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William Kanwisher

March 14, 1926

October 9, 2023

William Kanwisher, affectionately known as “Bill,” passed away peacefully at the age of 97 on Thanksgiving Monday, October 9, 2023, surrounded by his family in Ottawa, Ontario. He was born on March 14, 1926, in Zhitomir, USSR, to Emil and Herta Kanwischer. Shortly after his birth, the family immigrated to Canada, where he grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. Bill graduated from John Oliver High School and later earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering from UBC. On May 5, 1951, he married his soulmate, Grace Worthy, and together they raised six children. Throughout his life, Bill was a devoted husband and father.

Commander William Kanwisher served his country for twenty years in the Royal Canadian Navy, including his deployment on the destroyer Crusader during the Korean War. After retiring from the navy, he began working for the Canadian Department of National Defense at the Director level. Bill eventually retired from public service at the age of 56. He was a devoted Christian and an active member of Pleasant Park Baptist Church for over fifty years. Later, he and Grace changed their membership to Bilberry Creek Baptist Church to attend services with their children and grandchildren. Bill had a passion for music and was skilled in playing the piano and organ. In addition, he enjoyed playing golf and would spend winters in Myrtle Beach after retiring to extend his golf season. Bill achieved a remarkable Hole-In-One in 2006 and was recognized with an award for this achievement.

Bill is survived by his loving wife of 72 years, Grace (née Worthy), and his dear children, Valerie Wiseman (Alan), Lisee Kiar (Ron), Bobbie Cann (Scott), David (Kim), Kenny, and Janet Nasmith (Charles). He will be lovingly remembered by his 14 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Bill is preceded in death by his parents, Emil and Herta Kanwischer, as well as his brother, Fred, and sister, Lillie (Schroeder).

A memorial service honoring Bill’s life will take place at 1:00 PM on Saturday, November 4, 2023, at Beechwood National Memorial Centre, located at 280 Beechwood Avenue in Ottawa, Ontario. Chaplain Don Collar will officiate the service, which will be followed by interment at the National Cemetery. A reception will be held afterward. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the Ottawa Food Bank in Bill’s memory.

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