Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dreaming About Nature

You know, Nature Canada's members are pretty special people, and for many of us here it's a real privilege to get to know them. And so, when a member passes away, it's a sad occasion and a time to think about the love for nature that binds us all together.

Sadly, member Bill Kellet passed away last fall. We shared a story about Bill in the last issue of our donor newsletter, and I want to share it with all our blog readers too. Here it is:

As a boy, Bill Kellet fell asleep at night imagining he was in the woods beside a lake, watching moonlight dance through his room, listening to the waves lapping on the shore, and hearing the call of a loon in the distance.

Growing up in Woodstock in a family who adored nature, Bill spent Sundays picnicking at the river, holidays camping and was a boy scout. As an adult, Bill was a scout master, even starting a scouting troop at Albert College, a school in Belleville where he taught history and geography for 10 years. "Nature was always part of my life," remembers Bill. An avid reader of nature books, he also took up sketching animals and birds as a hobby in his retirement.

Bill met his wife Marnie at the University of Western Ontario, and lived his dream of buying property and building his cabin near Parry Sound. Bill and Marnie raised 4 active, energetic kids – two sons and two daughters – who explored the natural world near their home in Woodstock and in Muskoka. He was proud that his kids also grew up playing, exploring and learning about the outdoors.

Bill was a dedicated and devoted member of Nature Canada for over four decades, first becoming a member after he read our magazine focused on conservation. He strongly believed that "Our most important work is educating children about the importance of nature. This is the best hope and investment for the future. Man has been short-sighted and taken our planet for granted. We must show more respect for nature."

More than two decades ago, Bill decided to arrange for a generous legacy to Nature Canada. It was Bill's financial advisor who brought to light the benefits of making a legacy gift through a gift of life insurance. Bill felt that it was a "simple and effective way to show how much nature truly matters to me". And through his generous and thoughtful gift to Nature Canada, others will be able to connect with wildlife and wild places for generations to come.