William Blundell

Obituary of William R.C. Blundell


Bill, 95, of Toronto, Ontario, passed away peacefully at home, on March 10, 2023, surrounded by family.  He was little over one month away from his 96th birthday, born on April 13, 1927 in Montreal, Quebec, son of Richard C. Blundell and Did Aileen Payne.  Bill graduated from the University of Toronto Schools and received a degree in Engineering from the University of Toronto.


Bill joined Canadian General Electric (now General Electric Canada Inc.) in 1949, straight out of UofT, and rose to become its Chairman and CEO in 1984.  He held numerous Board of Director positions and served as the interim CEO of Manulife Financial (1993) and Alcan Aluminium Ltd. (2001).  His leadership, experience and guidance was broadly and highly sought after by entrepreneurs, global corporate executives and senior political incumbents alike.


He was recognized on numerous occasions for his many corporate and public sector achievements, including being inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada (1998) in recognition of his extraordinary business stewardship and for his impressive record of public service, most notably as Vice-Chair of the prestigious Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and as an active participant in many public policy discussions, particularly in the area of healthcare in Ontario. His leadership, balanced judgement and professional competence helped to build global category leaders, resolve contentious issues and foster cooperation between the public and private sectors.


Amongst his family and friends, Bill was known for his sage advice, sharp wit, easy-going nature and humble demeanour.  He was an intensely passionate Canadian and found great enjoyment in the endless hours he spent working the backfields of the family farm near Rockwood, Ontario.  Beloved father and grandfather, and devoted husband, he is survived by his wife of 64 years, Monique; his children, Richard, Emily, Michelle and Louise; and his grandchildren, Danielle, Marc, David, Matisse, Aled, Maslin, Alexander and Sophie.  He will be deeply missed by all.


A public visitation will be held on Friday, May 5 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, located at 1403 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, M4G 3A8.  A private family service will be held at Christ Church Deer Park in Toronto. 


Bill was fiercely proud of his UofT Engineering credentials.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering in support of student scholarships. Gifts can be made online at https://uoft.me/bill-blundell or by phoning 416-557-8367. Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.


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