Obituary of William Ivan Flemming
FLEMMING, WILLIAM (BILL) - born August 19, 1943 in Stanburne, NS, passed away peacefully in his sleep October 5, 2019 at the age of 76. He was a much loved husband, father and grandfather. Surviving him are his wife of nearly 35 years, Rebecca “Becky” Langille; children, Joanne (Bruce) Sanford, Cape Coral, Florida; Jeff (Lisa) and granddaughter Ryleigh, New Germany; Justin (Elaine) and grandson, Austin, Kentville; step-daughter, Jennifer Rafuse (Artie Wentzel) and step grandson, David Wentzel, Newburne. He is also survived by brothers, Gordon (Sharon) and James (Fay), all of Bridgewater. He was predeceased by his parents, Ivan Watson Flemming and Cora Grace (Veinot) Flemming as well as her life partner, Aubrey Acker.
Bill worked in forestry, carpentry and then at Michelin Bridgewater for 28 years before retirement just before age 60. He called the years from 60-70 his “golden years” when he could get up in the morning, feed the horses, take them out in the wagon and spend hours with them. In winter he developed a close friendship with the late Foard Robar who had the same passion and they developed a road for winter sleigh rides. Eventually they were being called to do sleigh rides for children’s birthday parties, Valentine Day couples sleigh rides, community groups, groups of friends. The Municipality arranged for part of their winter activity weekend “Take The Roof off Winter” and no matter what the weather they would be available as long as people would want a sleigh ride (and there was snow!)
Bill was born on a farm and farming was in his heart all his life. His greatest passions were his family and horses. During his first year at South Shore Exhibition in Bridgewater he was awarded for his leadership. He attended and participated in small community fairs and horse pulls as well as both the South Shore Exhibition and Queens County Fair for many years in draft horse competitions. When health no longer permitted his participation in competitions, he served as a volunteer director of draft horses on the Board of Directors at both exhibitions, successfully making improvements with both organizations.
Bill loved caring for his family and animals and was lovingly teased the animals came first, then the family. A hard worker, and very independent, he minded most when his body began wearing out, first with heart disease and since early August this year with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He was losing his independence and freedom and, although he couldn’t believe and greatly appreciated the help received from everyone in a circle of family and friends, he did not like that help was needed. He was hoping and, perhaps praying, that he would go to sleep and not wake up and that is what happened while watching his favourite sport – Canadian Football, on Saturday evening. His family are heartbroken to lose this man who loved us so much and, we loved so much, who played a big part in all of our lives with his energy, wittiness, support and common sense.
As a family we would like to thank everyone who supported us, particularly our caregivers, Dr. John Jenkins and Dr. Bodi from Lunenburg, Dr. Jacques Maillet and his full team at the hematology clinic and 8-A of Hematology Oncology, Ambulatory Care and Emergency Room folks at South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater and Ambulatory Care in Fisherman’s Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg. Our family and friends who supported all of us and helped with opening up their homes to us, mowing lawns, putting in firewood, as well as visiting us often and giving us lots and lots of hugs and prayers. His struggle is over and through our sadness we know how blessed he is now to be at peace.
A public graveside service will be held 11 a.m., Thursday, October 10th, 2019 in Barss Corner Community Cemetery. Rev. Catherine Robar officiating. Family flowers only please, donations may be made to the Oncology/Hematology Unit of the VG Hospital, Ambulatory Care of South Shore Regional Hospital or Barss Corner Community Cemetery.
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