PRESTON, William G. – Preston, William Granville. Peacefully, at home, in the small hours of Saturday May 1st, 2021, surrounded by his family. Always quick with a smile and a joke, Bill (Willy, Dad, Papa-Bear, Grandpa), will be greatly missed by his wife, Marilyn (nee Naylor), children Rachael (Ian Warren), and Simon (Ellen Bartel), and granddaughter, Emily.
Bill was born in Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, June 27th, 1936, to Wilfred and Gertrude (nee Teale) Preston. Some of Bill’s fondest memories of England stem from his teen years working with the exotic animals—lions and monkeys—at Shipley Glen Fairground in Saltaire, then owned by his uncles, Harry and John Teale. Bill also ran the penny arcade at the fairground, where, no doubt, he developed the yen to lay a bet on, well, anything that moved, really.
Bill often fondly recalled his two years of National Service as a Military Policeman on Gibraltar, sun-drenched memories that stayed with him all his life.
On August 29th, 1961, Bill married Joyce Marilyn Naylor. In 1976, circumstances led Bill to Canada, where his brother Keith, wife Pauline and children Sarah, Edward and Victoria were living. Bill embraced his adopted country whole-heartedly and with great affection, and once his family were here with him, he never looked back.
A letterpress printer and compositor all his working life, Bill could—and often did—start a business on a dime. Preston Brothers was the company he started in England with his older brother Terry, who predeceased him in 2014. In 1985 he started Prestons’ Printing in Mississauga with his son Simon, and John Fasulo, joined later by brother Keith, and in 1995 The House of Foil in Oakville, where his son-in-law, Ian, worked with him for eleven years. In retirement, Bill not only enjoyed golfing with Simon and Ellen, and Sunday night cards with the family, but now had time to turn his artistic eye to the type cases and wooden and metal type that had been his life’s bread and butter, creating “Art in a Case.” For several summers he could be found weekends at his stall in Aberfoyle Antiques Market, where his sense of humour and love of banter made him a standout. It was Bill’s love of art and swimming that formed the basis of the strong and special relationship he enjoyed with Emily, his only grandchild.
Having sung in choirs for years, Bill used to talk of John Rutter’s “For the Beauty of the Earth” to be sung at his funeral, with his coffin carried high on the shoulders of his friends. But in the end what he wanted most was to be cremated and have his ashes scattered so that he “could be everywhere.”
Arrangements entrusted to the WALL-CUSTANCE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL 519-822-0051 / www.wallcustance.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund for children.
A tree will be planted in memory of William (Bill) G. Preston in the Wall-Custance Memorial Forest.