Bill Vance

Obituary of Bill Vance

Vance, William "Bill" Gordon (19 November 1935 – 19 September 2022) Loved and held by his family, Bill Vance passed into God’s sheltering wings at home by the fire, amidst his books, on Monday September 19, 2022, with gratitude for his life. Bill is survived by his adoring wife Beth of 35 years, by his children Andrew Vance, Rev. Dianne (Jim) Everitt and Susan Vance (Marc Serrett) who respected and loved him and by his grandchildren David William, Marie Isabelle, Joseph "Joey" James and Colleen Dianne, who treasured their Papa. Greatly loved and missed by Shauna and Al Jones and Cousin Neil McKay and his wife Doreen. For 32 years, Bill and Beth enjoyed a happy life in Rockwood, ON, and Bill’s quiet friendliness will be missed by all of his neighbours. A graduate of McMaster University, he was so proud to have his granddaughter Marie representing the third generation to study there. He spent his career in Personnel with the Ontario government. Bill was a man of integrity and as honest a person as you could ever meet. He was a generous and kind father and grandfather; he was quiet and humble, with a razor-sharp intellect. He will be missed by his great many loyal readers of automotive history. He was supremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to publish his writing, and he devotedly wrote for his dear readers, until the very end of his life. He passed away as one of Canada’s most respected automotive historians. He had a feeling of peace that he had written for people who enjoyed his writing and appreciated the work of the staff at the newspapers that carried his column so much. His grandsons will work to find a good home for Bill’s incredible and hard-to-surpass automotive history library. Bill began his automotive writing career more than 50 years ago, covering the full spectrum of automotive subjects. His interest in history and technology gradually led him to a specialization in automotive history where his keen appreciation for and knowledge of both the social and engineering evolution of the automobile was evident in his authoritative writing. He was often consulted for his expertise, and his weekly automotive history column was syndicated to newspapers in Canada and the United States. His close attention to technical detail, historical accuracy combined with his accessible writing style and choice of subjects made his columns popular wherever they appeared. The many cars Bill test drove, some exotic, always thrilled his own children and those in the neighbourhood. Born to a single mother and raised in Grey County, ON, Bill spent the first four years of his life travelling around with his mother cleaning houses. Poverty forced his mother to drop him at the Grey County Children’s Home in 1939 and, broken-hearted, he spent the next 6 years there. He considered it one of the luckiest breaks of his life to be adopted by Queenie and Harvey Vance in 1945. He felt very lucky and blessed in his life, with his family and opportunities that had been given him, and he died with a feeling of peace about all things. A Celebration of Bill’s life will be held on his birthday in November. Arrangements entrusted to GILCHRIST CHAPEL – McIntyre & Wilkie Funeral Home, One Delhi Street, Guelph, (519-824-0031). If desired, memorial contributions made to the Festival of the Sound, P.O. Box 750, Parry Sound, ON P2A 2Z1 1-866-364-0061 in honour of Bill Vance would be appreciated by the family. We invite you to leave your memories and donations online at: and they will be forwarded to the family. Service Information Service Location Celebration To be held at a later date Requested Charity the Festival of the Sound
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