Wilhelm "Bill" Edward Stewin
Wilhelm Edward Stewin was born in Morris, MB on April 12th, 1927. At a young age he found a temporary job working on the gang for Manitoba Telephone System. The job was only supposed to last for six weeks, but he liked to joke that it was the longest 6 weeks ever, because 36 years later he was still working for MTS.
Bill came to Portage in 1950 and there he met and became friends with John Martin. It was through this friendship that he got to know the “Love of His Life” when John introduced Bill to his sister, Marianne Kate.
Bill, Kae and Kae’s daughter Peggy lived in Portage all their years together. Both Bill and Kae were very active in the community. Bill worked as a line-station install and repairman for MTS. For recreation they joined a Ten Pin Bowling League where they made many friends travelling to tournaments in nearby towns. He also took on the position of treasurer for the Ten Pin Association in Portage la Prairie, a job he took pride in and worked at diligently for quite a few years. Bill and Kae also started a Junior Bowling Program for the youth in Portage and coached many young people every Saturday morning for many years.
Bill was an excellent dancer and he and Kae would go to dances every weekend with friends. They also were active members in the local Elks Lodge and Royal Purple. Bill was gifted in his knowledge of carpentry and through the years he completed many projects including remodelling their war-time house and building a 16’ boat.
After Bill retired from MTS he was looking for something to occupy his extra time. It was then, that by a chance meeting, he got involved with Joe Ertl who owned ERTL Toys in Dyersville, Iowa. Joe then hired Bill to assemble scale model tractors form the parts which were sent from Iowa to Bill in Canada. Bill and Kae soon had quite an assembly line going to make all models of toy tractors and shipped them to dealers across Canada. This friendship with the Ertl’s kept them busy for many years. When Bill decided to give up the toy making, he turned again to his woodworking hobby. He turned out very many beautiful craft projects for family and friends and went to craft fairs where he and Kae would sell their crafts.
During these years, with Bill & Kae being community minded, they decided to get involved in starting-up the “Citizens on Patrol” program in Portage la Prairie. They spent many hours and travelled many miles up and down the streets of town, watching for any suspicious activity, which they would then report to the RCMP. Going out on patrol most weekends would see them staying out until the sun came up in the morning.
In Bill’s later years, he and Kae enjoyed time at home with their beloved pet cats and spending days visiting with their grandkids. Also, every week they would get together with friends for a game of cards or go to the Herman Pryor Centre to join the Scrabble Group.
Kae passed away in 2015 and Bill remained living in their family home, which they built together, until his passing on May 22nd, 2020.
Bill leaves behind to mourn his passing and celebrate his life his daughter Peg Sanders and husband Jim, granddaughters; Jackie (Marc) Sharpe, Barb (Wes) Braun, Holly (Clayton) Smith, grandson Josh (Lindsay) Sanders, great-granddaughters; Nicole, Sara, Steph, great-grandsons; Scott, Matt, and Eric, along with many nieces and nephews.
Should friends so desire donation can be made to P.A.W.S, 121 – 12th St. NE, Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 4A2
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121-12th St NE,, Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 4A2