Free, Bill said “Goodbye” on Friday June 24, 2022 to his wife Sonja, children Ken, Wendy and Lori Anne and their families and to so many dear friends. He will be greatly missed by all.

He will be remembered for his winning smile and sparkling blue eyes; positive outlook; his willingness to help his neighbours with snow shoveling, grass cutting and gardening advice. His leadership qualities were gifts he shared in business, volunteer work and with his devoted family.

Bill had a wonderful singing voice and his theme song for his children, grandchildren and great granddaughter was “You Are My Sunshine”. He would sing them to sleep or burst into song on car trips.

The family would like to thank the oncology staff at RVH and the many caregivers at Hospice Simcoe. A special thanks to Dr. Lai who walked with him these many months, always ready to answer questions, discuss vital concerns and offer his support.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Westside Evangelical Lutheran Church, 510 Ferndale Drive North, Barrie on Saturday, July 2 with Visitation at 1:00 p.m. and Service at 2:00 p.m.  followed by a “reception party” on church lawn.

Donations may be made to Westside Evangelical Lutheran Church OR Redwood Park Communities Inc ., 36 Toronto Street, Barrie, L4N 1T9

Dear friends,

If you are not able to be with us in the sanctuary this Saturday, you're invited to view the service using this Zoom link.   This will be presented in podcast style - you will be able to view the service but not interact with others.
The service will be recorded and posted on Westside's Facebook page probably sometimes Sunday.

Pastor Ann
Ann Krueger is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: BILL FREE - Celebration of Life
Time: Jul 2, 2022 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 811 6825 7387
Passcode: 565589


15 Condolences
  • Bob & Sherry Armstrong
    Posted on: Monday, June 27, 2022 Reply

    Sonja and family;. We felt truly blessed to call Bill our friend. He was a delightful addition to the curling club and we missed his friendly smile and conversations. He was always interested in our family and eager to hear our adventures. He was a dear friend and we will sadly miss him. Hugs to you all.

  • Donna & Merv Wice
    Posted on: Monday, June 27, 2022 Reply

    A gentle man in the truest sense of the word, Bill will be missed. East to talk with, fun to banter with, glad we spent time together at the curling club.

  • Bob and Linda Fleming
    Posted on: Monday, June 27, 2022 Reply

    Sonja and family
    We just want to add our condolences on your loss.
    While we were only fortunate to know Bill for a relatively short time he will be deeply missed. You and your family are on our minds and in our prayers.

  • Lorne Brown
    Posted on: Tuesday, June 28, 2022 Reply

    Born in the same year – the Year of the Three Kings – Bill and I have had a long friendship. I first met him at Hodgson Sr. PS. staff parties where Sonja and I both worked. I was impressed at how easily he mixed with everyone, his cheerfulness adding so much to the occasions. The Frees and the Browns became lifelong friends, Jean and Sonja sharing child-rearing duties. There are too many memories to recall in this space, but carolling together on St Thomas Eve has to be mentioned. Cold night walks at the cottage in Gooseneck, marvelling at the stars and the milky way; Bill baking fresh bread and preparing a gourmet meal on New Year’s Day. For many years he and I would go to his cottage in the fall to prepare it for winter. Great memories of shopping at Parry Sound for our meals, pulling boats out of the water, covering gazebos with plastic, watching the Leafs on TV at night and having a hot chocolate before retiring for the night.

    Bill loved his family and was proud of them. I remember he invited me for a weekend at his hometown of Campbellford, meeting various relatives and old family friends, reminiscing about childhood on the farm. It always seemed that new memories of times with Bill and Sonja were just waiting to be made when, all of a sudden, Time stepped in to remind us that our time here on earth is short.

    Farewell Bill… You brightened many a person’s life. Be brave, Sonja.

    Lorne Brown

  • Betty & Dwain Weckman
    Posted on: Tuesday, June 28, 2022 Reply

    Aunt Sonja, our heartfelt condolences to you. We are so fortunate that Uncle Bill was a part of our lives. He was my favourite! His charming way of making people feel special and accepted, and his enthusiasm for “living” are qualities that we will remember him for. Please know that we will be keeping you and your family in our thoughts and hearts.
    Betty & Dwain

  • David and Jacqueline Gladstone
    Posted on: Tuesday, June 28, 2022 Reply

    Our deepest sympathy to the Free family over the loss of Bill. Even though we met Bill only once or twice a year, he will be remembered by us for his smiling ways, his sincerity and his friendship. He was an enthusiastic golfing partner who was a delight to play with. No matter the time between the visits, he made us feel very close.

  • Carole Larson Vaillancourt
    Posted on: Tuesday, June 28, 2022 Reply

    All my memories of Bill are happy ones! At one point he was my Sunday School superintendent, and later on he and Sonja led the Youth group I belonged to at our church. In whatever he did, his smile and good humour were always in place. He and Sonja invested a lot of time and energy in the teenagers of our congregation and helped to make my adolescence a richer and happier one as a result, and I am grateful!
    My heart goes out to you, Sonja, and to all the family at this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you!
    Carole (Larson) Vaillancourt

  • Andy and Linda Gerow
    Posted on: Wednesday, June 29, 2022 Reply

    We were very saddened to hear of Bill’s passing. Many times we met Sonja and Bill on our walks in Innisfil Beach Park. A lovely, gentle man who was kind and caring. We wish Sonja and the family our sincerest condolences. May God hold Bill in the palm of his hand. Linda and Andy xo

  • J Irene Carr
    Posted on: Wednesday, June 29, 2022 Reply

    My sincere condolences to you Sonja and to your family . I am so sorry for the
    loss of your beloved Bill. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this difficult time.

  • Sandy Nielsen and Caroline
    Posted on: Wednesday, June 29, 2022 Reply

    I always tend to think of Bill as R-Bill, as I seem to recall Ulla always referring to him as Our-Bill, I suppose to distinguish him from any other Free Bills that may be floating about.
    Having known Bill, and after reading the other fine condolences, I feel it might be far more appropriate to think of him as Everyones-Bill, for it seems he truly did belong to Everyone and Everyone belonged to him.
    Caroline was so pleased to be able to meet Bill and Sonja on various life occasions and always spoke fondly of him.
    He will be well remembered by all, and by all, I mean Everyone.
    Sandy and Caroline

    Posted on: Thursday, June 30, 2022 Reply

    Please accept my sincere condolences on Bill’s passing. He was a lovely man whose company I enjoyed very much at curling in Stroud. I know you will treasure his memory.

  • Patricia James
    Posted on: Thursday, June 30, 2022 Reply

    Dear Sonja, I am so sorry to hear about your loss of Bill. Rarely did a time pass by as we gathered for our ministerial work when you didn’t speak of something you and Bill were planning to do together. I always felt that you saw your time with Bill as a precious gift from God. May God’s light shine upon your heartache, and may the Good Lord bless you and keep you and give you and your family inner peace as you face your sad times ahead. Patricia

  • Janet Alderson
    Posted on: Friday, July 1, 2022 Reply

    Sonja and Family
    I am so sorry to hear about Bill’s passing. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Janet Alderson

  • Moira Munro James Henderson Chloe Scory
    Posted on: Saturday, July 2, 2022 Reply

    “Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven, where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy”

    You will be greatly missed in our household. Love your friend Moira

  • Shahina Prasad
    Posted on: Saturday, July 2, 2022 Reply

    Lori and the Free family, we were saddened to hear the news of Mr. Free’s passing. May he rest in Eternal Peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Love, Shahina and Johny Prasad XO

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