Fitzsimmons, William John 'Bill'

Bill Fitzsimmons passed away peacefully with family by his side on Sunday, June 9, 2024 in his 82nd year.

Born in Euphrasia Township on May 22, 1943, a son of the late Oliver and Hannah (nee Pooley) Fitzsimmons.

Bill was predeceased by his beloved wife Shirley Fitzsimmons (nee Gear) on December 1, 2009.  He was also predeceased by his dear friend Ruth Jackson.

Bill was the adored father of Shirley Ann ‘Dolly’ Fulford (Greg Osburn), Nancy Breadner (John Brumpton), and was predeceased by John Breadner.

He was the proud and supportive grandpa of Hannah Fulford (Spencer Wilson) and their daughter Avery, and Travis Fulford (Jessica) and their daughter Jolene.  He will be remembered fondly by Greg’s children Sarah, Melissa, and Christine and their families.

Bill was survived by his brothers John Fitzsimmons (Donna) and Gerald Fitzsimmons.  He was predeceased by his siblings Isobell Jamieson, Ida Almond, Alberta Freeborn, Dorothy Stewart, and will be remembered fondly by many nieces, nephews and their families.

Bill was born and raised in Euphrasia Township.  He settled in 1975 with his wife Shirley on a farm on the 11th line.  66.66 acres on land that was part of the original 99.99 acre family farm.  The name ShirWill Stables represents the love they shared.  In 1976 Bill’s pride and joy Shirley Ann was born on Canada Day.  Bill gave her the nickname Dolly because she was born prematurely. They worked side by side on the farm and with the horses.  Bill and Dolly did everything together and could often be heard singing ‘Daddy’s Girl’ at 560 Radio Station or at dances.  Bill was very well known in the horse racing industry, racing ponies in Owen Sound and racing horses in Orangeville and Barrie.  Every Saturday night he loaded up to race at Hanover Raceway.  Bill recently recalled that some of his favourite memories with his horses were with Speedy Hedge Wood, Highland Baby, and ShirWill Ego.  He was a proud trainer, driver and owner in the horse racing industry.

Bill was a strong, outstanding man who enjoyed a night around the table with his closest friends, family and his guitar. He never shied away from joining the band on a night out.  He would often sing for the crowd.

Bill had many skills and talents; plumbing, construction, Beaver Valley Ski Club, eventually working his way up to a management position.  He also tackled odd jobs, all while owning and operating ShirWill Stables with his wife Shirley.  He looked forward to getting away camping at Scone Campground.

Bill cherished his time with his grandkids and great grandkids.  He loved bringing his famous homemade bread and apple pies to our family dinners.

Bill’s family will receive friends at the Ferguson Funeral Home on Thursday, June 13, 2024 from 2 until 4 and 7 until 9 p.m. A service will be held at the Ferguson Funeral Home on Friday, June 14, 2024 at 11 a.m., with interment to follow at the Markdale Cemetery.

As your expression of sympathy, donations to the Markdale Hospital, Centre Grey Lion’s Club (CHEQUES Only), or charity of your choice would be appreciated and may be made through the Ferguson Funeral Home, 48 Boucher St. E., Meaford, ON   N4L 1B9 to whom arrangements have been entrusted.




Thursday, June 13, 2024
Visitation at the Ferguson Funeral Home in Meaford from 2 until 4 p.m. and 7 until 9 p.m.

Friday, June 14, 2024 11:00 AM
Funeral Service at Ferguson Funeral Home in Meaford, with interment following at Markdale Cemetery.

Make a donation in memory of William John 'Bill' Fitzsimmons

Donations: Markdale Hospital, Centre Grey Lion’s Club, or charity of your choice.
Donate securely through Ferguson Funeral Home

Memories & Messages of condolence

  1. Lori Adams
    Monday, June 10, 2024

    Our sincerest condolences to the Fitzsimmons family. Bill will definitely be missed by the Rocklyn community!
    Lori (Red), Scott, Mikaela and Will

  2. Glenn and Joyce Eagles
    Monday, June 10, 2024

    Sincere condolences to all his family that he was so proud of. He was a wonderful neighbour to us for the past 7 years. We also knew him when we worked with him and his wife at Beaver Valley Ski Club many years ago. Of course I had also known Bill since High School days. He was also a talented baker of butter tarts. One thing that never changed was his sense of humour. He will be sorely missed by his devoted daughter ‘Dolly’ and all the family member. May we always remember him with a smile on our face and warmth in our hearts.

  3. Shelley Harakal
    Monday, June 10, 2024

    Deeply sorry to hear this news. Heartfelt Sympathies to all of you. May he Rest in Peace.
    Shelley Harakal (Jones)

  4. Mike Botelho
    Monday, June 10, 2024

    Sincerest condolences to Shirley Ann, Greg and the extended family as you navigate through this challenging time.

    Grey Highlands Parks & Recreation Team.

  5. Mac and Brenda Harvey
    Monday, June 10, 2024

    Sorry for your loss ,,,Bill was a great guy always enjoyed our visits and had the wonderful apple pie one evening with him…..condolences to your families. Mac and Brenda Harvey.

  6. Ken/Bernice Stewart
    Tuesday, June 11, 2024

    Long time friend of the family. Will be missed by all who knew him. Ken & Bernice Stewart & family

  7. Gary and Kim Mahon
    Tuesday, June 11, 2024

    Sorry to hear the passing of Bill. We knew Bill a long time from horse racing . He always had a smile on his face and loved to have a chat about horses.
    Bill was great guy.
    Condolences to his family.
    Gary and Kim Mahon

  8. Bev and Marion Genoe
    Wednesday, June 12, 2024

    Sorry of your loss of father, grandfather, and brother. Bill was a good friend and always friendly always a smile and few laughs. Prayers and thoughts are with you.
    Bev and Marion Genoe

    Wednesday, June 12, 2024

    Bill was a good friend, known since minor hockey days in Rocklyn and through horse racing and social events.
    He was always kind hearted and jovial, enjoying a joke or old memory of yesteryear. Condolences to the family.
    John McKnight

  10. Brian and Trudi
    Wednesday, June 12, 2024

    So sorry to hear of you Dad’s passing. He was quite the character, always enjoy his humour. He will be missed by many. Blessings to all.


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