William Richard Blott died peacefully at home with his family, on Thursday, November 22nd, 2018. He was 89.
Bill grew up in Dunnville during the Great Depression and WW ll, the fourth generation of the Blott family to call Dunn Township his home.
After graduating from Dunnville District High School, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and History from McMaster University in Hamilton, a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Trinity College at the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts in Religion and Culture from Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. He also held a Specialist Certificate in both History and Guidance from the Ontario College of Education.
Following ordination to the priesthood in 1956, Bill served the Diocese of Niagara as Curate at both St Timothy’s Anglican Church and St. Paul’s Glanford, and at St. Mary’s Bartonville. In 1957 he married the love of his life, Marian, and in 1959 became Rector of St John’s Port Dalhousie, where he spent the next seven years.
While at St John’s, he was part of a group of priests who set in motion a liturgical renewal of the Anglican Church in Canada. The group pioneered Public Baptism, re-established the relationship between Baptism and the Eucharist and restructured the liturgies of Holy Week, officially the Paschal Vigil.
In 1966 he left parish work to become Chaplain at Appleby College in Oakville and discovered a gift and affinity for teaching. Three years later, he accepted a full time position with the Waterloo County Board of Education to teach at Waterloo Oxford District Secondary School in Baden Ontario, where he spent the next sixteen years. During this time, Bill not only undertook a Master’s degree but also accomplished groundbreaking and controversial research into the process of liturgical revision in the Anglican Church of Canada. This research later became the foundation for his book, Blessing and Glory and Thanksgiving: The Growth of a Canadian Liturgy, published by the Anglican Book Centre, Toronto, in 1998. He continued to have an active parish ministry at St Columba’s Anglican Church in Waterloo where he was an Honorary Assistant.
In 1985 he returned to the Diocese of Niagara to become Rector of the Church of the Transfiguration in St Catharines. While there, he became keenly interested in the Adult Catechumenate, a journey of spiritual renewal for those seeking Christian initiation, and was instrumental in introducing and facilitating its use in the Diocese.
After retiring from the Transfiguration in 1995, Bill returned with Marian to Dunnville and together they completed the restoration of what is now one of the oldest homes along the Lake Erie shoreline. Deeply dedicated to family history, he researched extensively and wrote about early settlement of land along the north shore of Lake Erie in which his ancestors played a significant role.
Bill was never without a book in his hand. His life was full of music. He wrote hymns and poetry. He continued to be curious and exploring and was working on a novella of the life of Christ based on St Mark’s Gospel when a stroke ended his writing career. He loved to walk, especially to roam his property through the many acres of trees he had planted. He loved mornings. Most of all Bill loved his family. He leaves behind his wife of sixty-one years, Marian (Armstrong), three sons, David, Ian (Cheryl), Christopher (Julia Roberts), two daughters, Catharine and Laura, his grandson Riley and his granddaughter Madeleine. He was pre-deceased by his parents Dr. Robert Dudley Blott and Gwendolyn (Harrison) Blott, by his brother Alexander (Sandy) and his sister Helen (Coons). Fondly remembered by Mardi, Paul, Tom and Becky and their families and by Phaedra and Jessica.
A special thanks to the nurses and many home care visitors, especially Esther, who helped to ease the journey. Cremation has taken place. A celebration of Bill’s life will take place at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Dunnville on Saturday December 8th, 2018 at 11:00 am. Gifts to the Dunnville Hospital and Healthcare Foundation or the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund would be sincerely appreciated.
He walked with God and made Him manifest. To have said that would be worth all the rest.