March 11th, 1952 - June 23rd, 2019
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of William (Bill) Edmund Russnak on June 23, 2019.
A devoted husband, loving father, caring brother, and faithful friend, Bill led a life full of joy, laughter, and compassion for those he held dear. Bill leaves his family and friends with countless memories to cherish.
Bill was born on March 11, 1952 in Edmonton, Alberta to George and Sonia Russnak. Bill was the middle child in a family of five children. Bill’s eldest sister Victoria (Vicky) and older brother Donald (Donny) were the first to welcome Bill into their family. Later, Bill and his siblings would welcome two younger sisters, Elaine and Katherine (Tina). The family would eventually settle in Bowness, Alberta in the early 1960s before the little town became part of the City of Calgary.
Bill formed several lifelong friendships within the community and like many who called Bowness their home, held a lifelong connection to the community. Bowness is also where Bill met Susan and was first married. Although they would spend several years apart, they would eventually find each other again, spending the last 20 years of his life together and remarrying in 2012.
Bill always had an entrepreneurial spirit and worked hard to get ahead. In grade school, Bill earned extra money by selling bags of doughnuts door-to-door and in his middle age, Bill owned and operated a hotel in Whitecourt, Alberta with his two cousins. Bill also enjoyed a long and reputable career in the floor covering industry as a journeyman Floor Covering Mechanic, operating his own installation company for several decades. In later years, Bill would briefly instruct at SAIT, teaching new Canadians the fundamentals of the floor covering trade.
Bill spent his final working years as a Warehouse Manager with the Community Kitchen Program of Calgary. Bill fondly recalled the friendships he established with his colleagues and thoroughly enjoyed this work. It allowed him to play an integral role in helping others who were in need and whom he felt were very deserving of a hand-up. This work authentically reflected Bill’s very own nature as a kind, empathetic, and selflessly-driven man.
Bill was extremely proud of his son, Kaesy Blake, whom he had with his second wife, Mariette. Bill provided lifelong guidance and support to his son, teaching him valuable life lessons and sharing his own knowledge so his son would successfully find his own way. Bill prioritized and ensured Kaesy’s pursuit of lifelong education. Bill was beaming with pride when his son received his Master of Education degree in 2017, adamantly attending Kaesy’s convocation while he was undergoing treatment for his own illness.
In the last few years of his life, Bill was visited regularly by family, friends, and many loved ones. Bill spent unforgettable time enjoying a few fishing trips (his favourite pass time), travelling on memorable road trips, and attending several family gatherings on holidays and other special occasions.
Although Bill faced a long, arduous battle near the end of his life, his journey was always encountered head-on with strength, resolve and determination, and notably without self-pity or selfishness. Bill always had the well-being of others at the top of his mind. Bill also held his sense of humour very dear, and continued to laugh and smile right up to the very end. His kind, lovingly affectionate and humorous demeanour was among his greatest traits.
Bill spent the last part of a three year battle with his illness in the loving and caring presence of his family and friends at the Agapé Hospice in Calgary, Alberta. During this time, Bill was provided with nothing short of the best care by everyone at the Agapé Hospice. He was afforded a restful, dignified and comfortable experience as he embarked on the final leg of his journey. The Russnak family is thankful for the Agapé Hospice and all of their efforts in providing Bill with the upmost care and peacefulness leading up to and during his final hours. We are eternally grateful to you all.
Bill is survived by his loving wife Susan, his son Kaesy (Lindsey), and his sisters Vicky Gunderson, Elaine (Jake) Scheper, and Tina Russnak. He is predeceased by his parents, George and Sonia Russnak, and his brother Don Russnak.
In lieu of flowers, Bill’s family asks those who wish to offer a remembrance of Bill to consider making a donation to the Salvation Army’s Agapé Hospice in his name. In this way, others who may need the same care and peace that Bill received, may find it as well. Bill would surely be delighted by this type of gesture.
A Celebration of Bill's Life will be held at a later date.
Bill is lovingly remembered by all for a life well lived. Rest well now, forever in peace, and until we meet again.
To view and share photos, condolences and stories of Bill please visit www.choicememorial.com. Arrangements entrusted to the care of Choice Memorial Cremation & Funeral Services (403) 277-7343.