William (Will) John Lawson

In Memorial

William (Will) John Lawson passed calmly surrounded by loved ones in his home on February 1, 2017 in Victoria, BC ending his courageous and graceful journey with liver cancer. He was 68.

Will was born on September 27, 1948 in Hamilton, ON to his parents, Bill and Sue Lawson. Will left Ontario in his early 20’s for northern BC to fulfil his dream to live in the bush. He worked as a skilled carpenter in Hazelton where he married the love of his life Val Napoleon and formed enduring friendships. In 2016, Will and Val celebrated 35 years together. Will and Val moved to Victoria to advance Val’s bachelor’s and doctorate in law and then to Edmonton, AB for a few years before returning to Victoria.

Will is fondly remembered by friends and family as a generous soul who lived with integrity. He was a passionate environmentalist, musical enthusiast, practiced life-long learning through extensive reading, and embraced the culture and traditions of his Indigenous family. Will attributed his incredible recovery and health to the healing sweats he participated in or that were performed in his honour. He was extremely grateful for the support and expert care received from his family physician, Dr. Marie Skinnider, and the Victoria Hospice Society Palliative Response Team.

Will is survived by his wife, Val; his sister Charlotte McCrae; and his niece Tamara Napoleon, her husband, Merle Alexander, and their son, Elijah Napoleon, all of Victoria, BC.

Close friends and family will gather for a private farewell to Will on February 7, 2017 at the Royal Oak Burial Park chapel. A celebration of Will’s life will be planned later this year. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Victoria Hospice Society:https://www.victoriahospice.org/how-you-can-help/give-gift-today

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Condolence Messages

  1. I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Charlotte’s brother. Thinking of the family. I have made a donation to the Victoria Hospice.

  2. It saddens me to know that Will is gone. I thought he was such a nice man and always enjoyed my conversations with him. I know he will be missed.

  3. Such sad news of Will’s passing. I only met him once, but it was long enough to understand what a amazing man he was. My thoughts go out to my friend Charlotte and all of the family. Look after each other.

  4. So sad to hear of Will’s passing. My thought are with Charlotte and her family. Look after each other.

  5. Will and Charlotte and their parents were next door neighbours in Toronto in 1958. I have known Will and Charlotte for close to 60 years and they are special people in my life. Will will be sadly missed as a strong and loving man of great integrity. Janine

  6. My condolences to the whole family/extended family, we all miss him.
    Will was one of the good guy’s and I’ll miss our long conversations. We almost had the world figured out. I’m sure if we’d have had a bit more time we’d have done it. But then again, the world kept changing on us. Will was also the guy who put the word handy in Handyman. He never owned a house that didn’t need fixing and went to it with such gusto. Big project too, everywhere he lived, ask Val to show you the pictures of the Kitseguecla Lake Road water system.

    Bruce Sims

  7. Sending my prayers to Val and Will’s immediate and extended family as mourn the passing of such a special guy. All his relations from the Peace appreciate his kind and giving ways, always striving to have hope and celebrating the gift of life. With warm thoughts and love.

  8. Will was a Good Man, a Good Human Being and the world is a better place for him having been here. Early yesterday morning on the beach on Denman Island, with eagles, winter ducks and sealions nearby, my husband and I did a ceremonial burning for Will. We remembered his humour and helpfulness, and thoughtful conversations. Ron and I send our love to Val, Tamara, Merle, Elijah, and Charlotte.

  9. Sending love and kind thoughts to Val and all who love Will.

  10. Thinking of you Val and praying for peace and comfort during this difficult time ❤️??

  11. So sorry for your loss, Val. Big hugs to you and your family. <3

  12. Sorry for your loss ,Val and family,,Will was a good man, of integrity ,,he will be missed by many,,i feel very blessed to have known him,,Mucho hugs and prayers,,xoxoxo

  13. My condolences to Val and Charlotte and the rest of the family. I’ve known Will since–I can’t quite believe it–1966 (I think). He was a kind, generous, and empathetic man, and had such a joy of life and a wonderful sense of humor. He also was a skilled user of the English language, which is something that means a lot to me. It was an honour to know him. I have lost a brother. He has left a huge hole in all our lives.

  14. I’m so sorry to hear this sad news. My deepest sympathies to you and your family Val.

  15. Val,

    I learned of Will’s death only recently.

    I am so sorry for you and your family and what you are going through.

    You and Will have had a full and remarkable life together, and I know that words cannot express what you and everyone close to him are feeling now.

    You are in my thoughts, and in Kathy’s, too.


  16. Will did extensive volunteer work with a local charitable society I am involved with, related to his illness. His research, editing and proofreading skills were extremely valuable. We just found out about his passing about a week ago. My condolences to his family and friends. He was a very sweet, caring man. I have made a donation in his name to that society.

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