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BLAIN, William (Bill) Ross

March 23, 1933 – December 21, 2013

William Ross Blain, Q.C., aged 80 years, passed away peacefully December 21, 2013 at the Mayfair Care Centre, surrounded by his family.

A most excellent husband, father and grandfather, Bill leaves to celebrate his life Sandra, his wife of 54 years, his children, Marjorie Parker (Jay), David (Sigrun), Robert and Allison, his grandchildren, Monica, Claire (Ryan), Steven, Casey, Chelsea and Rachel, and many nieces and nephews, including his niece Sandra, who was always around to lend a helping hand. He was preceded in death by his beloved grandson, Matthew (2005), and by his parents James (1964) and Helen (1972), and his four older brothers, Jim (2007) (Esther 2006), David (1944), Bob (1979) (Thelma 1974), and Hank (1990).

The youngest of five boys, “Billy” was born on March 23, 1933 in Calgary to Scottish immigrant parents. Bill grew up in Victoria Park and other areas in central Calgary. He was very proud to be a stick boy for the Calgary Stampeders hockey team in its winning 1945-46 year.

Bill attended the University of Alberta in Edmonton from 1956-61 where he acquired his nickname, Haggis. While there, he met and married Sandra McDonald, the love of his life. Bill graduated with a law degree in 1961. This was the beginning of a 40-year career which, while still in Edmonton, included an interim lectureship in the newly-founded faculty of business at the U of A, and an assistant professorship at the U of A’s faculty of continuing education. In 1967, Bill and Sandra moved to Calgary with their four children when Bill started a position with Shell Oil’s legal department. After that, Bill worked as secretary and general counsel of Alberta Coal. He was, later, a founding partner in a variety of small and mid-size law firms in Calgary before working for Macleod Dixon and, finally, Borden Ladner Gervais. Bill was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1984. He served in various roles with the board of Theatre Calgary from 1977-1983, including president, and was on the senate until the time of his passing.

Bill was a warm-hearted, generous, romantic, nostalgic, and fun-loving fellow. He enjoyed golf, fishing, parties, fine food and drink, movies, theatre, art, singing, traveling and anything involving family and friends. Forty-plus wonderful summers were spent at Terravista in Windermere, and for many winters the Blain clan could be found on the slopes of Panorama. From 2000-2011 Bill and Sandra escaped the cold, as snowbirds, to Ajijic, Mexico. Sweet until the end, Bill saw the best in everyone and he leaves us with lovely memories to cherish. His legacy is one of love and kindness and we should all be so lucky to follow in his footsteps.

Bill’s family would like to thank the staff at the Mayfair for the excellent care he received. Their warmth and dedication were extraordinary.

A Memorial Service will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to The Alzheimer Society of Calgary, Suite 201, 222 – 58th Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB T2H 2S3, Telephone: (403)290-0110, www.alzheimercalgary.com.

In living memory of William Blain, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Allison im very sorry for your loss. Thinking about u and ur family.

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  2. Allison, Chelsea and family,

    I was so saddened to hear of Bill’s passing. I feel so fortunate that I was able to meet him on a few occasions. He was definitely a class act! He emanated love and kindness.

    My thoughts are with you and you know you can call me anytime!

    Much Love,
    Eva

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  3. Jerry & Denise Zubick :

    Sandra, David & family:

    We are saddened to learn of Bill’s passing. Our prayers are with you during this difficult time.

    WIth caring thoughts & sympathy.

    Jerry & Denise Zubick

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  4. My Deepest Sympathy to Sandra and the whole wonderful Blain Clan.

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  5. Eloise Berry Jr :

    Mrs. Blain
    We were very sorry to read about your loss this morning in the Calgary Herald. Mr Blain was a lovely person and we will fondly remember seeing him on his daily walks around Terravista. Our thoughts are with you and your family during this time.

    Sincerely
    Eloise Berry (Jr) and Rob Van Walleghem

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  6. Dick & Jan Dunnigan :

    Sandra and Family, we were sad to hear of Bill’s passing. Please accept our prayers and sincere sympathy. We remember Bill as a “fun” person with a treat sense of humor !!
    Sincerely,
    Dick and Jan Dunnigan

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  7. Ed Gerlitz, Joan & Ross Keating :

    Sandra, we will miss Bill’s cheery songs and whistling and Dad will miss your caring ways at Mayfair. Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.

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  8. Midge McLellan :

    It is with much sadness that I heard of Bill’s passing. I send my sincere condolences and sympathies to you, Sandra, Marjorie, David, Robert, Allison, and families. I have many fond memories. My prayers and thoughts are with you.

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  9. Tracy Schaeffler :

    David and Sigrun,

    We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time.

    Tracy Schaeffler & Tim Platnich

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  10. David and Robert,

    My deepest condolences to both of you and your families.

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  11. Tim&Shelley Mitchell :

    Sandra, Robert and David,

    We are saddened to hear of the passing of Bill.
    Our sympathies go out to you during this time.

    Sincerely
    Shelley

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  12. Robert,

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. I am saddened to hear of your father’s passing.

    Sincerely,

    Paul

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  13. David H Searle :

    Bill was one of my class mates: U of A Class 61 Law. Bill was well liked by all because of his sense of humour and his penchant for innocent pranks, such as when he entered the law library wearing a trench coat and carrying his trouser over his arm, showing only his socks, garters and shoes below the trench coat. He slowly removed the trench coat to reveal a second pair of trousers rolled up above the knees. Bill was worth a chuckle a day. He will be missed. My sincere condolences.

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  14. Willis (Bill) O'Leary :

    To the Blain family –
    My good memories of Bill go back to the old Victoria Arena and Bill’s role with the Stampeders. My sympathy to you for your loss.
    Sincerely,
    Willis O’Leary

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  15. Shirley Redmond :

    Dear Sandra,
    I was sad to read of Bill’s passing. The obituary captured his life and your family so well. It seems when one of our friends from our time at U of A passes away that some of ourselves goes also. I was pleased to see you both at our 55th reunion a few years ago. My thoughts are with you at this time. I hope your wonderful memories and your family give you strength at this time. Shirley Redmond

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  16. Colin & Irene MacDonald :

    Dear Sandra
    Colin and I were saddened to read about Bill’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Sincerely
    Irene

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  17. Cameron & Julie Vouri :

    Mrs. Blain,
    We are so sorry to read of Mr. Blain’s passing. We have many fond memories of visiting with him on your deck at Terravista. We are thinking about you.

    Sincerely,
    Cameron, Julie and Owen Vouri

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  18. Rob and Family,

    My condolences for your dad’s passing. I remember him as always upbeat, a lively conversationalist with a great sense of humor, and a friendly man. With best wishes now and always,

    Dan

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  19. I first met Bill when I became employed at Blain Carruthers in 1978. As a young staff member in the real estate department, I was so impressed by the fact that Bill never put on airs and treated everyone with the same courtesy and respect. During the times that I worked on files with Bill, I learned a great deal from his quiet tutelage. He intervened on my behalf on a major staffing issue and it was then that I began to think of him as “Uncle Billy”. I stayed with the firm through its many incarnations and was employed at Macleod Dixon shortly after he went there. He maintained the same gentlemanly and sincere conduct throughout all the years that I knew him and I shall always think of Bill with great fondness.

    I extend my sincere condolences to his wife and family and hope that they know how far-reaching Bill’s legacy was.

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