MAJOR KENNETH B. WILLIAMS
On November 13th 2009, Ken passed away in the Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria. He is survived by his wife Jean, daughter Jennifer and son Robin, sisters-in-law Yolande Williams (Nice, France) and Phyllis Kennedy (Hamilton, New Zealand).
Ken was born in Abbey Wood, Kent, England in 1920. He grew up and was schooled in London where as an adolescent he sang in St. James choir and became a King Scout.
Ken volunteered for Military Service in 1940 and by the age of 25 had attained the rank of Major in the Royal Engineers. Part of the D Day invasion, Ken and the men under his command served on the front line constructing airfields and reestablishing transportation links destroyed by the retreating German army.
After VE Day, Major Williams remained in Northern Germany through 1946 supervising German prisoners of war and civilians on infrastructure, restoration and construction projects. For his dedication and compassion Ken received numerous commendations and bronze oak leaves for being Mentioned in Dispatches
Ken trained and attained his Civil Engineering degree in London. As an Engineer with John Mowlem Construction, major projects he was involved in were the London Underground Bakerloo line, Battersea Power Station and restoration of the Houses of Parliament.
Ken married Jean Walker in 1951. Ken, Jean and three year old Jennifer emigrated to Vancouver in 1956. Two years later Robin was born at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.
Ken designed and built their house in West Vancouver where they lived for the next 37 years. While in West Van Ken was active in the community youth band and scouting.
Well known in the building trades and construction industry, Ken was heavily involved with building of British Columbia’s bridges, most notably in Nelson and Revelstoke in the 1960’s. An active member of the B.C. Construction Labour Relations Association Ken was respected by both management, colleagues and the labour representatives at Ironworkers local 97.
Ken’s final projects were the coal loading facilities at Roberts Bank, Tsawwassen and in Prince Rupert for Japanese heavy Industry giant Ishikawa Jima Harima.
Retiring in 1986, Ken and Jean spent their time between their houses in the Okanagan and West Vancouver, taking the time to travel extensively.
Ken and Jean moved to Salt Spring in 1996 where Ken began his next big project designing and building his castle, the house on Arnell Way.
Ken remained fully independent to the end and was often seen in Ganges driving his silver smart car.
Admired and respected, this decorated officer, builder, husband and father will be deeply missed.
The family wishes to thank Dr. James White, Carol and Sue, Drs. Caroline Stigant, Stone and Jenkins and the staff of W3 at Royal Jubilee Hospital.
A memorial service will be held at All Saints By The Sea Anglican church on Thursday, November 26th at 2:00 pm with reception to follow immediately after at 130 Arnell Way. All friends are invited.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Lady Minto Hospital.