Wilhelmus “Bill” Smits
Passed away suddenly at Simcoe Terrace, Barrie on Sunday, September 25, 2022 at the age of 79. Loving and devoted father of Martina (Steve). Predeceased by his parents Fonz and Martina, sisters Dina, Sjaan, Alfonsien, and brothers Antoon, and Laurens “Broer”. Survived by his siblings Tiny, Jet, and Henk. Bill will be forever loved and remembered by his many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and extended family in the Netherlands, and his friends new and old, especially Steve who looked out for Bill right to the end.
Bill graduated from the Bata Shoe College near his hometown in the Netherlands. He then immigrated to Canada by himself at 18 years of age with just a suitcase and $100 in his pocket. He had a lifelong career with Bata Shoes that he was very proud of. He worked at the factory in Batawa making shoes, worked as a store manager and district manager in cities across the country and had many rolls at Bata head office in Toronto. Bill helped to launch the Athlete’s World brand and created Bata’s loss prevention program. After retirement, he volunteered for the United Way as a project manager and briefly worked for the Government of Ontario doing similar work.
A private family Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Bill’s family would like to thank the staff at RVH and Simcoe Terrace for their exceptional care.
Aquamation entrusted to Legacy Funeral Home, Barrie.
Canadian Cancer Society
588 Manly Street, Midland ON L4R 3G3