Richmond has lost one of its great characters in the passing of Bill “Coach” McKittrick at 76.
After graduating from UBC in 1970, McKittrick taught in the Richmond School District for many years until his retirement in 2010. He will be remembered fondly by the generations of kids he taught English, as well as coaching football too — at Richmond High then Steveston.
Former colleague Bob Jackson worked with McKittrick at Richmond High from 1971 to 1982. They initially taught PE together.
“Bill always wanted to be called Coach McKittrick and not Mr. McKittrick,” recalled Jackson. “When we shared an office, if a student stated that he wanted to see Mr. Jackson, Bill would tell the student that my name was ‘Coach Jackson.’”
McKittrick would always play in goal for the annual teachers/students hockey game, using the pads he once wore as a practice goalie with the UBC Thunderbirds where he also served as the team equipment manager.
“For many years we use to have a teacher versus student hockey game and ‘seive’ McKittrick was our goalie,” laughed Jackson. “During those years I think we had eight or nine students who were members of the Richmond Sockeyes junior hockey team that won the league championship.”
When he wasn’t coaching, McKittrick was also an avid gardener. He leaves behind his wife and high school sweetheart, Lillian, his two children, Scott (Vanessa) and Ashley (Kris Meisterman), grandchildren Kameron and Kayleigh and his sister Sharon (Burley).
A Celebration of McKittrick’s Life will be held on Saturday Nov. 23 (2 p.m.) at Richmond Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Visit www.richmondfuneral.ca for condolence messages and service details.