On April 7, 2022, William (Bill) Alphonse Cey passed away peacefully to join his wife, our mother, Ethel, in heaven. Mom passed away June 6, 2014.
Bill Cey was the third child, born to Bruno and Susan Cey (Kaufman) on August 4th, 1928, at Biggar, Sask. He attended Standard School for his early years, and then High School at Notre Dame Convent at Leipzig.
Bill was 16 when he met a neighbor girl, Ethel Schwebius, who became first, his sweetheart, then wife, life partner and soul mate.
Bill and Ethel were married at Wilkie on Sept 5 th, 1949. From this marriage, Mom and Dad raised an astounding 18 children. (11 boys, 7 girls) Jeanette (Dave), Doreen (Brian), Gerry (Maureen), Kenny (ᵻ)(Heather), Marion (Herb), Lester (Pam), Kevin, Bob (Sherry), Harold (Thelma), Roger (Maggie), Jamie (Lori), Joe (Laurie), Kathy (Dean), Karen (Ron), Patty (Dennis), Mike (Laura), Lori (Darrell), Gary (Erolanda). 64 grandchildren and 87 greatgrandchildren.
After attending Notre Dame College at Wilcox, Sk. Dad was employed by Sask Power and worked at Saskatoon, North Battleford and Regina. Dad had a strong desire to go farming, and when Section 31-39-20, W of 3, in the Scott area was offered for sale, Mom and Dad agreed to purchase it and moved from Regina to the farm in March, 1950, and the great adventure began. The early years on the farm were tough, with early frosts, spotty rainfall and money being very scarce.
Mom and Dad both had a very strong work ethic and, with support from their parents, started to make headway. The farm had practically everything, horses, cattle, hogs, chickens, turkeys, and, of course, a huge garden. It wasn't long that the farm started to expand and flourish. Dad had a gift of handling horses, something he had gained from a very young age on his family farm. He was particularly fond of the Black purebred Clydesdales, and in 1982 , Dad bought 4 black Clydes from Fort Steele BC, and began to raise his own. He loved his gentle giants and owned several right up till the day he died.
It wasn't all work for Dad, though. He was passionate about hockey and ball,2 of his favorite sports that he grew to love at Standard School. Dad played and coached ball at Scott in the summer and played hockey with the Wilkie Outlaws in the winter. When Dad’s playing days were over he remained involved for many years as coach, manager and president. Dad had obvious leadership skills and took immense pride in the success of the teams that he was involved with. Both Mom and Dad took so much pride in the success of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Be it sports, music, academics, oratory, etc., that unconditional love and support was always there.
Dad was a born leader. Some of his roles were, President of the Wild Goose Hockey League, manager of the Wilkie Outlaws, President of the Sask Clydesdale Horse Association, Sask Wheat Pool delegate, councilor with the RM of Tramping Lake, and he served on numerous local boards and committees.
When Dad was at school at Wilcox he met Father Athol Murray, and Pere left a long-lasting impression on him that he passed on to the next generation.
Here are just a few of the "Dadisms" that come to mind
1. "Be an individual, you must unleash the ring from your nose. Do not get led around by others"
2. " You have to get strength from adversity.".
3. "The story of The Little Red Hen".
4. "You have to call a Spade, a Spade".
5. "Take time to smell the Roses".
6. " Don't count your chickens before they hatch".
7. "Honesty is the best policy".
8. "Dad often would remind us that the 10 Commandments were in fact, Commandments, NOT Recommendations".
I could go on and on with the "Dadisms" because he had so much great wisdom to share.
Dad loved his music and was gifted. He played both the violin and the harmonica. Many evenings were spent with Mom or one of the girls accompanying on the organ and/or piano. He also played together with his grandchildren joining with their violins. One of his favorite tunes was "Redwing" and after finishing it on the harmonica, he would always say, "Any Damn Fool Can Play the Harmonica".
Dad often would say, "I haven't worked a day in my life because he so loved what he was doing. He was a farmer to the core. He also was very in tune with the nature around him. In his retirement years, a perfect afternoon would have someone take him over to the pasture in the Scott Coulee to give the cows some chop and watch the cows and calves while they eat. Then, a couple pails of oats to North Pasture for the Clyde horses to see how they are doing. Dad loved the sound of the geese flying overhead and the arrival of the noisy crows in spring. He often commented on the beauty of a wheat field blowing in the summer wind. (Note: Dad did not at all like the looks of the newer bearded wheat varieties). He enjoyed the sparrows and hummingbirds feeding outside his picture window. Dad had a green thumb, it seemed anything that he tried to grow turned out well. Countless evergreens, fruit trees, cherry trees, raspberries, Saskatoons, and strawberries, still grow in his back yard.
Up until one week ago, Dad lived independently, (with help from his Family) at his house on the farm. He was one of a kind. He had an absolutely amazing full life and touched so many with his gentle sense of humor. Dad had a strong personality, you could even say, domineering at times. He liked being the boss, and more often than not, he got his way. Suffice to say, he lived his life on his own terms, right up to the end.
Prayers will be held Tuesday April 12th, 7:30pm at St. James Catholic Church in Wilkie.
Funeral Mass will be held Wednesday April 13th 10:00am at St James Catholic Church in Wilkie.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William Alphonse Cey, please visit our floral store.
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