March 3, 2021
With profound sadness, the family announces the passing of Bill Spence at North Island Hospital Comox Valley, B.C. on March 3, 2021. Bill was born to parents Helen and Robert in Alloa, Scotland in 1935. Predeceased by his three siblings Eleanor, Robert and Alfred.
The family moved to Northern Ireland in 1945 where Bill graduated from Bangor Grammer School. In 1953 Bill was recruited by the Canadian Bank of Commerce to join the Bank in Toronto, Canada – the beginning of a very successful 40+ year career.
After a few years in the Toronto area, he had the opportunity to continue his education by being awarded the H.R. MacMillan Scholarship to UBC in Vancouver, graduating in 1964 with a B. Comm with Honours. This was followed in 1972 with a Sloan Fellowship obtaining a Master of Science in Management from MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Returning to Ontario, Bill held progressively senior positions in CIBC across Ontario. In 1982 he returned to Vancouver as the Senior Vice President, British Columbia and Yukon Region of CIBC.
One of the highlights of this time was the completion of the new Regional Office tower Commerce Place at 400 Burrard Street. In 1986 Bill was appointed Executive Vice President, Corporate Bank with responsibility for Western Canada, Asia and Australasia.
Bill enjoyed the last five years of his career residing in Hong Kong as Executive Vice President for all CIBC Asian operations. As a highly respected leader, Bill actively recognized talent in others, offering opportunities, being a role model and mentor to a great many individuals.
Over the years, Bill supported many organizations serving on various boards including The Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Foundation and The Vancouver Aquarium. He was also an active supporter of United Way and a very proud alumni of UBC.
Upon retirement in 1994, Bill and Loretta returned to Canada eventually settling in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. Bill loved the game of golf, enjoyed travelling and spending time with family and friends. As an avid reader, Bill was always well informed on both historical and current events and always ready to debate world politics.
Bill is survived by Loretta his loving wife of 65 years. Beloved father of daughters Shelagh and Hilary, fond father-in-law of Don Perron. Bill was proud Grandpa of David (Jovette), Jacqueline, Robert, Jared, Lucas; Great-Grandpa of Sophie and Abbey.
Bill will live on in our memories forever as a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend.
Donations may be made to a charity of your choice.
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