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.Print This Obituary & Condolences