We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Dr. William "Bill" Walter Dowhos, age 77, on Thursday, February 24, 2011, at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. A beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend to so many, Bill was born on October 30, 1933, in Port Arthur, Ontario. He attended Oliver Road and Cornwall schools, and Port Arthur Collegiate Institute where he excelled both athletically and academically. As the star quarterback for the PACI Redmen football team, Bill led his squad to three consecutive undefeated championship seasons. He also excelled at hockey, basketball, baseball, track & field, and just about any sport or activity he put his mind to. Bill's biggest fan was Carole, a cheerleader at PACI, and the love of his life and wife of 56 years. Bill Dowhos exemplified the term "student-athlete," striving for excellence both in the classroom and on the field. In 1949, he was one of 50 boys from across Canada selected to take part in the "Weston Boys Tour" - a tour of Great Britain - in recognition of his scholastic and athletic prowess. With the financial support and love of his sister, Anne, and family, Bill was able to attend the University of Toronto School of Dentistry. He returned to Port Arthur where he successfully practiced for six years. Wanting to better serve his community, Bill decided to go back to U of T to earn his oral maxillofacial surgery fellowship. Graduating with the highest honours and the respect of his peers, Bill was offered a professorship to teach oral surgery, but chose to return to his roots to set up practice in Thunder Bay, becoming the only oral surgeon between Winnipeg and Toronto. Bill was not only a gifted surgeon, but was well recognized for the relationships he had with others. He combined his professionalism with warmth and empathy, truly listening to and caring for his patients and co-workers. Most recently, he was presented with the Award of Merit, Ontario Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the Medical Staff Award of Excellence, Thunder Bay Regional Hospital. Bill always loved the outdoors and enjoyed hunting and fishing; fondly remembering his early days hunting moose in the Boreal, and fishing with close buddies, including chums like Tony Macsemchuk, Howard Boland, Ermando Bonomi, and Don Romanoff. Sometimes to Carole's chagrin, Bill often took on new and oftentimes unique projects such as raising 100 chickens at camp, creating a bee farm, and helping to trap minnows. Bill loved to work with his hands and one of his passions was gardening. The vegetable garden at camp would make any Ukrainian proud, and the landscaping he so lovingly did at home could be featured on the cover of Home & Garden magazine. He also became an avid wood carver, creating beautiful pieces that he loved to share with friends and family, especially his grandchildren. Bill loved his United Church and served on the Board of Trustees, including Board Chair. He served on the board of Crossroads Centre, was a former Rotarian, and helped establish the local YMCA and Lakehead University. Bill is survived by his wife of 56 years, and their children David (Rosalyn), Doug (Lisa), and Cathy (Mark). He is also survived by his sister Anne Opaski; grandchildren Ian (Marjorie), Joanna (Andrew), Abby, Patrick, Krista, Carly, Josie, Jack, and Chris, and numerous nieces and nephews. Bill was predeceased by his parents William and Stella (Biloski) Dowhos, infants Thomas and Dana Mae; brothers-in-law Larry Opaski, Bob Nicholson, and Bill Mosher; and sister-in-law Patsy Nicholson. Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held Tuesday, March 1 at St. Paul's United Church, 349 Waverly Street, beginning at 11:00 a.m., followed by a reception at The Italian Hall, 132 Algoma Street South. If friends so desire, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Westminster Church, Crossroads Centre, Thunder Bay Regional Hospital Foundation, or St. Joseph's Care Group. Arrangements entrusted to the Sargent & Son Funeral Home, 21 N. Court Street.
On-line condolences may be made at www.sargentandson.com