William James Neil Semple

1942 ~ 2022 (age 79)


Semple, William James Neil 1942- 2022

My heart has been trying to do me in for many years and I was unexpectedly taken on March 31, 2022, at Health Science North in Sudbury at the age of 79 years.  Life was always about the things I was able to do. I consider myself to be a very lucky man to have the family and friends I have.

Willie was born in Montreal, Quebec but was raised in Kirkland Lake and moved to Bancroft with his parents and family in the 50’s. He met Gloria there and they married November 19, 1960. It was there that they had their firstborn child Billy, while Willie worked at Bicroft Uranium Mines.

In 1961 they moved back to Kirkland Lake where he worked at Kerr Mine in V Town for a few years and this was where Randy was born in 1964. After a near death accident at the Kerr he came up from underground petrified, turned in his hard hat and gave up on his mining career.

The family then moved to Toronto where Willie got hired on at Red Path Sugar and spent the next 10 years. It was in Toronto that Kelly became part of the family and completed our circle. We then decided to move back to Kirkland Lake which we both loved and called home.

He was hired on at the Town of Kirkland Lake, we eventually bought a house on Lebel Ave. and a cottage on Round Lake. Our family started growing by leaps and bounds, with 8 grandchildren Skylor (Tori), Travis, Tiffany (Yanick), Harley, the twins Bryce, Dru (Amber), Casey, and Destany (Cody).  He had to take an early retirement from the Town of Kirkland Lake at the age of 58 due to health problems.  During his retirement he was blessed with 3 great-grandchildren Tyler, Elyse, and Everly and several step-grandchildren Sam, Ali, Rebecca, Bethany, Damien, Aubree, Aurora and Averee.

Willie was predeceased by his parents Jimmy and Mary Semple, brother Robert Semple, sister Ella-Mae (Toodie), niece Tara Semple, granddaughter Kelsey Semple, in-laws Elise and George Irwin, Sadie and Wayne Neville. His beloved fur babies who meant the world to him, Chimo, and Shiloh.

He will be missed by his loving wife of 62 years Gloria, his children Billy (Ilene), Randy (Eija), Kelly (Kris), Sister Maryanne (Rick), brother Terry (Jenny), sister-in-law Joan (Tom) Steenburg, brother-in-law Nelson (Gail) Irwin, nieces and nephew Corrina, Mitchelle (Donald), Shawn, Amy (Mike). He also leaves behind his special nephews Big Al (Carolle), and Little Al (Missy), Neville, and several nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly. Also to morn his loss are his best buddy’s Norman MacDonald, Gerald Gaston, Ray Sanche and Wayne Lent.

Willie and Gloria travelled the world together often taking the nephew or grandchildren along with them. They enjoyed trips to Africa, Mexico, Spain, Venezuela, Hawaii, California, Myrtle Beach, all of USA and Canada. After Gloria’s retirement we were fortunate enough to spend 11 winters in Panama City Beach Florida before Willie’s health started to deteriorate and Covid took over the world.

Willie loved his grandchildren dearly and spent as much time as possible with them, going on trips running them all over the country and enjoying every minute of it. In his younger days he was an avid fisherman and could often be seen walking with his buddy’s Gerald and Norman with their fishing poles and tackle box. After retirement he would do his daily coffee runs parking at Timmies and then McDonalds with his buddy’s Ray, Norman, Wayne, Gene, Amor and with many other friends and relatives.

He also leaves behind 3 very special people in his life, Jody Semple his rock and lifeline, Darlene Semple and Howard Rosebush who he considered to be his son.

A message from his grandchildren: Nan and Gramps have never met a stranger that they didn’t like. Gramps was the most thoughtful, kind, caring soul who would help anyone in need. Nan and Gramps were well loved and respected everywhere they went. We know that we can’t have you forever, but we are happy knowing that you were able to live life to the fullest and we will miss you forever.

Goodbye to a wonderful husband, Dad, Gramps and best friend. We will forever cherish each and every memory you have given to all of us. Rest peacefully.

Cremation has occurred and no service will be held. In memory of Willie, donations maybe made to the Advocates for Northern Animals of your local Animal Shelter.  Services provided by Simple Wishes of the North, Sudbury.


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