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William "Bill" Kent Megill

(Ontario & St Edmund Hall 1962) (26 November 1940 - 10 April 2023)

William Kent Megill, 82, of Ottawa, died April 10, 2023, surrounded by his family in the Ottawa General Hospital, of complications due to lung fibrosis.

Bill was born in Ottawa on November 26, 1940 to Maj Gen William J and Doris M Megill (née Kent). He attended the Collège Militaire Royal de St-Jean, Quebec, and graduated with a BSc in Maths and Physics from the Royal Military College in Kingston, in 1962. He won a Rhodes Scholarship to study for an MA at Oxford University in the UK, where he read Russian and French. Later he would complete a postgraduate diploma in Business Administration at Laval University and a masters in Political Science at the University of Kansas.

He joined the armoured corps while at RMC, then served with distinction in three armoured regiments, first with the Fort Garry Horse, later with the 12e Régiment Blindé du Canada, and finally with the Lord Strathconas Horse (Royal Canadians) which he commanded. The highlight of his military career was arguably his appointment as Military Advisor to the Canadian delegation to the arms control negotiations in Vienna that ultimately led to the end of the Cold War in the 1990s.

After retiring from the army, he began a new career as a land claims negotiator for the federal government, initially in coastal British Columbia and finally in the western Arctic. His love for language and culture served him well throughout the complex negotiations to find a balanced rearrangement of the social order and legal situation in the MacKenzie Delta in particular.

Alongside his long career in the public service, Bill also enjoyed serving the public in the communities where he lived. Whether it was coaching little league soccer, heading up the Quebec Council of Scouts Canada, chairing the board of the Aphasia Centre, rebuilding the Priory of Simon Peter for the Templars or collecting hockey equipment to send to youth in the arctic, Bill brought his passion and experience to the challenge of building community.

He was dedicated contributor to the St Matthews and Glebe communities. Here the pandemic brought an old talent back to the fore as he turned his early career experience as the voice of the 1967 Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo to bear on the challenge of reaching the congregation and community during the hard months of lockdown.

Bill is survived by his wife Deirdre Nicholds and sons William M Megill (Susanne) and John Megill, grandchildren Liam and Natalie, siblings Margaret (Peggy) Hudson (Peter) and Suse Megill. Bill was surrogate grandfather to Deirdres grandchildren, Harry and Bridget Phillips. He was preceded in death by his first wife Susie (née MacDonald), brother Jim (Heather), and sister Janie (David).