William Rathgeber

Obituary of William George Rathgeber


October 4, 1952 - Melville, Saskatchewan

August 28, 2022 - Calgary, Alberta


It is with profound sadness that we announce that Bill quietly passed away from Covid that, despite a valiant fight, his lack of immunity would not allow him to overcome.  He was 69 years old. 


He and Shelagh marked their 48th Anniversary four days before his passing. It was a love affair and friendship that not everyone is lucky enough to enjoy. Shelagh often said that Bill was the best time she ever had. No one had more love and pride than Bill did for his three boys, Jason (Karen) of Saanichton, BC, Zak (Laura), and Liam (Kellee) of Calgary, AB. They are an extension of the great man Bill was and will make him proud every day going forward. He expected to love having grandchildren, but nothing changed his world like his two rays of sunshine, Olivia (Livvy) and Clara. Being Papa to them was one of the very best things he ever cherished in his life. Lastly, his sidekick Jimmy will be missing his daily walks and sharing Bill’s chair every morning.


Bill knew that his time was short and made a few decisions of his own. One was the charity he wanted to support. He was a strong advocate for and a participant in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Drive. If friends so desire, in lieu of flowers, Bill asked if you are of the Calgary area and have a pre-1980 car then register it and take the drive that he had every intention of taking. Alternatively, Bill asked that you sponsor Liam Rathgeber at https://www.gentlemansdrive.com/fundraiser/TRathYYC, or any other driver you know who is participating and raising funds for this worthy cause at https://www.gentlemansdrive.com/sponsor or contact the organizer at gentlemansdriveyyc@gmail.com.


Bill also requested that instead of a funeral there be a Wake where he can be remembered with smiles and laughter. He wanted it at the place where he spent his happiest “work” days over the past several years, working on his own and others’ cars and enjoying the company of likeminded good friends. The Wake will be held on Thursday, September 22, 2022, from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. at The Stash, 306046 – 17 St. E., Okotoks, AB. It is located at and can be seen off Hwy 2A going into Okotoks, directly across the highway from Big Sky BBQ which is on Google maps. Please wear your favourite car shirts, drive the classics and hot rods if you have them, and celebrate a truly wonderful man.


Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed here.


In living memory of Bill Rathgeber, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road SE, Calgary, Ab t2x 3j3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.

Share Your Memory of