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BEST, William Kenneth (Bill)

May 2, 1928 – September 11, 2014

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Bill Best, our deeply loved husband, father, and grandfather. Bill died peacefully at Chinook Care Center, Calgary, on September 11, 2014, surrounded by the love of his family. Bill’s passing is mourned by his wife, Dorothy and his children: Kay (Gordon), Susan (deceased) (Steve), Peter (Jocelyne) and James (Pam). He will be forever missed by his grandchildren Harry, Sophie, Colin, David, Tobiah, Madeleine and Meredith.

Bill was born in Coleraine, Northern Ireland and spent a happy childhood and youth fishing, golfing and riding his motorcycle through the beautiful Irish countryside. He played rugby with the North rugby club for many happy years. Dorothy and Bill were married on June 11, 1952 in Belfast where he began his professional career as a chartered accountant.

In 1957 Dorothy and Bill immigrated to Canada. After an adventurous ocean crossing their young family settled in Southern Ontario where Bill worked as an accountant and began his lifetime work as a management consultant. In 1977, Dorothy and Bill moved to Calgary where they have lived happily since.

Bill was a consummate professional management consultant, who served his clients with an intelligent and practical understanding of their needs and opportunities. Even after his retirement from EY in 1993 he continued to provide excellent advice and counsel to his many business colleagues.

Some of Bill’s happiest hours were those spent at their country home in Bragg Creek – “fixing” things, entertaining and being entertained, playing games, reading mystery novels, picnicking by the Elbow River, and investigating just how big a bonfire could be before it threatened the house. He was never happier than when cooking up a big meal on his wood stove – radio and drinks at hand.

Most importantly, Bill loved his family dearly. His 62 year marriage to Dorothy was filled with love, travel, adventure and happy family times. He was immensely proud of his children and how his love and family devotion continue on in the happy family lives his children and grandchildren enjoy.

Bill was predeceased by his beloved daughter Susan in 2009. We are certain that they are now enjoying a highly competitive game of Scrabble, gin and tonic in hand.

Our deepest thanks go to the thoughtful, skilled, and compassionate caregivers at Chinook Care Centre. Their support and compassion have helped immeasurably in the last few months. Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to a charity of your choice.

Bill lives on in the hearts of those he touched, for nothing loved is ever lost and he was loved so much. Slainte, Dad. Condolences may be forwarded through

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Condolence Messages

  1. Joan and Ron hogwood :

    We were very sorry of the passing of Bill.
    While we lost touch after your move west, we remember the fun we had together at Peats.
    We remember well a trip to the hills with a visitor from Jamaica and your rather large dog.
    We extend our deepest sympathy at this time.
    Best regards
    Joan and Ron Hogwood

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  2. I am sorry to see the notice on Bill. We worked together at KPMG in Toronto and Calgary and Bill was a good friend and a great business colleague and I enjoyed his humour and approach to solving business problems. My condolences to his family in this time of their bereavement.
    Bob Wilson

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  3. Sorry to see the passing of Bill. I worked with him in Toronto at the old Peat Marwick Partners consulting practice, and he was very supportive of me during my time there. My sincere condolences to the Best family during this difficult time.
    Chris Keogh

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  4. Peter Ackland-Snow :

    Saddened to hear of The passing of Bill. He was a mentor in my early career at KPM and many of my early engagements were done with his guidance. He was a great guy.
    My condolences to all of the family.
    Peter Ackland-Snow

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  5. Mary Ellen Harrison :

    I was so saddened to read the obit notice in the Globe this morning, but also glad to get an opportunity to contact your family. There were many good memories of times we shared on Liruma Rd. And later in Oakville. After losing touch, I often wondered where the family were located.
    My sincere sympathy to all the family and especially since reading of Susan’s passing also.
    Merrill died in 2006, so I’ve been living in Kingston since then.
    I hope, Dorothy that you are well.
    My thoughts are with you.
    Mary Ellen (Em)

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  6. Kay,
    My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your father. When I first started working at Clarkson Gordon (E&Y now), your father was one of the most generous partners. From my experience working with him, I respected him for his quiet manner and intelligent insights. Although he appeared serious at times, there was always a twinkle in his eye.
    May the memories you have of him give you peace.
    Debi Andrus

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  7. I am saddened at the passing of Bill. He was always a first class professional and a very capable partner. I enjoyed our professional relationship, which was always a pleasure.

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  8. Jennifer MacDonald :

    I read the tribute to your father in the Globe and I thought I would send this note to express my sympathy to you and your family. It was a loving message and it spoke of a long life, well-lived. I hope that you are able to find solace in remembering happier times.

    Kindest Regards,
    Jennifer Peters MacDonald

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  9. Kay
    I am saddened to hear of Bill’s passing and my condolences to you and your family. During my years at Ernst & Young, I truly valued his mentoring and the wisdom he imparted to all of us and to his clients. He was the consummate partner and an amazing colleague.
    Yours sincerely,
    Vick Dusik

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  10. Although the news of Bill’s death is sad, it is also a reminder of his wonderful qualities of thoughtfulness, humour, understanding and professional excellence. It was a great privilege to be one of his partners at EY.
    Agnes and I extend our sincere sympathy to the family.

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  11. Kay, so sorry for the loss of your father. He was a great friend and mentor to me over the years.

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  12. Kay, I was very sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. He was a first rate professional and more importantly, a wonderful person. Please accept my sympathy to you and your family.

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  13. Gordon Barefoot :

    During my time with the Edmonton practice at E& Y I had the opportunity to work will Bill several times and enjoyed his skill, good humour and guidance. We have lost a true professional. I pass on my condolences to all his family.

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  14. I remember Bill very well from his days as an E&Y consulting Partner although As I recall we were still Woods Gordon when Bill and his team joined us in Calgary. He was a fine man who always had time for the younger staff and Partners.

    My condolences

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  15. Cathy and Rob McBride :

    To Dorothy and Family.
    Just a little note to say we are sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. We have some great memories of your Dad and Mom in the Old Lewis Building in Calgary. We will all carry on with his memories. Love and best wishes from Cathy and Rob McBride and Family in Comox B.C. If you ever get out this way please look us up.

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  16. Doreen O'Shaughnessy :

    Dear Dorothy,
    I was sad to read that Bill had died recently, and I extend my sincerest sympathy to you and your family. Bill was a gentle man as well as a gentleman, and it was a pleasure and an honour to work with him at EY. As Bill Farlinger’s secretary, I was charged with trying to ensure that the Management Committee ran smoothly, and I got to know Bill when he was a member of that committee. Do you recall the time the commitee met in Newfoundland and you accompanied Bill to St. John’s? After the meeting, the two of you went on to visit France -to be specific to St. Pierre, the French territory off the coast of Newfoundland. I had the same idea and quite by chance we all met up in St. Pierre. I remember one evening we went to a dance at a hall where a local band was playing, and the three of us thoroughly enjoyed the people, the music and the dancing which we did, as I recall, until the place closed!

    Again, Dorothy, my condolences — and a toast to good memories: you and your family must have a host of them. Doreen

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  17. Joan and John Rouse :

    Dear Dorothy, Kay and families,

    Joan and I were very sorry to hear of Bill’s recent death. We have been away and as such remiss in not getting our note to you sooner. We both have very fond memories of the Best family with the many functions and parties at your home in Bragg Creek and the condos in Calgary.

    I remember the weekly lunches shared with Bill at the Tikki Tikki before and after I became a partner in the firm. They all involved sharing jokes, experiences and generally involved some spirited discussion of a serious topic. These varied between Firm issues, politics, business development and occasionally we listened and discussed matters of a more personal nature.

    Bill was always prepared to listen to any of us who had concerns or ideas for how we thought we could help make the practice better. His counsel was practical and usually always involved something we had not thought of or he presented a new twist or tact we might want to consider. On the many times when he concurred with something he was very quick to take the item forward and assume the “sponsor” role.

    I will always remember Bill. He was a very important part of my work life and memories at CG/WG and latterly E&Y.

    Kindest personal regards,


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  18. Kay, James, Peter and Dorothy:

    In the time since Bill’s death, we have all had our chance to grieve, reflect, reminisce and even laugh a bit (the part about the bonfire at Bragg Creek being particularly noteworthy). Now I and my family look forward to getting together in Bill’s memory and doing what we have done so many times before and so few times recently, namely enjoying each others’ company as family.

    Much love as always,

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  19. James Alexander :

    My sympathies to your wonderful family, in particular Mrs. Best. I have many fond memories of Bill Best, having spent hours during my youth in the family home in Oakville. Also, our drives to and from Glen Eden to allow Peter, James and their pals to ski there. But most of all, times spent at Bragg Creek – evenings around the blazing fire (‘No ice in the Irish!’), and his massive delicious breakfasts! Happy Trails, Mr. Best. May you continue to smile with your entire being.

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