The Dryden Observer

Your Source for Dryden News

William Beatty – August 19, 1927 – September 19, 2017

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.
William Beatty – August 19, 1927 – September 19, 2017

In loving memory of William (Bill) Frank Beatty, age 90 years, who passed away surrounded by family on September 19th after a long battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Bill was born August 19th, 1927 at the original Grace Hospital in Winnipeg, MB. He was the youngest of two sons born to Frank and Cleo Beatty.  The family moved to Keewatin when Bill was seven years of age.  Shortly thereafter, Bill’s Mom Cleo passed away.  Years later, Bill’s Dad remarried Edith Evenden and her two kids Glen and Sybil became a huge part of this new family.

Bill graduated from Keewatin High School (Grade 12) and Kenora-Keewatin District High School (Grade 13) in 1946.  After graduation, Bill was employed as a clerk with the Hudson Bay Company in June 1946 in Moose Factory on James Bay.  He then transferred to Bear Island on Lake Temagami in 1947, where he worked as the Assistant Manager of the store there until September 1948 when he enrolled in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry on June 5, 1952.

After graduation, Bill got a job in Timmins to work for B.G. (Burt) Day, who was a mining timber contractor for the McIntyre-Porcupine Gold Mine.  Bwill did a variety of jobs there, including timber cruising and was also a camp supervisor. 

Bill moved to Dryden in December 1953 to work for the Dryden Paper Co. Ltd. as a camp clerk in their Woodlands Division at Camp 11 (Sundstrom on Route Lake) and lived in the bush camps until about 1957.  He was originally hired in 1953 by Norman McMillan, Woods Manager, who had a profound effect on Bill and guided Bill in his career – including positions as Relief Camp Foreman, Assistant Division Logging Superintendent, Division Logging Superintendent, General Logging Superintendent-North Division, and finally Woodlands Development Manager – 26 years in Woodlands, followed by ten years in the pulp and paper mill as the Manager of Public Affairs, retiring in 1990 at the age of 63.  

Bill was active in his forestry career, serving for two years as President of the Lake of the Woods Section of the Canadian Institute of Forestry and two terms as Section Representative on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Institute of Forestry.  He was a councilor for one year on the Ontario Professional Forestry Association and was a long standing company representative of the Logging Operations Group of the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association – Woodlands Section. Finally, he served as Chairman for two years on the Ontario Pulp and Papermakers Safety Association, Northwestern Branch. 

Bill was an active member of his community, and a long-time member of the Dryden Rotary Club, serving as President in 1987.  He was also a member of the Dryden Kraft Investment Club for nearly 60 years and enjoyed the camaraderie of the members. 

Bill served as President of the original Dryden Flying Club.  He got his private pilots license from the Winnipeg Flying Club and owned his own aircraft, an Aeronca Champ CF-LSG.  Bill, Tommy Maunsell and Gordie Hill all did the course and got their licenses together. One of Bill’s favourite memories was flying back to the Dryden Flying Club for the first time with Gordie Hill.  Bill was a member of a 4-person committee “to study the feasibility of having a commercial airport in Dryden”.  This developed into The Dryden Airport Commission and brought about jet service to Dryden as well as the completion of a brand new airport terminal in 1984.  He served 19 years on the commission, six years as Chairman.

Bill co-chaired with Ron Thorburn, the Trees for Canada program for the local Boy Scouts, Cubs, and Beavers.  Several thousand seedlings were planted in Dryden with help from Dads, Moms, and grandparents.  The results are now viewed with pride by the participants of that program.

Bill enjoyed curling and had wonderful memories of league play and bonspiels with Skip Ray Cook, Dunc Mawby, Tom Maunsell and Gord Hill. Bill and Dall also curled in the mixed league with Ray and Roberta Cook and spoke often about their Saturday evening’s entertainment. 

The love of duck hunting instilled in him by his father and brother Jack stayed with him into his late 80’s.  Many cold, miserable days on the Wabigoon with Ray Cook, Ray’s son Jim and Jim Cox were relished with delicious duck dinners that resulted from a successful hunt.  Annual duck hunting trips to Western Manitoba that started in 1956 with brother Jack, cousin Punch Hansen and friends Stu Black and Conn Howe were classic to enjoy. 

Bill met Dall Cameron in 1961.  She was a home economist for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture.  Bill married Dall Cameron on April 5, 1963 in Vancouver, BC.  Son, Robert, and daughter, Karen, came along a few years later.  Bill and Dall had many great trips in retirement including many Class of 5T2 U of T Reunions. 

In 1963, Bill and Dall started construction of the cabin at Clearwater Bay, just up the hill from where Bill’s dad had a tourist camp called Beatty’s Tourist Camp.  “Camp” was a wonderful place where Bill loved to go to relax on the lake and in the garden, and host all sorts of friends and family.

Dad had many interests over the years including flying his Aeronca Champ, curling, fishing, bird watching, reading, hunting, spending time at the cabin on Clearwater Bay and gardening.  He took great pride in sharing the produce from many great gardens in Dryden and Clearwater Bay and often had friendly competitions to see who could grow the biggest and tastiest tomatoes.  

Dad will be missed by all who knew and loved him.  He will be remembered as a man who was a true gentleman. He could relate to just about anyone and would make anyone around him feel comfortable. He was generous and was always there to help people out.  People will remember his amazing memory, ability to tell a great story, and ability to remember poems as far back as his public school days. 

Bill was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Cleo, his stepmother Edith, his wife Dall, and brothers Jack and Glen.  He is survived and missed dearly by his son Bob (Tabitha), daughter Karen (Dominic) Dodic, four grandchildren Katarina (Graham), Alexandria, Milika, and Dahlia as well as one great-granddaughter Zahra, step-sister Sybil (Archie) McKay and many nieces, nephews and other relatives.  

A Memorial Funeral service to celebrate the life of Bill Beatty was held Monday September 25th at 11:00 a.m. in the First United Church with Rev. Erin McIntyre and Alice Bloomfield officiating.  Interment followed at the Dryden Cemetery.

If friends desire donations may be made to Ducks Unlimited, the Salvation Army, DRHC Foundation through the Stevens Funeral Homes P.O. Box 412, Dryden ON P8N 2Z1. Condolences may be posted at

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.