William (Bill) Domonkos, husband, father, grandfather and friend, passed away on May 2, 2009 at home with his family by his side. He had fought a long battle against cancer without ever giving an inch.
Bill was born in Willow River, B.C. in 1935 and lived in Shelley B.C. In 1966, he, his wife Betty, and family settled in Topley Landing, B.C. where they owned and operated Totem Lodge and Marina for many years. Bill started flying at the age of 25. At Topley Landing, Bill established Skeena Air Charters. His love of flying took him to remote corners of Northwest B.C., the Yukon and the Arctic. Bill had a deep love and great knowledge of the outdoors. He often flew to surrounding lakes to fish and enjoy the scenery. He had many boating adventures on Babine Lake and loved to the end the day with a wiener roast and a beer. Several years ago Bill retired to The Hangar overlooking his beloved Babine Lake. The poem “High Flight” by World War II Pilot Officer John Gillespie?Magee Jr. matches Bill’s love of flight.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth? And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.? Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth? Of sun-split clouds—and done a hundred things? You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared? and swung? High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,? I’ve chased the shouting wind along and flung? My eager craft through footless halls of air,? Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue? I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace? Where never lark, or even eagle flew.? And, while silent, lifting mind I’ve trod? The high untrespassed sanctity of space,? Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
Bill is survived by his wife Betty at Topley Landing, his daughter, Brenda (Wayne) Laramie in Sudre, Alberta, and his sons, Allan (Bonnie) in Granisle B.C., Dale (Kim) in Slave Lake, Alberta and Curt (Tracy) in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Bill’s grandchildren are Jos and Jade Laramie, Brad and Carla Domonkos, and Celena and Ben Domonkos. Bill is also survived by his brother Paul (Irene) Domonkos and Barney (Marlene) Domonkos and sisters, Rose Gaal and Olga Howard, brother-in-law, Allan (Gail) Campbell, sister-in-law, Shirley Gratton. He was predeceased by his parents, Paul and Pauline Domonkos and his sister, Julia.
Bill received wonderful care from the team at Bulkley Valley District Hospital, during his treatment at Cancer Services, and through the hospital and palliative care staff. Thank you to Dr. M. Haskins, Dr. E. Bastian and Lynn Shervill, for their care and commitment to Bill. A special heartfelt thanks to Barbara Ward-Cox for her extraordinary homecare. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Smithers Community Cancer Services or the Bulkley Valley Palliative Care Program – Home and Community Care, PO Box 370, Smithers B.C., V0J 2N0. Family and friends will gather at a later date to celebrate Bills’ life.