Willie “Bill” Fika
Bill Fika was born October 19, 1930 in Glendon, AB, to Dan and Sandra Fika, one of eleven children. In 1954, he married Gerry Buzzell and they remained in the Goodrich area until 1955 when they moved to Radium Hot Springs and Bill began his career at Kootenay National Park. Together they built a house on a ½ acre of land in Radium, a place Bill would call home for the duration of his life and where he and Gerry would raise 5 children.
Bill was a community minded individual. During the 60’s and early 70’s, Bill was instrumental in establishing water services to much of Radium and served for some time as both a volunteer fireman for the regional district and an auxiliary police officer.
Bill loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman. He loved animals (he kept chickens, ducks, geese and other animals on the property in Radium until forced to remove them by local by-laws) and, most of all, loved baseball. His summers were spent on the diamond where his distinctive “You’re outa here” could be heard throughout “south-western” Radium. In the winter, particularly in his younger years, he spent most of his spare time snowmobiling with his family, friends and relatives in and around Radium. He also enjoyed travelling and would drive back to Northeastern Alberta to visit with friends and family on a regular basis. In 1978 Gerry and Bill divorced amicably and Bill continued to assist with the raising of his children and stayed in contact with Gerry even after the children were gone. In the mid nineties he retired from the parks service after 35+ years of service and was able to spend more time traveling, mainly in Alberta.
Bill was environmental before recycling was even heard of. It was not unusual to see used saran wrap or tin foil washed and hanging on the line in the porch to dry. His idea of a high class drink was a shot of moonshine, a bottle of home made beer or a bottle of Baby Duck and not a person would come through his door who wasn’t offered one or all.
Bill passed away peacefully on January 19, 2009 at the Invermere hospital with his youngest son Roger at his side. Bill was pre-deceased by 7 brothers; Peter, George (Bonnie), Nick (Marlene), Alec (Sally), Steven, Nicholas, and John (Helen), one sister; Mary and his eldest son, Robert. He is survived by his brother Andrew (Joanne) and sister Annie (Nick), his daughters Sandra and Shannon, his sons Rodney (Grace) and Roger, and several nephews, nieces and grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held August 7, 2009 at the Goodrich hall in north eastern Alberta. Donations to a charity of your choosing, in Bill’s name, would be preferred in lieu of flowers.