It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our beloved Uncle Billy, Billy Bottle, Wild Bill and the incomparable Metis Elvis. On May 27, in the early hours, William Chalifoux, aged 92, passed away peacefully in the Boyle hospital after long time friend, Dorothy Desjarlais, had sat by his side holding his hand minutes earlier.
He had been recuperating in the hospital after hip surgery but never regained the strength and stamina in which he lived his enormous life.
He was known and loved by many, far and wide, through his travels to community events and jamborees all over Alberta. Never one to sit still, he was always on the move, and ready to travel wherever the music or jigging or talent shows, or dancing took him. One of his greatest pleasures was his trip to Nashville in 2015; he talked about that trip all the time, the music, the shopping, his friendly cab driver and how he could not wait to go back. He was such a meticulous dresser and groomer, because if he wasn’t traveling somewhere, he was shopping! He was the personification of a “clothes horse”, his closet full of beautiful, expensive, fancy shirts, jackets, jewelry and shoes.
He was also generous to a fault; always giving those clothes or items or food away to anyone who seemed to need them more than he did. He was always helping someone out.
Known as a gentle giant, he was loved by his whole family, many of them calling him their favorite or fun uncle. He was immensely proud of and loved all his many nieces and nephews and spent much time with many of them, traveling to weddings, funerals or anniversaries. He made each one of them feel special and like they were his favorite. (Even with his dementia, right up to the end he could remember each and every one of them by name.) He had an incredible sense of humor and loved to tease the women.
For most of his life, in his earlier years, he was a logger working all over B.C and Vancouver Island which he deemed was more dangerous than the mainland. He did other various jobs over the years, always a very hard worker. He had a very short marriage when he was young, and never married again but he was with a wonderful woman named Irene for more then 20 years.
It’s easy to say that music was his life. He was self taught in playing the violin and guitar and he loved to sing and play music. One of his favorite things to do was to go to The Drake in Edmonton to watch all the bands, and man, did he love to dance! Women would line up to dance with him right into his late 80’s, out dancing many younger people. (Of course, he was usually the best dressed person on the dance floor…. Porter Wagoner style. He loved doing his Elvis impersonation; accumulating at least five different outfits over the years. In 2018 (at 89) he won First Place for his Elvis jig at a Metis Nation Event.
He is predeceased by his parents, Luc and Elizabeth, and his siblings: Janet, Adam, Florence, Alice, Gertie, Vyna, Mary, Alexander (Sandy).
A Celebration of Life will be arranged later in the year when things open.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William Chalifoux, please visit our floral store.