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William "Bill" Cockburn

July 20, 2023


COCKBURN, William Fulton “Bill” – Peacefully at the Louise Marshall Hospital on Thursday, July 20, 2023 in his 96th year. Beloved husband of the late Mary Beth Cockburn (2020). Loving father of Ann (Doug) Graham, Jeff (Karen) Coburn, and Scott (Jane) Coburn, all of Mount Forest. Dear grandfather of Mark (Paula), Sarah (Dallas), Leah, Alaina (Paul), Andrew (Leah), Kaitlin (Chad), and Justin (Erin) and great-grandfather of Reid, Hudson, Kipton, Gwendolyn, Fulton, Claira, Isla, Hugh, Olivia, Sloane, and Abigail. Bill is survived by his sister Barbara Lovell (Don), his brother-in-law Wilf Coutts (Joan), and by his many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents Fulton and Agnes Cockburn.

Bill was a well-respected businessman on Main Street in Mount Forest and was very involved in community activities. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, hockey, baseball, and cottage life at Sauble Beach. More than anything else, he loved his family, and enjoyed every moment he spent with them. 

Visitation will be held at the England Funeral Home, 294 Main Street South, Mount Forest, on Sunday, July 23rd from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. A memorial service will be conducted at Mount Forest United Church, 175 Queen Street East, Mount Forest, on Monday, July 24th at 1:00 p.m., followed by a reception in the church hall. Private interment at Mount Forest Cemetery. If you are unable to attend the service in person, you are invited to view the livestream by visiting www.englandfuneralhome.com and clicking on the link below Bill’s obituary. Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Bill are asked to consider the Louise Marshall Hospital Foundation, Mount Forest United Church or Cancer Patient Services.

Memorial Service for William "Bill" Cockburn


So sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. Bill & Mary Beth were both wonderful people who welcomed us as neighbours new to Mount Forest. Bill was a true gentleman. Our condolences to the family.

— Brad & Hilary MscKay, August 1, 2023

So many memories of Bill and the Cockburn family. He will be missed by the community and his family but has left wonderful memories for all.

— Ruth (Nickel) Knox, July 28, 2023

So sorry to hear about Bill's passing. I have never met a man with as big a smile as Bill whenever we would talk about fishing or discuss business. He truly will be missed. My sincere condolences to all of the family

— Michael Einoff, July 27, 2023

So sorry on the loss of your father. We are thinking of you all at this difficult time.
Victor and Carmela, Angie and Bruce

— Angie Orr, July 26, 2023

My sincere condolences on the loss of your dad, grandpa and great grandpa. He always had a smile and a hello if you saw him out and about. Our community is a better place because he was a part of it. Thinking of you all during this time.

— Michael O’Dwyer, July 25, 2023

Sending condolences to all of Bill’s family. Bill was the most lovely man and I have many memories of living next door to the office and remembering what a kind man he was. Cherish your memories.

— Jo-Anne Machan, July 25, 2023

I am sorry for the loss to the family and the community. May he rest in peace.

— Murray Adam, July 24, 2023

To the whole Coburn clan, we send our condolences to each of you. Your Father, Grandfather, and Great Grandfather was a GREAT man and will always be remembered as that. Keep up his traditions and qualities. SO sorry for your loss.

— Jason and Amber Oakes, July 24, 2023

Jeff and Karen and your families. Our condolences on the loss of you father and grandfather Ken and Linda Dewar

— Linda Dewar, July 24, 2023

So sorry for your loss, our thoughts & prayers are with you at this time. Carol & Ron Watson

— Carol & Ron Watson, July 24, 2023

Had a lot of good times with Bill through the Masonic Lodge.This year he was in the Lodge for 75 years.Certainly will miss our chats

— Ed White, July 24, 2023

Thinking of all of you. A hard loss of a special man and a great mentor for his younger generation to follow. My late husband. Bob and I enjoyed our time with him.
Marjorie Young.

— Marjorie Young, July 24, 2023

Our deepest sympathies to the family.
Bill and Pat Stortz

— Patricia and Bill Stortz, July 24, 2023

Bill, Mary Beth, and the Cockburn family lived next door to us for many years. Even after moving away Bill always took the time to drop in and visit with my dad Eldon. Good neighbours. The Pryde Family

— Paul Pryde, July 24, 2023

Our condolences to the whole Cockburn family on the death of your dad Bill. A gracious, kind man who always stopped to say hello. The picture captures him perfectly.

— Cheryl (Bye)murphy, July 24, 2023

We had the marvelous fortune of being neighbours with Bill and Mary Beth for a brief but rich couple of years. Years later we enjoyed the ritual of calling on them at Halloween with our daughter Sneh. They inspired connection.

We never saw Bill without his trademark genuine and warm smile and twinkling eyes. He had a wonderful habit of turning my day into a great day whenever I bumped into him -- usually at Coffee Cultures. And he'd make me feel as though there was no one he would rather be talking to at that very moment, than me.

Being warm and kind came effortlessly to Bill and Mary Beth. We are grateful for the warmth and love they spread.

Axy, Jaspreet and Sneh

— Axy, Jaspreet and Sneh, July 24, 2023

Sincere condolences to the Coburn family. Bill was a well-respected Mt Forest resident and will be missed by all.
Steve and Dianne Leith

— Dianne and Steve Leith, July 24, 2023

I am so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. Thinking of you and send my deepest sympathy.

Mary Tighe

— Mary Tighe, July 24, 2023

Our deepest sympathies to Bills family. He always had a smile and a greeting. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Jim and Paula

— Paula Solway, July 23, 2023

I am so sorry to hear of this loss. Bill and Mary Beth welcomed me warmly when I arrived in Mount Forest and were incredibly kind and encouraging of my ministry at Mount Forest United. I so appreciated Bill's wisdom, warmth and his knowledge of and love for his community. He will be so dearly missed. I will be thinking of all who knew and loved Bill as his life is celebrated on Monday.

— Sheryl Spencer, July 23, 2023

Dear Karen, Jeff and Family: The first time we met your parents they were in your cottage driveway. I said Karen and Jeff aren’t there right now. They smiled and said we are Jeff’s Parents.
We had a little chat and they walked to the back of your property. Last summer we watched you and your son gently help your Dad get into your boat to go fishing. We could see the love and respect for your Dad. We send our Sincere Sympathy. Love, Becky and Ron.

— Becky and Ronald Heck, July 23, 2023

Thinking of you all with our deepest sympathy.
Maxine & Rick Parker.

— Maxine & Rick Parker, July 23, 2023

Bill was always on the go and had a smile all the time. He will definitely be missed. Deepest condolences to the family

— Dave Stewart, July 23, 2023

Sincere condolences to the Coburn family. Bill always had a big smile and loved to chat. He used to say"hello neighbour" whenever we met, as he and Mary Beth lived behind us for many years. Both Bill's and Mary Beth's families played an important role in the history of Mount Forest. He lived a good long life and will be missed by many.

— Doug & Joan Woods, July 23, 2023

Dear Ann, Jeff, Scott and families.We are thinking of you and send our deepest sympathy to you all. Bill was just a wonderful person, kind, considerate and always a good story to tell with a smile. I always enjoyed his visits to the office whether he was coming in to get the mail or to wash the front windows. He will be missed.

— Patti & John Weber, July 23, 2023

As a young family when we arrived in Mount Forest, Bill welcomed us warmly. He always took the time to chat and inquire as to everyone’s well being. Our sincere condolences to the Coburn family. Cherish the memories and the many special times spent together. Thinking of you at this time.

— Barb and Tom Schellenberger, July 23, 2023

My sincere sympathy to the entire Coburn family . Bill was one of my favourite people from Mount Forest. I especially enjoyed our chats at the curling club . A graceful and thoughtful man . Cam Noble, Waterloo

— Cam Noble, July 23, 2023

Ann, Jeff, Scott and families.

We grow up thinking our parents are the best in the world, sometimes followed by a close second to a friend’s parents.
I wonder how many kids in town thought of Bill and Mary Beth as being that close second.
You guys truly had wonderful parents and they will forever be missed.
I have told more people than I care to remember who the real prominent patriarchs and matriarchs in Mount Forest are and your parents are always at the top of the list.
There will never be another Mary Beth with her beauty and elegance and there will never be another Bill with his unbelievable ability to plan out absolutely everything from soup to nuts 20 years in advance.
Together their charm, wit, honesty, determination, integrity and love of family and people catapulted them to the upper echelon of community pillar-ship and respect.
They will be forever missed by the Bye family.

— Carolyn and Randy Bye, July 23, 2023


— FRED AND DIANNE HOEHN, July 23, 2023

My mom Ruth Orchard remembered Bill..as when the ww11 was on Bill was too young and mom had a car and all of the kids travelled in moms car Anabel they went to pike lack and when my dad was I’ll Bill would come to see my dad. He was a wonderful man…always a smile…he will be missed God Bless

— Judy Gerber, July 23, 2023

Ann, Jeff & Scott we send sympathy on the passing of your Dad Bill. Although we didn't know him we heard wonderful things about him. Certainly you will miss his presence in your life but his influence will endure. May God walk with you during this time of loss.
Kelley & Lawrence Eves

— Kelley Eves, July 23, 2023

Heartfelt condolences as we remember Bill and our years of doing business with him. It was a pleasure to have known him. Don and Irene Neal

— Donald and Irene Neal, July 23, 2023

My both heartfelt sympathies to all of you.

— Mary Domm, July 23, 2023

Sorry to hear your dad passed. Great person, great family.

— Al & Pat Brubacher, July 23, 2023

Anne, Jeff, Scott and families.
Our heart felt condolences to you all. Every time we think of Bill or Marybeth it brings only joy and the best of memories. We know what a hole this leaves in your lives. He will be missed. He lived a good and long life. There is comfort in knowing he left such a wonderful legacy in all of you, his family, his pride and joy. Here’s to a life well lived!
Herb Sherry and Luke

— Sherry Herb and Luke Cowen, July 23, 2023

Or sincere condolences to all of Bill’s Family and friends. Bill was a well respected gentleman who will be missed by all who knew him. You are in our thoughts and prayers at this sad time.

— Joe and Faye Meulensteen, July 23, 2023

Anne, Jeff, Scott and families…so sorry to hear of Bills passing. What a wonderful life he had. Our condolences to all of you.

— Brad and Cathy Schwindt, July 23, 2023

To Jeff, Scott, Ann and your families, my deepest condolences. Bill was a wonderful person. Be strengthened by the great memories you had together.

— Tim Andrews, July 23, 2023

Always met you with a friendly smile on Main Street, Mount Forest - such a lovely man! My condolences to the family.

— Elaine (Oakley) Reddy, July 22, 2023

My condolences to the family. Never a more considerite, thoughtful and genuine man have I known. I very much cherish my conversations and laughs together. On behalf of the Potts family and St Albans our prayers and thoughts are with you.

— Tom potts, July 22, 2023

We are very sorry for your loss, you are in our thoughts.

— Jerry and Valerie Arthur, July 22, 2023

We are so very sorry for your loss Jeff and Karen. Our sincere condolences to you and your family.

— Cheri & Tim Burry, July 22, 2023

My deepest sympathies to Bill’s family. I remember Bill as always having a warm smile on his face. Over the last 30+ summers spending time at Sauble Beach he, and Mary Beth, were always so sincerely interested in what I was up to, whether I’d been away at university and in more recent years meeting my kids. I will always cherish those summer memories.

— Heather Leschied, July 22, 2023

A true gentleman and always with a genuine friendly smile. Hold onto all of those stories from the good old days. They will help all of you get through the days ahead❤

— Heather Walker, July 22, 2023

Bill was a true gentleman, a mentor, and a good friend for many decades. I started working with my mother in the family insurance business shortly before my father (who had started L.A. Padfield Insurance) died in 1963. Bill became a good friend, and we shared relations with many of the same insurance companies. When Wednesdays were the closed business days, we visited some of the companies together.

As their children were growing up, our relationship continued at a different level, but we regarded each other as “good friends” over the decades. Both Bill and Mary Beth were well respected in the community, and I recall that he was so proud of the business continuation for the third generation.

I want to extend my sympathy to the family on the loss of their patriarch, a fine man.

— Brian Padfield, July 22, 2023

Our condolences to the entire family. Cherish your memories of this wonderful man.

— Lloyd and Joan Aitken, July 22, 2023

To all Bills family so sorry to hear of Bills passing. He was such a friendly man and always had a great smile. Our thoughts are with you

— Karen Rave, July 22, 2023

My condolences to Jeff, Scott, Ann & Families... Bill was such a great man & friend, & will be sadly missed... You are all in my thoughts @ this time

— Wayne Cherry, July 22, 2023

Our condolences to all of Bill’s family.
He was such a gentleman and a pleasure to talk to. Mary Beth and Bill made such a great couple.
Joan and Erwin Arthur

— Joan Arthur, July 22, 2023

My condolences to the Cockburn Family

— Wilson Schwindt, July 22, 2023
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Contact Info

294 Main Street South
P.O. Box 38, Mount Forest
Ontario, Canada N0G 2L0
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