William Lee Claggett 1937-2012

123 Comments | February 4, 2012

In Memory of


It is with great sadness that we note the sudden death of Bill Claggett on February 3, 2012, loving husband of Heather Ann Claggett. This webpage will be updated with information as it becomes available. If you wish to contribute photos or other information or links please send your information to orcastu@gmail.com. Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts in the comments section below.

A Tribute Video To Col. William Lee Claggett

Bill was born in Santa Maria California on 28 June 1937. Shortly thereafter he moved to Canada with his parents and grew up in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. On completing high school, he was accepted at Royal Roads Military College in Victoria. After completing two years he was transferred to the Royal Military College in Kingston Ontario. He graduated with a degree in Commerce and Economics in 1960 and was commissioned into the Canadian Armoured Corps.

Bill’s military career spans some 22 years in the Canadian Regular Forces and another 11 years in the Reserve Forces culminating in his command of the 1st Hussars Armoured Regiment in London Ontario and finally command of London Militia District as a Colonel. He has seen service in Europe, Cyprus and the USA before leaving the regular forces in 1980 to join Diesel Division General Motors of Canada Ltd. As Sales Manager for the USMC Light Assault Vehicle (LAV) project, Bill directed the strategy and sale for GM. Upon this success, he took over management of Defence Sales for the Division, a position he retained for 12 years.

As Sales Director Bill was directly involved in overseas sales in Saudi Arabia, Australia, and New Zealand as well as starting sales activities in several other countries such as Taiwan and Thailand. In addition much of GM’s success in Canada and the USA can be attributed to his sales strategies.

In 1992 Bill was posted to Saudi Arabia as General Manager of the Branch of GM of Canada and remained as director for International Sales. He remained in this capacity until his retirement from GM in 1998.

On retirement from GM, Bill started his own consulting firm and has been contracted to such companies as British Aerospace and Alvis PLC as well as a firm in Saudi Arabia.
Bill has been an active supporter of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Association (Cavalry) since his retirement from the Regular Force in 1980. He has served the association as Vice President Central, President, Past President and was serving on the Executive as Advisor on Council.

Bill is survived by Heather Ann (nee Hately) and his sons, Stuart, Doug and Jay and six grandchildren. Doug and Jay are serving officers in the Canadian Armed Forces. Bill and Heather Ann live in Florida but spend their summers at their cottage near Kingston Ontario.

Colonel William (Bill) Claggett

Funeral Service

Wednesday, Februray 8, 2012

1100 hrs

Pinecrest Spring Hill Chapel

3369 Mariner Blvd

Spring Hill, Fl 34609
(352) 684-0001


Celebration of Life

is planned for the Summer 2012

In the Kingston, Ontario Area

Donations to:


CFCF – Military Families Fund
c/o Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency
4210 Labelle Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K2



United States

Wounded Warriors Family Support
920 S 107th Ave
Suite 250, Omaha, NE 68114


Comments (123)

  1. posted by Clive Addy on February 9, 2012

    Dear Heather Ann,

    Marlene and I send our most sincere condolences to you, the boys and their families at the news of Bill’s shocking passing.

    He was such a loyal member of the Corps in his many iterations over the years … but most important to us he was a good friend.

    May we offer you a hug at what must be the most difficult time for you in your life, and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.


    Clive Addy

  2. posted by Lois McNabb Lambe on February 9, 2012

    Heather, I was so sorry to hear about Bill’s death. Know that you are in my thoughts. Lois McNabb Lambe.

  3. posted by Roy and Jane Thomas on February 9, 2012

    Dear Heather-Anne

    Sorry about your sudden loss. We always felt that Bill had Roy’s best interests at heart when Bill was DCO and Roy was OpsO.
    You will be in our thoughts at this difficult time.

    Roy and Jane Thomas

  4. posted by Paul Crober on February 9, 2012


    Please accept our condolences on the passing of Bill.
    You may not remember us but I was a young Lt in 8CH when Bill was DCO. Susan and I were married the year before you arrived.
    I recall that Bill was a real guidepost for all of us young officers. I particularly appreciated his counsel when I was Senior Subaltern. I also recall his excellent sense of humour, punctuated frequently by his laughter at the things that made Regular Army life what it was. I wanted to say as well that the subbies appreciated his very careful advice and leadership when he was the DCO at 8CH during that very uncertain time. His experience and approachable nature made his presence absolutely invaluable at the Regiment then.

    I was delighted when I heard that Bill had assumed command of the 1st Hussars (my unit prior to RRMC/RMC and later when I served as Adjutant on Regular Support Staff). It also seemed the right choice when Bill was made District Commander. I met him one more time years ago when our Toronto Staff College course visited GM Diesel and he was the management rep assigned to tour us through the plant.

    I know that he will be missed by so many but clearly he will be missed the most by his family. On behalf of Susan and me, please accept our heartfelt condolences and very best wishes.


    Paul Crober

  5. posted by Alex and Pat Wakeling on February 9, 2012

    Dear Heather Pat and I were .sorry to learn of Bills sudden death yesterday—I am on the Strathcona e-mail list and keeps me informed of regimental life.We are also in Florida at Panama City Beach..Please be assured of our thoughts and prayers–I am c e lebrating the Eucharist to morrow morning and he will be the special intention of the liturgy at Grace Episcopal Church—-may he rest in peace and rise in glory.
    Alex former chaplain LDSH(RC) S152RMC and Pat Wakeling

  6. posted by Walter Cotie on February 9, 2012


    I am very sad at the news of Bill’s passing.
    I want you to know of my sympathy for you and your children.
    Bill was a person that I respected, and he was such a nice guy!
    We were room mates at Camp Borden and enjoyed our mutual association the full time.
    Here’s wishing you and your family great comfort at this very difficult time.
    Be happy for the good times you had.

    Best Regards
    Walter Cotie

  7. posted by Meryl Green on February 9, 2012

    Dear Heather Ann,

    I am sadden to learn of Bill’s sudden passing. I didn’t know him very well but always enjoyed seeing him and sharing a brief conversation with you both. I have no doubt he will be greatly missed by all who knew him well.

    My sincere condolences on your loss.


  8. posted by Beverley and Ian Barnes on February 9, 2012

    Dear Heather and family,

    How sad it was to learn of Bill’s sudden passing.

    We have fond memories of our time together in Calgary and Germany in the 60’s.

    You are in our thoughts and prayers,

    Beverley and Ian Barnes

  9. posted by Bob and Jo-Anne Bryden on February 9, 2012

    Dear Heather Ann and family

    We were very sorry to get the news of Bill’ s passing.
    I remember the first days at Road’s. We talked a lot. If I remember correctly we were both duty cadets on the first day. Naturally we didn’t do it right, but we survived.

    The days of Roads and RMC are long passed but the memories remain.
    Unfortunately we will have to be satisfied with that.

    Please accept our sincere condolences and our thoughts are with you and your family.

    Love Bob and Jo-Anne Bryden

  10. posted by Greg & Bonnie Taylor on February 9, 2012

    Dear Heather-Anne and family –

    We were so shocked and saddened to hear of Bill’s passing. He was a
    wonderful man and we always enjoyed his company.
    Our thoughts are with all of you.

    Sincere regards,

    Greg & Bonnie Taylor

  11. posted by Dick Green on February 9, 2012


    Please accept my condolences, Bill was a good hearted and kind man. Very sorry to hear of his passing.

    Dick Green

  12. posted by Sylvia and John Heymans on February 9, 2012

    Heather Ann

    Sylvia and I just received the news of Bill’s sudden passing. To say that we are shocked and saddened by this news is a gross understatement. Please know that you and the boys are in our thoughts and prayers.

    With our love and deepest sympathy,

    Sylvia and John

  13. posted by John Bird on February 9, 2012

    Dear Heather Ann !
    please accept my most sincere regrets at Bill’s passing. He was a fine fellow and I always enjoyed our occasional meetings over the years – especially when planning our 50 year of entry occasion ! He will be sorely missed !

    John Bird

  14. posted by Kelly Crutcher on February 9, 2012

    My deepest sympathies for your loss, I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.


  15. posted by Curtis and Jennifer Letkeman on February 9, 2012

    We are sorry for your family’s loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  16. posted by Bill Coupland on February 10, 2012

    Dear Heather Anne and family

    It was a shock to hear of Bill’s passing when we returned to Qatar after an eleven day absence. Although Bill and I did serve together we crossed paths many time during our careers. As recognised by many he was a dedicated, professional who was an inspiration to many. His sense of humour was much appreciated. He will be missed at the Henry Sampson. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Love, Bill and Betty

  17. posted by Ian Halely on February 10, 2012

    Please accept my deepest sympathy at the loss of Col Bill. He was always good to me and I shall miss him greatly. He always lived life to the fullest. I can still hear his laugh as I write this. He was always very proud of you and Jay and your accomplishments. I maintain it was the refining influence the 1st Hussars had on all three of you. All the best at this time and I hope we will be able to give your Dad a proper send off at some point in the future.

  18. posted by Dwayne Hobbs on February 10, 2012


    Please accept Laura and I’s deepest condolences on the passing of your father.


  19. posted by Larry and Susan Bowen on February 10, 2012

    Bill, a dear friend and comrade in arms. It has been a privilege to have been a part of your life – in Canada and overseas in the far east. Your love of life, good food and good wine will stay in our memories forever. We raise a final glass to you in salute – it has been said – “Everyone we meet leaves an imprint on our lives and you have certainly enriched ours.” You have been a true friend always and you will be sadly missed.
    Larry & Susan

  20. posted by Kevin O'Sullivan on February 11, 2012

    Chris and I are very sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing. Please accept our sincerest condolences. The girls have said a special prayer for you and your family.

    Kevin, Christine, Jordan, Regan and Sophie

  21. posted by Louise and Carlos Morett on February 11, 2012

    To Mrs. Claggett, Stuart, Doug, Jay and all the grandkids,

    We are so, so sorry to hear this heart-breaking news and we will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers, both now and the days and months to come.

    I have so many fond memories of ‘Mr. Claggett’, from all throughout my childhood. He always has that glorious, somewhat mischievous smile and that twinkle in his eyes. He always seemed like such a boy himself, up for mischief and trouble.

    Words cannot adequately express our sadness at his sudden passing. We will be thinking of you all.

    Love, Louise, Carlos and girls

  22. posted by Bill and Cathy Blair on February 12, 2012

    It is hard to express our shock and sorrow at the loss of such a good friend and such a wonderful man. Over the years you have both offered us unwavering friendship and support, though good times and some pretty difficult ones. I wish we were not so far away during this trying time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and with that very special friend whom we will miss dearly and remember fondly. We will see you in about a week. Love Bill and Cathy

  23. posted by Joanne Notman on February 17, 2012

    Heather and family:

    I can’t believe that the very happy, like able Bill is gone. Such nice memories about living in Ottawa and loved eating your food. We will see you in the summer on Howe island


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