Edward William Docking
Passed on August 16, 2022
Edward William Docking passed away peacefully on August 16, 2022 at the age of 93 at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. He is survived by his “Darlin” wife, Edith, their three daughters, Pat Hammell (Tom), Karen Hutchinson/Martin (Ralph), Elaine Ronovsky (Kevin); grandchildren and great grandchildren Steven, (Melody), Benjamin, Beatrice and Blythe Hammell, Sean, (Chelsy) Delaney, and Myles Hammell, Jeffrey, (Sabina), Sofia and Amelia Hutchinson, Danny, (Beth), Nhien and Ainsleigh Hutchinson, Scott, (Meredith), and Aubrey Hutchinson, Brennen Ronovsky, Chantel (Kyle) MacElroy and Everley Dodgson; siblings Wayne Docking, Joyce Holman, Hazel Delbello; sisters-in-law Arlene Docking, Doreen Docking, Betty Witter (Bill), Gwen Hickson, Gail Hickson; son-inlaw Hervig Ronovsky and countless nieces, nephews and friends.
Bill was born on April 23, 1929 in Langbank, Saskatchewan to railroader Melvin and English “lady” Lily. His life of hard work started early, building a house with his dad and helping a family friend with their farm. He started his railroad career at the age of 17, starting as a Gandy dancer (a “section hand” who laid and maintained tracks before machines), then as railwayman and travelling instructor, making many lifelong friends along the way. He met the love of his life, Edith Hickson, when in grade 8 at Forrest, and started holding hands in grade 9. They were married at the Forrest United Church and celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary a mere two weeks before he passed. Their true love for each other was unending. Their first years were spent moving around Ontario for work, finally settling down in Winnipeg, where they built their first home on Vimy Road, later moving to Belcourt Bay. While living in the city, Bill and Ede found ways to serve their community; highlights include their time at Kirkfield United Church, organizing fundraising events through the St. James Assiniboia Optimist Club (his favourites included the Christmas Tree sale and the Buffalo BBQ), trustee for the St. James Assiniboia School Division. His hobbies included golf, curling and playing hockey. At Assiniboia Downs he was a hotwalker for neighbours’ horse, Belfour Bookie.
Bill always had a dream of owning a farm and raising Hereford cattle, so they said goodbye to city living and bought a farm near Gunton (he joked that he wanted a place he could turn into something and run until his pension ran out!). They named it APRIL ACRES. They raised cows, grew crops and gardens, made new friends and added a pool for the grandchildren. Bill found ways to get involved in the Interlake community as well; joined the Teulon United Church, sat on the board of the Hunter Memorial Hospital Foundation (where he was instrumental in establishing the Handivan service and the sunroom in Goodwin Lodge), volunteering for the Teulon Food Bank and Teulon Golf and Country Club, helped establish the Teulon and District Seniors’ Resource Council, co-founded a volunteer transportation service for seniors and persons with disabilities, drove for Wheels of Hope (Canadian Cancer Society; Bill was a cancer survivor himself), co-owned, with family, a local restaurant in Teulon (The Kin) and served as councillor for the Municipality of Rockwood. Bill helped create a cross country running and skiing trail through Ross Creek, which was part of their property. He was honoured and humbled when he received the Caring Canadian Award for Volunteerism from the Governor General in 2007.
Bill and Ede sold their farm and moved to the big town of Teulon continuing to help any way they could and enjoying neighbours close by. The last few months were spent at the Shaftesbury in Winnipeg where they were well taken care of and Bill had the staff giggling as he kibitzed with them. Above all else, Bill was a family man. Sister Joyce said Bill was a great brother to her, Hazel, Barry, Clair and Wayne. He taught them many things, always helped them out and was so much fun to be with. Traditions were important; the family gathered for holidays, Friday Night parties and Sunday dinners. They spent time together at their Gimli cottage, Bomber games (he was a loyal fan and season ticket holder) and enjoyed taking the grandchildren on summer adventures (by motor home, by house boat, staying in hotels and motels, visiting historic sites and taking in beautiful views along the way). He never missed a concert, a game, a recital or competition; Bill would be there, cheering them on. His sense of humour kept the family smiling. His favourite tunes to sing to his grandkids were Don’t Fence Me In and Sioux City Sue. And when he wasn’t teaching from the frontlines, cheering from the sidelines, telling jokes or singing tunes, he was passing on his words of wisdom: It can be done. Be careful what you choose; you may get it. Check the small things. It was a life well lived. He will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
“Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above. Don’t fence me in. Let me ride through the wide open country that I love. Don’t fence me in. Send me off forever but I ask you please, don’t fence me in.”
Special thanks to Dr. Loudon, Seven Oaks Hospital & HSC for their comforting care of Bill.
Donations in Bill’s memory can be made to: CancerCare Manitoba, 675 McDermot Ave. #1160, Winnipeg MB R3E 0V9 Teulon & District Seniors Resource, Box 418 Teulon, MB R0C3B0 Teulon Christmas Cheer Board Inc., Box 37 Teulon, MB R0C3B0
A life well lived, loved by many, missed by all, but take heart with all the wonderful memories you will have of this great man.
Are you or someone you know planning a funeral?
Contact Ken today to book an appointment.Contact Ken