bill’s ashes will eventually reside with Polly’s near the graves of his parents at Woodlawn Cemetery, Saskatoon.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s memory may be made to the Nelson Civic Theatre Society, 719 Vernon Street, Nelson, BC V1L 4G3.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: Thompson Funeral Services Ltd.

Thompson Funeral Service Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Bonnie Scott
Relation: Friends of Bill

Terribly sorry to hear. Our thoughts & prayers are with you all. Bonnie & John (Toronto, ON)

From: Diane White
Relation: friend of the family

Sorry for your loss, may happy memories ease your sorrow.

From: Ed Daley
Relation: Friend

Deepest condolences to the family. I worked very closely with Bill in La Ronge Sask as well as fished with Bill and Poly. A great friend. He will be missed by all that knew him.

Service Schedule

  Celebration of Life

Date & Time:
June 16, 2017
Beginning at 3:00pm

Kalein Hospice Center
402 West Richards Street
Nelson, BC, BC Canada V1L 3K3

402 West Richards Street
Nelson, BC, BC Canada V1L 3K3

Memorial Gifts





















http://Nelson Civic Theater Society

Thank You Notice

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default-floralFloral Tributes may be ordered directly through our supplier. Please have the name of the deceased, the funeral date, the address and phone number of the delivery location for handy reference:

621B Herridge Lane, Nelson, BC V1L 7B3
Phone: (250) 352-5592

2870 Georama Rd, Nelson, BC V1L 6Y7
Phone: (250) 352-3468 / Toll Free: 1(800) 712-6797

Flowers & Yoga Studio
513 A  Front Street, Nelson, BC V1L 4B4
(250) 505-5222


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