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Copithorne, William


COPITHORNE, William - BW Obit

COPITHORNE, William (Bill) James

May 27, 1926 – Cochrane, Alberta

January 8, 2021 – Canmore, Alberta


We’ve lost a unique and wonderful man with the passing of William (Bill) James Copithorne on Friday, January 8, 2021 at the age of 94 years.


Born on May 27, 1926, in Cochrane, AB, Bill was the son of Samuel and Beatrice Copithorne. Bill was the youngest, last remaining of the second generation of one of Alberta’s original pioneer families, who helped build communities in the Cochrane, Springbank and Jumping Pound areas.


Bill lived a long life through colourful chapters. As a man, he played many roles for his family, friends and community; a loving father and husband, a rancher who built a sprawling legacy under the Elbow River Ranch’s “Half Diamond One” brand in the rolling hills of Springbank, a community servant with his many years as Rocky View councillor and Reeve, and a community builder through roles with The Calgary Airport Authority and Calgary Regional Hospital District.


To so many, he was fondly and affectionately known as “Uncle Bill”, a title true to his welcoming, fun-loving and seemingly ever-present personality.


To know Bill was to know a truly one-of-a-kind man. Having lived a long life through dramatically changing times, there was almost nothing Bill hadn’t seen before. His experience was a calming presence. He embraced change and new technology. His strength of character cut through the chaos. His big, weathered hands were a tribute to a life of hard work. His generosity touched many. His stories told of times and places that put into perspective the challenges of today.  His was a life defined by strength in character, integrity, generosity, and a welcoming wide-open door to all.


Bill will be greatly missed, but his presence will live on in many ways around the community. He imparted much hard-earned wisdom to those who would listen—not the least of which being “You better live your life while you can, you won’t get another chance.”


Bill is survived by his children and their families, Judy, Alan, Janet, Edward and Philip; and his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will share their fond memories for years to come.

Bill was predeceased by his wife, Harriette and his son Samuel.


A private service will be held on January 22, 2021 at the Springbank United Church Cemetery. When the time is right, we will no doubt gather once again with “Uncle Bill” to celebrate a great long life that touched so many. Condolences, memories and photos may be shared and viewed on Bill’s obituary at


In living memory of William Copithorne, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.



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