Back to top

Miles, William Harold

William Harold Miles was born in Prince Albert Saskatchewan in 1943.  His father, away in-training to help the efforts of WWII, was given a leave to return home to meet his new son and have him baptized.  William inherited a love for cinema while his father was the film projectionist at the Orpheum theatre and Pines Drive-in during his formative years in Prince Albert.  His love of technology, science, geography and the great outdoors all began in his early years in Prince Albert and on his grandparents’ farm in nearby Mont Nebo.  In 1963 William moved to Edmonton to study Electronics at the brand new NAIT and was elected President of the 1st Student’s Council there.  After graduation he was offered a position at The National Research Council(NRC) in Ottawa and then went on to work for the very new Digital Corporation (DEC).  As one of the very first employees at DEC he was given shares in the fledgling company which he always kicked himself for selling, to pay off his van, after the company grew to international success.  His career was completed at TRIUMF UBC where he worked on electronics supporting the nuclear physics particle accelerator lab.  His curiosity, love for learning, and ability to grasp complex concepts was baffling to many.  As his career wound down in 1995, he created a string of LED Christmas lights for his family, later watching as the LED industry burst onto the market and became ubiquitous.

William met Bernadette in 1977 and they just clicked, growing closer with every challenge and obstacle that life served up, beginning in Kamloops, then Vancouver and finally finding their true home in Nelson in 1994.  Dylan and then Gwyndolyn joined the family and together enjoyed many family outdoor adventures, films, music and solving puzzles.  William chose to become a Catholic in 2000 so they could share the Faith that was so important to Bernadette.

On December 24 2021 at 11 pm in his favourite window in his beloved home, William began his transition surrounded by his loving family.  He joins  his parents Joseph and Eloise Miles, his sister Judy, in-laws John and Louise Gulayets, Dick van Riper, and Jean Gulayets.  Temporarily separated now from his wife of 44 1/2 years, Bernadette, children Dylan(Jessika), Gwyndolyn, grandchildren Mateo and Alyssa, grandpuppy Stella, in-laws MaryAnne Gulayets, Margaret(Jerry) Yacyshen, Ron (Marie) Gulayets, Ann(Brian) Glass, Gregg Gulayets, Michael(Denise Larsen) Gulayets, 13 niece/nephews and 25 grand niece/nephews.

Many people who knew William in his retirement years, in Nelson, will remember his remarkable strength in cycling over all the local mountain passes, walking 10K steps daily as often as possible, across the city, with the sun on his back and tunes in his ears.  Death is not a foe, there is no foe, only the stunningly fragile human body, a holy creation capable of loving with such astonishing strength but which is weak to the curse of cancer.  Death closes the door to our suffering and opens wide the gate to heaven where we shall meet again one day. 

Cremation has taken place, a Funeral Mass and burial is planned for late January at the Cathedral of Mary Immaculate.  The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff of Kootenay Lake Hospital and Nelson Home Support as well as Father Neil Lustado for all the care and support William received.

You will honor William’s memory if you take yourself outdoors into the forest or up a mountain trail; just breathe and smile.  He’ll be there!