William F. Bell passed away peacefully with family by his side on Sunday, July 28
RICHMOND HILL – Flags at Richmond Hill’s main Municipal Offices and its facilities are at half-mast with the news of former Mayor William F. Bell’s passing yesterday.
William (Bill) Bell was Richmond Hill’s longest-serving Mayor, winning six mayoral elections after serving as Ward 3 Councillor for eight years prior. He was first elected to Richmond Hill Council in 1980. In addition to his seat on Richmond Hill Council, he was a Council Member for the Region of York, Vice-Chair of the York Region Transportation & Works Committee, an active Board Member for York Central Hospital (now Mackenzie Health), Vice-Chair of the Regional Rapid Transit Committee and is the longest-serving Trustee in the Public Library Board’s history. Bill Bell also sat on a number of different boards for a variety of community organizations, including as Honorary Chair and Founding Director of the S’port for Kids Foundation, Honorary Director of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind – York Region, and Honorary Trustee for York Central Hospital.
As Mayor from 1988 to 2006, Bell helped see Richmond Hill through a significant period of growth. The population tripled and a number of new facilities were opened, including the Richmond Hill Central Library, the Wave Pool and the Bayview Hill Community Centre. A number of businesses settled in Richmond Hill during this time, too, continuing the expansion of Richmond Hill’s business parks.
“Bill was not just a colleague on Council and in the insurance industry, he was also a friend. We golfed together and played slo-pitch back in the day,” said current Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow.
Visitation will be at the Marshall Funeral Home located at 10366 Yonge Street in Richmond Hill on Tuesday, July 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. and on Wednesday, July 31 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. A funeral service will be held on Thursday, August 1 in the funeral home’s Chapel at 1:30 p.m. A reception will follow.
A book of condolences is available for the public to sign in the foyer of the main Municipal Offices and at the Central Library. Condolences can also be expressed online at marshallfuneralhome.com.
Anyone wishing to make a memorial donation to Mackenzie Health, Richmond Hill’s Critical/Intensive Care Unit in memory of Bill Bell can do so by visiting mackenziehealth.ca, selecting Donate Now and then Tribute – In Memory.
“There’s no doubt he left his mark on our community. He will be missed,” added Dave Barrow.