April 28, 1935 - November 20, 2020
Peacefully, with his sons at his side, William passed away on Friday November 20, 2020 in the St. Boniface General Hospital, at 85 years of age.
William was predeceased by his wife of 46 years, Joyce Caldwell (née Neniska); mother, Sarah Caldwell (Clifford); sister, Jean Courtney (Caldwell); and father, William John Caldwell Sr.. He will be lovingly remembered by his two sons Jeff, his wife, Tracey, and their children Kenzie and Delaney, and Kelly, his wife Janice, and their children William and Sydney.
William emigrated from Belfast, Northern Ireland with the Clifford family in the mid 1950’s, settling in Winnipeg to start a new life. Soon after arriving he began his 30-year career with The T. Eaton Company. It was there that he met the love of his life, Joyce. They married October 14, 1961 and, as newlyweds, settled in Fort Rouge. In 1972 they moved to “the frontier of Transcona” spending the next 25 years raising their family and being a part of the community. William finished his working career and eventually retired from the Manitoba Liquor Commission. He had great fun at this job as it allowed for one of his favorite hobbies, talking to people.
The years in Transcona generated many lifelong friendships with many different neighbors, developing a close relationship with a family just down the street, the Bordians. They had some great times with the Bordians, especially memorable were the September long weekends spent with them at their trailer in St. Malo. They were also very close friends with Don and Betty Jeffery enjoying many special times together including road trips throughout the US.
William was a charter member of the Winnipeg Irish association for 40 plus years and involved in Folkarama with the club at the Winnipeg Irish Pavilion. Some of William and Joyce’s best friends came from the Irish club. Many social evenings ended in loud Irish folk songs being sung out of tune. Although there are too many families to list, special mention must be made to the Browns, Whites, Drennans, Mawhinneys, Gearys and Georges.
William was very passionate about sports, from playing soccer with United Weston in Winnipeg to becoming involved in hockey, definitely a new sport for a guy from Ireland. William soon became a hockey parent and manager, rising at 6:00 am for countless practices and managing hockey teams for both of his sons. He also involved himself with the local community club Oxford Heights, doing the dirty work of being outside at -30C shoveling and flooding the rinks. William spent many evenings down at the Roland Michener Arena watching minor hockey with his friends Ed and Bill. The arena would echo with a loud Irish accented voice telling some player to keep his stick on the ice. Both William and Joyce became involved with the Transcona Minor Hockey Association. William also coached his sons in soccer throughout their playing years, teaching the old-school ways of Irish/British “football”.
In 1999 William and Joyce moved from their house in Transcona to an apartment in St. Vital, where once again they made some very good friends. They enjoyed spending their summer days down by the pool and going for walks around the neighborhood. William was adamant about staying at this apartment after Joyce’s passing as he always enjoyed his walks to the Travelodge hotel to say “hi to the ladies” as he called it and going to the local Safeway where everyone knew him and always took time to have a talk with him. One of his great joys about living at the apartment was sitting in the lobby and talking to anybody and everybody that came in.
After the passing of his wife Joyce in 2009, William became a constant fan on the sidelines of both William and Sydney’s soccer and then basketball games. Much like his learned love of hockey William became knowledgeable in another new sport to him, basketball. His newfound knowledge became very apparent when he would have to go off and sit by himself so that all the other parents and fans did not hear his grumbling about the refs or the way the team was playing. He loved watching his grandchildren play and they were very proud to have their grandfather at their games. It also carried on the tradition of William and Joyce being friends with their children’s friends, as he got to know all his grandchildren’s teammates and very much enjoyed their company.
Although he tried to hide it William was a dog lover beyond belief. He loved his two dogs Moses and Murphy at the family home in Transcona and later Kelly’s family dogs Pete, Hoops, Dribble and at the end Kevin and Georgia. He became especially close with the big retriever Dribble. He made the excuse that the dog needed him to come over every day to be looked after, when in reality Dribble was helping look after him. When Dribble passed William said he lost his best friend and a little piece of himself went with Dribble.
William will be sadly missed by all his friends but mostly by the family he loved, his two boys, and his four grandchildren that he is leaving behind. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather who will live on forever in our hearts.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in William’s name to Manitoba Mutts.
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