William James “Bill” Priestley
Born in Winnipeg, MB, Bill was the son of William Francis Priestley and Kathleen McKinnon (Smith) Priestley.
A respected member of the transportation community, Bill was admired for his outstanding safety record and respect for others’ equipment. He began his driving career by following semis around Winnipeg, listening to their motors until he was able to begin his trucking career with Reimer’s and George Smith. In 1974 Bill moved to Yukon to drive for White Pass & Yukon Route; and later for Kilrich Industries, Yukon-Alaska Transport, Frontier Freight Lines, Points North, Canada Cartage, Truckways Transport and many others. A brief journey out of Yukon in 1987 to drive for Mullen’s gave Bill and Linda a chance to see most of the United States and Canada. Bill was always ready for the next trip to see his highway family and keep those wheels rolling. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by his highway family throughout Yukon, Manitoba, British Columbia and Alberta.
Off the road, Bill’s passions included his family and friends, cruising, reading, his glass of scotch, his bowl of candy and coffee sessions at Trail’s North.
Bill is survived by his wife, Linda, and leaves a legacy of six daughters and 11 grandchildren: Dawn (Bert) and grandchildren Brock (Courtney), Megan and Abbey; Dianna (Ken) and grandchildren Brenna, William and Jason; Janette (Clint) and grandson Brody; Joann (Darrell) and granddaughter Dani; Laura (Randy) and grandson Tyler; and Melinda (Eldon) and grandsons Caleb and Bayden. He is also survived by his sister Sharon (Wayne) Lee of Spruce Grove, AB. Bill was predeceased by his parents and one grandchild – Aaron Symanski.
Many thanks to long-time friends Debbie and Gerald Kabanak, Steve and Audrey Clare, and Jean Nikon for their support in the last few months. Special thanks to Dr. Robin Jamieson, Dr. Dan Carew, and Dr. Barbara Melosky from BCCA, Nurse Teresa McKenzie and the incredibly supportive team from Homecare. Thank you to the staff at Whitehorse General Hospital for providing excellent and compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers donation may be made to the charity of your choice in Bill’s memory. A celebration of life will be held in August 2018 when friends and family can gather together to honour his memory.