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William Allderdice

William  Allderdice

Born In: Big Sandy, Montana, United States
Born: November 16th, 1930

Passed in: St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Passed on: October 16th, 2017

November 16 1930-October 16 2017
On December 29th 2017 at 2:30 PM, family and friends will celebrate Bill’s life in the Atrium of the Medical Education Centre, Clinch Crescent, Memorial U. of Newfoundland, St. John’s. A potluck reception follows. Barrier-free access and parking available.

Bill was SON of Eva Deem and Howard Allderdice. They migrated from the Midwest to pioneer as homesteaders, raising five children on their dryland wheat and cattle ranch near Big Sandy Montana.
BROTHER of Bernice (Tom Schultz), Virginia (Dave West), Grace (John Swan), and Robert (Elizabeth Deshner).
HUSBAND of Penny Witte. Penny wrote: “I’ll follow Bill to the ends of the earth.” Later, she reflected,” ‘til death do we part’ sounds like an awful long time.” Bill replied: “Just take one day at a time.”
FATHER of Edward, Jacob (Sharon Ho), and Frances. In 1981 Edward, an artist and poet, died in a bus crash.
GRANDFATHER to Jasper and Isabel Allderdice; Morgan, Celeste and Lillian Holland.
COWPOKE: So listed on his army discharge papers. Bill told of wild horses destined for the Calgary Stampede. His job was to walk them to water. Being lazy, he calmed and rode them. His boss saw. The next thing he knew, they were sold for meat.
ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHER: Bill was the first in his family to transition from an isolated rural childhood to urban universities. Bill’s Ph.D. thesis at Columbia University (New York City) examined the economic advantage of transporting bananas over the new Belem-Brasilia Highway instead of by river. As professor of Geography at Memorial University he encouraged students to apply theories of economic geography to questions of urban/rural conflict influencing social and medical services.
“UNCLE BILL” / MENTOR: He cared for his students, celebrated their accomplishments and understood their concerns. He drew a hand holding a hammer, with the title: “Prof, will this be on the test?”
STORYTELLER / CONTEMPORARY ARTIST: Christine Koch, Artist in Residence at MUN Geography Dept, 1995-96 offered a weekly art class. Bill discovered he could bring his homestead memories to life. From then until his death, art became his major focus. He illustrated his vision of idyllic cowboy life: a horse, a young woman, a beautiful picnic spot, set against the reality of heat, sweat, and being bucked off. Often his wry sense of humour came through. One painting was titled “The Night the Four Horse people Could Not Ride:” Apocalypse had a revelation and let the horse free. War’s horse was frightened by gunfire and ran away. Famine’s horse got sleeping sickness and died. Death tried to rope the horse, but tripped on the scythe. A more recent painting was an elderly couple in rocking chairs beside a dog, and a potted plant. “Sometimes we talk to the dog, sometimes to the plant, and once in a while to each other.” In spring 2016 Mireille Egan curated Bill’s solo exhibit “Glimpses of Eden” at the Rooms, St. John’s NL http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/bill-allderdice-exhibit-rooms-1.3746584
HUMANIST: Bill was active in the MUN Faculty Union. Believer in gender equality, already in his teens he informed his father that his sister and he were doing equal work and must receive equal pay.

Bill sought and enjoyed common ground and connection with all living beings. In celebrating Bill’s life, let us continue to reach out to the living.




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