William Prentice

Obituary of William Black Prentice

WILLIAM BLACK PRENTICE William Black Prentice, passed away peacefully at his home in Don Mills, Ontario on Thursday, January 2, 2020 with his loving wife of 40 years, Linda (Atkinson) at his side. Born in Toronto, August 29, 1923 of Scottish heritage, Bill, as he was affectionately known to his friends and loved ones, was the second of six children of Robert (RAF and Canadian Expeditionary Force) and Mary (Graham) Prentice. He was pre-deceased by his brothers David G. and Robert F. and is survived by his brothers Alex (Phyllis) and Bruce (Audrey); and sister Jean. Loving father to Christopher, Martin (Julie) and Amelia (Kenny Keene); he was pre-deceased by his first wife, Amelia May (nee Hart) who passed away after a long battle with cancer in 1975. He and May were married at St. David’s Anglican Church on Donlands Avenue in September 1947 and had a wonderful life moving to Don Mills in 1954, taught Sunday school at the new Church of the Ascension, shared interests in music and the arts, went to the theatre and plays in Stratford, attended horse races and joined the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club. Following May’s death, he was blessed to have Linda come into his life and they married at St John’s York Mills Church in 1980. Together Bill and Linda shared many adventures and common interests including winters in University Park Country Club, Florida, sports, music, the arts, church and club activities. Cherished grandfather of Sarah May (Michael Besso) and Heather Catherine (Aaron Kapit), Marci (David Jarrett); and step-grandfather to Amanda (Graham Johnston), Laura (Hank Blackmore), Kyle and Jessica Keene; and great-grandfather to Caitlin, Gavin, Aidan, Macy and Julia. He looked forward to their visits at family occasions. A romantic at heart, Bill had a great sense of direction, commitment, tenacity of spirit and moral conviction in a life underpinned by a wonderful sense of humour. He loved the many radio skits of Bob & Ray as well as films of Laurel & Hardy. A talented athlete in his early years, he overcame poliomyelitis as a teenager which prevented him from playing football and hockey, to pursue other sports interests including coaching football and hockey, umpiring cricket matches, playing competitive USCA rules croquet in Canada and the US, official USCA rules referee, and was an ardent rugby fan. His love of horses both as a breeder and member of the Turf Club showed itself even in the Munnings prints in his home. He was also an avid follower of US college football with the University of Michigan Wolverines as his favourite team. Widely read, Bill had many interests from history to politics to bird-watching (birder) and was a fan of Prince Philip, Winston Churchill and Bo Schembechler as well as a life-long Leafs fan (from radio to TV) and the Blue Jays. A long-time member of the TCSC, he hosted cricket matches and croquet tournaments including the Mary Graham Prentice Trophy. He was a member of and contributor to many organizations over the years including St. John’s Ambulance, an Ensign with the 78th Fraser Highlanders, the York Cricket Club, Caledon Croquet Club and the North Toronto Croquet Club. A creative, ideas person with a gifted command of the Queen’s English, he started many organizations and clubs including creating newsletters and magazines. In his business career of advertising and public relations, he consulted for many Canadian and International companies and organizations. He wrote the first Canadian column on advertising for the Toronto Telegram. A devoted parishioner at St. John’s York Mills Anglican Church, he was especially proud of co-founding and chairing the annual St. Johnsmen’s dinner. The family are grateful to the LHIN and Visiting Homemakers, PSW’s and nursing services, the Tammy Latner Centre and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. A Service of Thanksgiving for his life with a reception to follow will be held at St. John’s York Mills Anglican Church, 19 Don Ridge Drive, Toronto, at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 8th with visitation at 10:00 a.m. A memorial donation to St. John’s York Mills Church or a charity of your choice in Bill’s name would be appreciated. Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.