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Fancourt, William "Bill"



It is with great sorrow that the family of WILLIAM (BILL) JAMES FANCOURT of Okotoks AB, formerly of Assiniboia SK, announce his sudden passing at the age of 78. His tragic passing occurred while swimming in Mexico on April 1, 2023.

The second of two boys, he was born to Jim and Jean Fancourt on October 21, 1944, in Lafleche SK, and was raised on the family farm in Glentworth, where his passion for the cattle industry started as a child. Bill's grandparents, Ellen, and James Sturrock, helped to raise him in his early years while his mother received care in hospital. Bill was awarded the Governor General's academic medal in Grade 12. He then furthered his studies at the University of Saskatchewan, first earning a Bachelor of Science degree, followed by a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree. In 1970, after a short time of working in Estevan SK, he moved his young family (with Kent and Heather) to Assiniboia, where he worked first at the Co-op pharmacy, and then purchased the Rexall pharmacy, which he ran for many years. After selling the Rexall pharmacy, Bill purchased and operated the Assiniboia Livestock Auction, was a partner at Palliser Motors in Assiniboia, and ran in the 1986 provincial election. In 1989 the family (with Leanne and Paul) moved to Calgary, where he again worked as a pharmacist, mainly in the Walmart Pharmacy. He owned, and operated the Stavely Livestock Auction, and then moved to Okotoks, where he later retired from doing relief pharmacy work. During all these years, Bill's passion for cattle continued, and he remained involved in the livestock industry. He always helped his parents with the cattle and grain farming, and it was special for the children to be able to go with him to Glentworth when they could.

His kids and grandkids were always priority and the light of his life. Nothing gave him more joy or pride than listening to music performances of the children, be it piano, organ, saxophone, bagpipes, or Scottish tenor drumming. He very much enjoyed helping with coaching for the summer speed swim club. He enjoyed taking his kids to weekend summer swim meets, boxing, baseball, dance recitals, or any other activity he could attend when he was able.

Affectionately called Papa by his grandkids and great grandkids, he regularly enjoyed taking the children for lunch, or taking Dio fishing or to boxing lessons.

Papa very much liked gardening and took special pride in his roses. He loved to travel to Whitehorse to visit, and most especially enjoyed fishing while there.

Bill is predeceased by, and now reunited with, his parents Jim and Jean Fancourt of Glentworth SK, his brother Charlie (Jack) Fancourt, son Kent Fancourt, granddaughter Crystal Billie-Jean McEwen, grandson Daeden Stoker, and twin great granddaughters Caleidh and Casey McEwen.

Remaining to mourn his loss is his spouse of nearly 30 years, Mae Merkel; daughter Heather (Bright) Agbenya and great grandson Dio; daughter Leanne (Mark) Hunnie, son Paul Fancourt and his daughter Robyn, grandson Duncan (Brooke) McEwen and their sons Carter and Benjamin, granddaughter Marina (Stephen) MacLeod and their son Sawyer, grandson Ryan Fancourt, daughter in law Stephanie, granddaughter Calysta Stoker, niece Jeannie, and nephews Bruce, Taran, and Dylan. Also left to mourn the loss of our Papa are Mae's sons Gary (Radya Cherkaoui) Merkel and their family Sophia and Zayn; Derek Merkel and his family Cody, Ryan and Joel; and Bret (Patti) Merkel, and their family Sidney and Ty. We are especially grateful to Patti Merkel for everything she did to help Mae and to help bring our Dad back home to Canada.

A funeral will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2023, 1:00 pm, at W.J. Jones & Son Funeral Home, in Moose Jaw SK (474 Hochelaga St W). Viewing from 11:00-12:45. Lunch to follow service. Interment will be held later date at Rosedale Cemetery, where he will be laid to rest beside his son Kent. Those unable to attend the service, can watch the livestream by clicking on the link prior to 12:50 PM Saskatchewan time. 

He will be greatly missed, and his loss will leave a hole in our hearts that will never heal.

In living memory of Bill, a memorial planting will be made by W.J. Jones & Son Ltd. Blake Seebach - Funeral Director

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