Obituary: Langley pioneer Bill Marr passes away

The longtime pilot with roots in Fort Langley was 101.

Langley pioneer and pilot William Lloyd “Bill” Marr died February 23 in Langley Lodge. He was 101.

Though his family was rooted in Fort Langley, Marr was born in Bramshott, Great Britain, while his father Dr. Benjamin Marr was serving with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War.

After the war, the family returned home to Langley, where Marr grew up.

In a 2008 letter to the Langley Advance, Marr recalled the inaugural opening dance at the Fort Langley Community Hall, in 1931.

“I was 14 years old on this occasion and was in charge of the ‘pop’ concession, Orange Crush and ginger ale and that sort of thing at five cents a bottle,” Marr wrote. He “did well financially,” he recalled.

Marr was orphaned young, when both his parents died in the late 1930s.

In a 2011 interview with the Advance, he talked of how he was interested in aviation, and took a few flights with locals from grass airstrips.

In 1940, after a brief stint in the Canadian Army, Marr made the jump to the Royal Canadian Air Force, where he was immediately trained as a pilot.

After a stint as an instructor, Marr went to Europe to take on duty as a nightfighter pilot. In Bristol Beaufighters, and then DeHavilland Mosquitoes, he flew by night trying to track down German bombers using the then-new technology of radar.

One inland test flight later in the war, after the invasion of Normandy, took Marr over the Vimy Ridge Memorial.

After leaving the service, Marr immediately applied for a job with Air Canada so he could keep flying. He retired from the airline in 1977, and spent his later years volunteering at the Canadian Museum of Flight, where he took part in projects such as the restoration of a Lockheed Lodestar. Marr had flown that aircraft himself from 1945-47.

Marr was predeceased by his sister Katherine and his wife of 74 years, Etta.

He is survived by his daughter Ann, son Flynn, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A service in his memory is scheduled for Friday, March 9 at 11 a.m. at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, 20955 Old Yale Road.

Just Posted

Langley teacher who screamed at, grabbed elementary students suspended

This is the second four-month suspension for the Langley teacher.

Langley Thunder player named WLA Rookie of the Year

Tyler Pace had a great year in his first full season for the Thunder.

Langley What’s On: Aug. 16, 2018 edition

Submit Langley events: LangleyAdvance.com/add-event or news@langleyadvance.com (subject: What’s On).

Serious collision in South Surrey

One to hospital with serious injuries; 16 Avenue remains closed

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Metro Vancouver water reservoirs in ‘good shape’

Reserves sitting at 70-per-cent full, officials said, despite long stretch without major rain

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Chinese medicine practitioner in B.C. facing historical sex assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

Most Read