Bill Oscienny passed away peacefully on September 13 in Campbell River, BC – his home for the last few years. Bill was born on a farm near Yorkton, Saskatchewan into a first- generation immigrant family of 14 children. The Oscienny family surname was unique – the only family in Canada with that name. Bill and his 13 siblings have always lived in, loved and collectively made Canada their home.
Bill took most of his education in a one room rural elementary school in Yorkton. After graduating he followed with teacher training in Moose Jaw. His first teaching position was challenging; a one room school with 50 pupils – grades 1-10. After six years teaching in Saskatchewan, he came to BC to teach on Quadra Island. During this time, in 1949, Bill travelled to Victoria to attend summer school and at that time he first fell in love with the area.
His next teaching position, though, found him in the Williams Lake School District. He taught at Forest Grove followed by the 100 Mile House School. Bill met his future wife Hilda while teaching in Forest Grove; they married and their idyllic little cabin at Canim Lake became the backdrop for their life together. It was while living in the Caribou that babies were born, and their family took shape. They made this area their home until Bill got his coveted opportunity in Victoria in 1957, where he taught until his retirement in 1979. Bill had arrived -he was in Victoria – as far as he was concerned there was no better place to live.
Bill enjoyed many years of competitive curling at the Racquet Club of Victoria; and a key volunteering activity for him was at the Victoria Commonwealth games. Travel was also something Bill enjoyed, whether just to their lakefront cabin at Lake Cowichan; road trips in the van to gamble in Reno or to visit family in Saskatchewan. Global destinations included Argentina, Greece, the Soviet Union, Australia, Mexico, Central America, Grand Cayman and numerous parts of Canada and United States.
Dad was a man who made the most of the materials he had at hand – ‘recycling’ before this was even a word. He maintained his can-do attitude until health concerns beginning in early 2014 at age 95 saw he and Hilda move closer to family. Bill enjoyed over 50 years in their beloved family home at Varsity Place in Victoria where he enjoyed gardening, always eager to share his apples in the fall!
Left with wonderful memories are son David (Brenda); grandchild Ashley (Darin), great grandchildren Ryder, Bryan (Summer), Cameron (Miriam) and Darin; daughter Darlene Smid (Jan); grandsons Zackery (Rosemarie), and Matthew. Our extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews in BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, share memories as well. Bill is survived by one sister, Nell in Vancouver.
A Celebration of Life location and date will be announced in the coming weeks.