Dr. William "Bill" James Rowland DMD, DSS, a beloved member of the Gravenhurst community, passed away peacefully on October 16, 2023, at Muskoka Shores. Surrounded by his loved ones, Bill's departure has left a void in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to have known him.
Born on October 21, 1944, in Toronto, Ontario, Bill led a life defined by perseverance and dedication. His passion for education led him down a few distinct paths. Bill initially studied medicine at the University of Toronto. He then changed paths, which led to an opportunity of teaching physics in Hamilton. However, before starting in this position, driven by an unwavering thirst for knowledge and ambition to help others, Bill made the decision to further his studies. He was accepted to the dentistry program at the University of Toronto immediately, and obtained his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) and Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD). Settling in Gravenhurst, he established his own successful dental practice that became integral to the local community.
Bill will be remembered for numerous fond memories shared with family and friends throughout his lifetime. One of his cherished pastimes was cottaging on Gull Lake, where he found solace amidst nature's beauty. Additionally, Bill often embarked on invigorating trips to Florida that allowed him to unwind and enjoy life's simple pleasures.
Beyond his professional achievements and leisurely pursuits, Bill had a diversity of interests which he passionately pursued. Sailing was one of his favorite pastimes; he relished the feeling of freedom as he glided across the open waters on his Slowhand 27’11” C&C sailboat. With skilled hands and an innate creativity, Bill found solace in woodworking projects imbued with love and meticulous craftsmanship. Always seeking intellectual stimulation, he immersed himself in literature and appreciated various architectural styles.
Bill's enthusiasm for vintage automobiles was unparalleled. Notably, he dedicated considerable time and expertise to building a remarkable '31 Roadster and owned a prized '64 Corvette Sting Ray. Yet perhaps no passion surpassed his love for boats—especially those with classic wooden aesthetics. He proudly owned an antique red Sweet 16 Donzi, which served as a testament to his admiration for maritime heritage.
Bill's legacy lives on as he reunites with his cherished brother Kenneth, who preceded him in death. Left to honour his memory are his beloved wife, Joan Marie (Moore), whose unwavering love and support were the pillars of Bill's life. He will also be remembered by nephews Donny Rowland and Scott Rowland, both of whom held a special place in his heart. Of course, Bill’s family would not be complete without his furry friends. He held his kitties near and dear to him throughout the years.
The impact Bill had on those around him extended far beyond his immediate family. The Glenora Gang were among the special friends he held dear, their shared adventures and camaraderie enriching Bill's life in countless ways. Their bond was a testament to the strong connections he forged throughout the years.
In celebrating Bill's life, it is impossible not to mention his kind-hearted nature and unwavering devotion towards others. His calming presence and genuine interest in people brightened the lives of all fortunate enough to have known him. Fondly remembered for his warm smile, sharp wit, and willingness to lend an ear, Bill was a true friend to many.
While bidding farewell to such an extraordinary individual is undoubtedly challenging, may we find solace in the memories shared and the indelible impact he made during his time with us. William "Bill" James Rowland will forever be remembered as a compassionate dentist, devoted husband, cherished family member and friend—an exceptional soul whose influence will resonate for generations to come.
Bill’s family would like to extend a special thank-you to the staff at Muskoka Shores, and to Claudia Nix for her dedicated years of care.
A Celebration of Bill’s life will be announced at a later date.
Memorial contributions to Sick Kids, Alzheimer Society, or the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation in Bill’s memory are greatly appreciated.