Memorable Manitobans: William John Axel “Bill” Landin (1945-2014)
Carpenter, technician, municipal official.
Born at Winnipeg in 1945, eldest child of Axel Landin and Kae Vopni, his first seven years were spent at Mulvihill before the family moved to Winnipeg. A fiercely independent and industrious young fellow, he had a paper route and then was a “pin-setter” at the Edmonton Street Bowl Arena. As a young man, he was involved in social justice issues and was a member of the Company of Young Canadians.
In 1975, he married Sandra McLaren and they had five children, living in Winnipeg, Toronto, Los Angeles and then settling at Cloverdale, British Columbia. He worked construction on many large jobs, including the Alex Fraser Bridge which was completed in 1986. He then moved into cabinetry and was self-employed as a finish carpenter, spending several years creating beautiful woodwork in one huge mansion. In 1996, he and his two youngest children moved to Cartwright to join Vicki Wallace and her children. He was a self-employed odd-job carpenter and also made one-of-a-kind furniture until taking another direction and learning the computer business. His shop was gradually converted from woodworking to computer repair. His technical skill soon became invaluable at the Southern Manitoba Review, as well as to others in the community, where he kept networks and computers running in many homes and businesses. He was a patient teacher to those who struggled with all the new technology in our world. He counted his customers as friends, and just enjoyed getting to know everyone, as happens in small towns.
He was a volunteer on the Cartwright United Church board for many years, and served as Mayor of the Village of Cartwright (2002-2004). His varied skills were called upon in many aspects of community life, with the procuring and assembling of the cushy theatre seating in the new arena being his favourite local project. He was musical and was a good self-taught guitarist. In his youth he was a long distance runner and a basketball player. As the kids were growing up, he supported them in their sports and other interests, taking in lots of hockey practices, baseball games, figure skating shows, and music recitals. He liked a game of pool with the guys, and was a frequent visitor to the local cafes for coffee, conversation, some laughs and the occasional rant about the state of the world. He will be remembered for his kindness, patience, incredible memory, wealth of knowledge, and lively sense of humour. He never stopped learning and enjoyed having a problem to solve.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 June 2014.
Obituary, Southern Manitoba Review, June 2014.
We thank Vicki Wallace for providing information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 25 November 2014
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