Born on April 19, 1933, to Edward and Emma Bukovy (nee Holdos) on McLaughlin Street (East End), Fort William, Ontario. Bill attended St. Peter’s Catholic elementary school and then Fort William Vocational School on Selkirk Avenue where his biography noted that he was brilliant in rapid math and calculations. His ambition also was to ‘Raise a “Pro” pool player’. (“Um, sorry Dad” – Linda.)
As a young boy he worked at many small jobs to help raise income for the family. During the high school years, he worked at the CPR freight sheds. Shortly after graduating he worked at O’Brien’s Agency in Fort William, later Thunder Bay, as an insurance agent until his retirement.
In 1958 he married Frances Jones, and they had two children, Edward and Linda. The marriage didn’t last.
Bill was always interested in creating and repairing items. A self-taught mechanic and woodworker, he bought, repaired, and resold cars from his home garage and maintained the family car. A prize favourite was the 1967 Ford Mustang convertible that he found in a farmer’s field, purchased, brought to his garage and then over many months replaced parts, redid the body, installed the canvas top (bought from Sears Roebuck in Duluth), and then allowed his daughter to drive it. He also built items whether it was furniture, trusses for a garage, and an arbour to name a few.
After his retirement, he volunteered out at the Founders’ Museum and Pioneer Village where he became one of the “boys in the back”, a group of men who maintained, repaired, and restored items collected by the late Fred Goodfellow. Being here allowed his hobbies to manifest whether putting together dismantled furniture, painting buildings, etc. A quiet man, he took pride and joy in his work but never boasted.
Quick to help others with their houses, camps and cars, he also enjoyed golf, fishing, card games, visiting with the weekly coffee group, discussing the stock market with his brother-in-law Roy, and spending time with Linda, family and long-time friends. The garage often became a hang-out for people to drop by and chat.
He and Linda would often get in the car and go for drives, go on day trips to Duluth, explore back roads, go blueberry and mushroom picking and spend time together.
In his later years Bill’s health declined and he couldn’t enjoy many things from his past. Linda brought home communion from his parish church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where he was a long-time parishioner.
He died on February 27, 2023, at St. Joseph’s Hospice. Predeceased by his parents, sisters Mildred Casella and Anna Bukovy, infant son Edward William Bukovy, brother-in-law Roy De Re and sister-in-law Elizabeth Bukovy (nee Spooner). Survived by his daughter Linda Bukovy, sister Ilona De Re, brother Bernard Bukovy, nephews Edward Casella (Susan), Brian Bukovy (Susan), Brent Bukovy (Jadine), and niece Angela Prokopowich (Garry). Numerous grand nephews and nieces also survive.
The family extends thanks and appreciation to Doctors Sacevich, Sandoval Fonseca, Watson, and Nigro for their care for Bill over the years. The family also thanks the doctors and nurses at Thunder Bay Regional Hospital and at St. Joseph’s Hospital (5 South, 4 South and Hospice).
As per Bill’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a private family funeral will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice.