William (Bill) Toews
1941 - 2022
Obituary of William (Bill) Toews
TOEWS, William (Bill)
It is with great sadness that the family announces the passing of William (Bill) Toews on April 21, 2022 at Erie Shores Hospice. After battling cancer for 9 years, Bill passed away peacefully with family at his side at the age of 80. Beloved husband of Margaret for almost 59 years. Cherished father of Christine Tiessen (Jim), Bill Toews (Amy), Doug Toews (Wendy) and Jim Toews (Tania). He remains in the hearts of the grandchildren he adored, Grace Tiessen, Mitchell Tiessen, Fiona Tiessen, Leah Klassen (Matthew), Derek Toews, Josh Toews (Jenn Quiring), Hannah Toews (Aaron Waldt), Olivia Toews (Samuel Dyck), Nathan Toews, Liam Toews, Zoe Toews, and Marie Attema (Darren). He was the proudest great-grandpa to Jasper Attema, Nora Attema, and Theo Klassen. Bill enjoyed a strong family bond with his siblings, Vern Toews (Elizabeth), late Margaret Koop (Ben), Elma Warkentin (Ernie), John Toews (Eileen), and his in-laws, late Anna Klassen (late John), Elfrieda Dyck (late Jake), and Herta Wisch (Erwin). Special uncle to Henry and Alison Klassen and family. Bill cherished a special relationship with many nieces and nephews and a wide circle of friends and acquaintances.
Bill was a lifelong resident of Leamington and touched the lives of many people, particularly in his role as educator and mentor to the students he taught. He was Principal and teacher at United Mennonite Educational Institute for 14 years and concluded his teaching career with the GECDSB, teaching at Walkerville CI, Riverside SS, WD Lowe, and Massey SS, retiring in 2001.
While Bill’s passion was in the classroom, he balanced his teaching profession with a second career as a farmer, growing cash crops and processing tomatoes for H.J. Heinz. It was a constant joy to work alongside his family in this endeavor. In addition to being an active member of the Leamington United Mennonite Church, Bill was committed to the Canadian Mennonite Conference and the North American Mennonite General Conference. During his lifetime, he served on numerous committees, and in various capacities. A graduate of the University of Guelph, OAC '64, Bill was open-minded and intellectually curious. He was well-read and always eager to engage in a conversation of ideas, current events, contemporary and family history. Bill would easily strike up a conversation with anyone he met, however, nothing mattered more than family - cheering on his grandchildren in sporting events, camping trips to Point Farms, and conversations under the backyard tree. He was a critical thinker and stressed the importance of seeking truth, justice, and understanding the perspective of others. In his family, he instilled the values of leadership, service, responsible decision-making, and the importance of family cohesiveness. This legacy lives on in his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Visiting at Reid Funeral Home, 14 Russell Street, Leamington (519-326-2631) on Monday, April 25 from 2 - 5 pm and 7 - 9 pm. A funeral service to celebrate Bill’s life will be held at the Leamington United Mennonite Church, 79 Oak St. W. Leamington at 2 pm on Tuesday, April 26. The family requests that everyone wear a mask to the visitation and funeral service. A private graveside service will be held at a later date.
Many thanks to Dr. T. Burgess and the staff and volunteers at Erie Shores Hospice, to Dr. K. Potvin and staff at the London Health Sciences Centre, and to Stacey and Olivia of the Windsor/Essex VON. Special thanks to Filomena Rowley, Nurse Practitioner, and to Dr. A.D. Russell. As an expression of sympathy, memorial donations to Erie Shores Hospice (Hospice Erie Shores Campus) or the Leamington Mennonite Home would be appreciated. Family and friends are invited to share their words of comfort at www.reidfuneralhome.ca