William J. Teggart died peacefully surrounded by his family on September 19, 2019.
Bill was predeceased by his father Moses, mother Charlotte and brothers Samuel Moses and Thomas. He is survived by his wife Joan, son Bill (Nancy), granddaughters Reighan and Sydney, daughter Laurie (Corey), his brothers Stanley and John and many nieces and nephews.
Bill was born on May 26, 1930 in Dixie, Ontario where he learned the value of hard work growing up in the great depression. His parents immigrated to Canada from Northern Ireland. They and their five sons were market gardeners selling produce to the Campbell soup company and locally at the Kenzington market. It was labourious work but gave them a connection to the earth that would remain a theme throughout their lives.
At the age 26, Bill made a decision that would profoundly affect the course of his life. He joined the Toronto Township Police Force. Over the course of his 34 year career, he gained notoriety as a leading homicide investigator. His career culminated in his service as Chief of the Peel Regional Police Service.
His most notorious investigation involved the death of Christine Demeter that spanned 11 cities, four countries and two continents. In what Canadian legal historians would later call the “Trial of the Decade”, a jury convicted Christine’s millionaire husband, Peter Demeter of capital murder. Demeter remains in jail today.
Authors chronicled his investigations in a number of books including By Persons Unknown, by George Jonas and Barbara Amiel, True Crime Stories by Max Haines, Paid to Kill by Frank Jones, Life Inside the Mob by James Dubro and a series of books on the history of Mississauga by Kathleen Hicks.
Bill earned a number of awards throughout his career. These included the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, the 20 and 30 year Canadian Police Exemplary Service medals and the Canadian 125th Anniversary Commemorative medal.
Outside of his career, Bill’s childhood connection with the earth stayed with him. He enjoyed nurturing his many flower gardens and miniature apple orchard. He took pride in his vegetable garden boasting many varieties of tomatoes. He was an ardent hockey fan, avid student of history, country music enthusiast and enjoyed travelling throughout North America and Europe with his wife Joan.
Above all, Bill was a family man. He was married to Joan for 51 years. She was his rock. Known for his Irish wit, he would joke that Joan was the true “Chief”. She was the love of his life. He was immensely proud of his children Bill and Laurie. He spent many hours in hockey rinks never missing one of Bill’s hockey games. Likewise, he enjoyed following Laurie throughout her successful gymnastics career. As a grandfather, he was an entertainer. Reighan and Sydney never left his home without having a laugh with Poppa. He was larger than life and will be sadly missed.
Friends may call at the Turner & Porter Peel Chapel 2180 Hurontario Street, Mississauga Tuesday from 2-4 & 7-9 pm. A funeral service will be held at Turner & Porter Peel Chapel on Wednesday at 11 am. Private family interment.