We Remember

van den BRINK, William Charles “Bill”

van den Brink, William Charles “Bill”, age 89, of Kelowna, BC, died October 14, 2021.  Predeceased by his father Pierre, mother Elsie, and younger brother Leonard, Bill is survived by his three children: Doug, Jody, & Ross; his loving partner of the last 11 years, Donna; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Entering the workforce at a young age following the premature death of his own father, Bill followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather as an apprentice blacksmith for the CPR in the Ogden Shops in east Calgary, AB.  His early duties included scrubbing the interiors of the asbestos-clad boilers of steam locomotives, a practice then undertaken with little, if any, safety equipment, the effects of which would plague his pulmonary health in later years.

Bill joined the Calgary Police Force in 1955, a time when Constables walked the beat for the entirety of their shifts and responded to service through call-boxes attached to light poles.  Ascending to the presidency of the fledgling Calgary Police Association early in his career, Bill was instrumental in acquiring, for the Association, a plot of vacant land in downtown Calgary, ostensibly for parking.  This acquisition would later house the Association offices and social club and would ultimately secure the financial future of the Association.  Retiring with distinction at the rank of Inspector in 1987, Bill went on to work for the Alberta Gaming Commission before fully retiring in 1995.

He was not perfect. A private and sensitive man, he possessed in abundance that quality of stubbornness so often attributed to people of Dutch ancestry.  Yet he was also kind, caring, generous, and loyal to a fault, revered by many whom he had the privilege to command.  Alternating between the Shuswap, Okanagan and Yuma, Bill enjoyed his golden years until failing health relegated him to remain in Kelowna, where he was doted upon by his loving partner Donna.  He wanted to die at home, and nearly attained that goal, and we are grateful to the staff of KGH emergency and 6-west for their care in easing his final hours. He would have particularly wanted to acknowledge his faithful friend Ed Hodgson, who always had his back.  A fixture in our lives for many decades is suddenly gone, and his absence is felt immensely.

There will be no service at his request.

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