William (Bill) Beckingham Q.C., with his family by his side, went to be with the Lord on Friday, November 2, 2012 following a courageous battle with vascular dementia. Irene, his ever-loving wife of 58 years, his five children, Michele (Andreas), Charles (Celyne), Anne (Tom), Louise (Michael) and David (Beverly), his sister Ruth and seven grandchildren survive him.
Born August 28, 1924 in Victoria and raised in Metchosin, BC, William left school early in Grade 11 to work for several years on CPR's Princess Victoria. From 1942 to 1945, he served as petty officer in the Royal Canadian Navy (R.C.N.V.R.). In 1947, William continued his formal education studying mechanical engineering at Victoria College and then in 1953, graduated from UBC Law School.
After being called to the Bar, William established his law firm, Beckingham & Company in Port Alberni where he practiced general law for 50+ years before leaving the practice to his son, Charles. A dedicated and gifted lawyer, William's outstanding contribution to the field of law was recognized by appointment to the Federal Queen's Council and Gold Award from the British Columbia Bar Society.
Exceptionally well-read, William's keen mind, natural leadership qualities and unfaltering commitment to social justice resulted in several prominent, elected appointments including Port Alberni Chamber of Commerce President, Port Alberni Harbour Commissioner and District 70 School Trustee.
An outdoorsman at heart, Bill was passionate about being near the ocean and he loved to fish and boat at every opportunity. He deeply appreciated nature and over the latter part of his life dedicated himself to gardening and the study of local wildlife, especially birds.
Above all passions and obsessions, Bill loved his family and there was nothing that pleased him more than to have them all around him.
Bill's seven grandchildren, to whom he was affectionately known as Grandpa Beach, will always treasure his love of life and family, sense of humor and bold, energetic spirit. His wife and children will carry with them fond memories of Bill's excellent home-cooking, baked goods, tireless thirst for knowledge and visions of him puttering in the garden at his beach-front home in Qualicum -- his favorite place on earth.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 10th at 1:00 p.m., Chapel of Memories, 4005 Sixth Avenue, Port Alberni, B.C. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Bread of Life Centre www.thebreadoflife.ca (Port Alberni, B.C.).