Magnificent Sea Creatures of the Pacific Northwest
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Remembering Bilz

A collection of stories, thoughts, and reflections on the life of William van Orden.

Eileen Peters (Ewen)

My memories are fond of this man. I looked at him as like a distant father figure who was there. He had a heart of gold as does his wife Barb who I initially developed a friendship with. I was a troubled teenager and didn’t look to […]

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Lyanne Smith

I was first introduced to Bill’s art when I became one of the working members at Artisan’ Studio in Nanaimo. Travelers who came in to browse were immediately drawn to his beautiful creations and the amazing true to life colours……….it is now comforting to know that a […]

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joe mock

I was the owner of the pump organ that William was restoring. It was an inspiration to play and was the instrument upon which three compositions emerged, Borrowed Song, Christopher, and Eliza . . .and were later recorded. We shared a few emails, an mp3 and a […]

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Gorden Schweers

The news that William had passed was devastating, a loss to the marine community and those of us who can feel blessed to have shared his invaluable time. This last Christmas I phoned ahead, then visited his studio which is without question a marvelous place. Looking for […]

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Ray Troll

My heart is breaking as I read this sad news. Bill was a fellow fish ‘nerd’ that I always loved interacting with him. We would geek out together via letters and emails over the years. I was able to meet him once and had the good fortune […]

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Renee Paquin

I’m so sorry to hear of Bills passing. My deepest condolences to Barb and family. I just happened to see this when I googled him today to see if he was still making fish. I had a fun summer many years ago helping him in the shop […]

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It is hard to find someone who gets as excited about fish as I do, but boy did I meet my match and beyond in Will. He taught me an incredible amount. His observational and research abilities were outstanding, but what most blew me away was his […]

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Tara Cullis

I never met anyone like Will Van Orden! His and his wife’s Barb’s house has a car halfway through an upper wall, its front in the living room providing a fun place for kids to sit and steer. Outside, imaginative and ironic sculptures (and interesting old cars) […]

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Dirk and Lynda

Beste Willem, Lynda and I could not believe it when we were told you had left us. We have a long history together, since the early eighties. This includes our Dutch background, fixing my, our, ’58 Chevy pick-up, you found, I bought and you recreated and all […]

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The Keller family

Dear Van Orden family, Memories of William come swirling forth at moments we least expect them, thoughts that are frequent and indelible. We’re in awe of William’s gifts, and how many lives he touched with his love and compassion, his quirky humour, and intelligent curiosity. We’ll miss […]

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Contact Bilz

Email: bilzrockfish[at]gicable[dot]com
Phone: (250) 285-3468
Box 245, Heriot Bay, BC , V0P 1H0