Bill Trimble, August 1958.

William Burbage Smythe Trimble
Sex: Male
Birth: March 8, 1921 in Altadena, California
Death: June 2, 2008, in Aurora, Ontario
Father: William Burbage Smythe Trimble
Mother: Agnes Rennie Cringan
Spouse/Partner: Dorothy Irene Robertson
Marriage: January 6, 1945, in Toronto, Ontario

William Burbage Smythe (Bill)Trimble

Bill was born in Altadena, California on March 8, 1921, during the pneumonia pandemic, and was written up in medical journals as the only live birth at that time. His mother was very ill, and he was a blue baby. His father had died two months earlier of complications from a ruptured appendix. In three months time, he and his mother were well enough to drive from their home in California, along with Bill’s Aunt Bessie and two-year old sister, Cringan, to Toronto. The family settled into 164 Inglewood Drive in Moore Park.

As a child, Bill enjoyed Easters in Atlantic City, summers in Muskoka, and times at the family’s hobby farm and country home on Bathurst Street that they named “Corrie Glen”. Although he never knew his father, he had a chauffeur/handyman who became a role-model. Perhaps that is why he always liked to fix things and to drive and wash cars.

Bill’s education at University of Toronto was interrupted when he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy in March of 1941. Most of his five years of service was spent on loan to the Royal Navy. He was on the ship mvEttrick when it was torpedoed on return from the North African landings. Although he was discharged in 1945 as Lieutenant-Commander with a distinguished record, he had ambivalent feelings about his war service. For the rest of his life he supported efforts for peace.

Exactly one month after Bill returned home, he married Dorothy Robertson. They had known each other since Bill was seven, and their families were best of friends. Their marriage nurtured a deep love that enriched everything they did.

In 1950, they moved to a one-hundred-year old farm house on four acres near Agincourt. They named it Mel-Moy Farm, after a mythical utopia. Part of the property was severed so that Bill’s mother, Rennie, could build a house next door. Bill loved to build things like the play house, tree houses, a change house, and the pulley contraption that enabled kids to swing from one orchard tree to another. He grew pumpkins for the annual pumpkin party in his large vegetable garden, and shared his favorite toy, the tractor. He taught his kids to think for themselves and to love walks in the rain. At meal times there were often visitors at the round table, where ideas and events were discussed and every voice was valued. At bed times, he made up adventure tales.

In 1970, the family moved to Kleinberg, building a house overlooking the McMichael Conservation Area. In 1982, Bill and Dorothy moved to Kennedy Street in Aurora and then to Sunrise Assisted Living in September 2004.

Bill loved teaching. At Ryerson he created the Social Sciences Department, and later served as Vice-President. His commitment to education led to his being an associate-professor at the College of Education, and Dean of Professional Development and later Vice-president at Humber College. In the 70’s, he and Dorothy spent three years in Lesotho, Africa, where he helped implement a World Bank education project. He also served as First Chairman of the Board of George Brown College.

Bill also liked to write. He wrote numerous articles for professional publications, seven editions of Understanding the Canadian Economy and also Basic Economics for Lesotho. He also wrote to influential people to encourage them to work towards peace and often received personal responses. His stories and letters are treasured by his family.

Bill taught himself to play by piano, banjo, accordian and ukelele by ear, entertaining family and friends with his improvisations on jazz, Big Band and popular tunes. At the age of 40 he took up the trumpet. When he retired, he took lessons to develop his piano technique, and played for seniors at three nursing homes in the Aurora area.

Bill’s spiritual quest, faith in human goodness, and desire to make a difference in the world led him to the Society of Friends (Quakers). He was exceptionally thoughtful, conscientious and kind, and touched many lives.


Children[edit | edit source]

Name Birth Death

Catherine Rennie

Dorothy Virginia

Alan Ross

Margaret Elizabeth Toronto

Bill was the second of two children of William Burbage Smythe Trimble (?-1921) and Agnes Rennie Cringan. He was born in Altadina, California, a short time after his father died.

References[edit | edit source]

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