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Tuesday July 30, 2013

WILLIAM FRASER BELL Former Mayor of Richmond Hill (1988-2006) and recipient of QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal. Bill passed away peacefully on July 28, 2013 at MacKenzie Health Hospital in Richmond Hill with his family at his side. Bill was born in Toronto on November 10, 1938, the 6th William Bell, to the late Audrey M. and William R. Bell. He will be forever missed by his loving wife Jackie (Chapman), daughters Julie (Marc Ihamaki) and Kate (Michael McVety), brother John (Judy), niece Jessica and nephew Jeffrey. Bill was the very proud and involved Poppa to Hunter, Tomas, and Charlie. Bill grew up in Willowdale, Ontario and attended Earl Haig Secondary School where his political career began as student council President. He went on to study Political Science and Sociology at the University of Toronto. He was the longest serving Mayor in Richmond Hill's history and the longest serving Trustee in the Public Library board's history. Bill also served as a member of council for the regional municipality of York, served as Chair of the Transportation Committee and was an active member of the board of York Central Hospital (MacKenzie Health). He served as a founding director of the S'port for Kids Foundation, Patron of the Care First Foundation, began the Mayor's Charity Golf Tournament, annual Mayor's prayer breakfast, and sat on the board of governors for the Mon Sheong Foundation. He was first elected to local council in 1980, served 8 years and then went on to win the first of 6 Mayoralty elections - we fondly remember him saying- ''it's either time to move up or move out.'
His legacy in Richmond Hill is of a strong, healthy, caring and prosperous community. Some of his proudest career accomplishments include the establishment of ''environment first'', driving force behind the creation of the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, co-founder (with the late Ann Gold) of the Hill House Hospice, and because of the sound financial decisions during his tenure, council was able to make a significant donation to help build the Richmond Hill wing at MacKenzie Health. The family would like to thank the outstanding ICU team at MacKenzie Health for their compassionate care and support during Bill's journey. Visitation will be at the MARSHALL FUNERAL HOME, 10366 Yonge St., Richmond Hill, on Tuesday, July 30 from 6-9 p.m. and Wednesday, July 31 from 2-4 and 6-9 p.m. A service will be held on Thursday, August 1st in the funeral home Chapel at 1:30 p.m. with a reception to follow. Bill brought a sense of loyalty, strong values, sound ethics, and integrity to his long career in business and Municipal politics and an unwavering devotion to his family. You are leaving this world a better place. We thank you and will miss your sense of humour. Memorial donation to Mackenzie Health, Richmond Hill ICU would be appreciated.

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