In loving memory ~
The family of William Edward Munns announce his passing after several years of difficult medical issues, including the stroke which robbed him of all mobility for the last two years of his life.
William's long and distinguished academic career began with teaching Theatre at Northwestern University, in Illinois, and ended with his retirement as Emeritus professor of Humanities after nearly 25 years at North Seattle Community College.
Following his academic retirement, William and his wife, Judith, opened The Blue Star Centre for Alternative Health in Lynnwood Washington. During this time, in order to fulfill all legal requirements for therapies offered, both William and his wife became ordained ministers. Their busy centre featured chiropractics, massage therapy, hypnotherapy, music, sound and light therapy, a bookstore, a library, classrooms and offices.
Retirement from their Health Center was interrupted when they accepted the position of Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinators with The Association For Research and Enlightenment, (A.R.E.). This worldwide spiritual study group organization was a lifelong spiritual focus for William and Judith, and was foundational to their meeting at Seabeck Retreat Centre in the early 1980s. As Coordinators, they opened and operated an A.R.E. centre in Edmonds Washington, and hosted a variety of retreats, Speaker and Author tours for the benefit of A.R.E.'s 2800 members and 35 study groups in the Pacific Northwest, an area that included Alaska, the Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Western Montana.
A year after moving to Nanaimo, BC, they retired for a third time, turning over their duties with the A.R.E. in 1994, to a team of six members of their Core Team, residents of Washington, Oregon and Montana states.
Retirement never came easy. Soon, their fascination with community led to the formation of the Nanaimo Metaphysical Network, which eventually grew to over 800 participants from all over Vancouver Island. Once again, they created opportunities for events with a variety of topics, featuring international speakers and groups with a metaphysical focus. As age and health became greater issues, they turned the Network over to Unity Spiritual Centre, and William finally enjoyed a very quiet retirement.
William spent his last two years paralyzed, in a hospital bed with an overhead sling lift, in their peaceful living room overlooking the Salish Sea and the Winchelsea Islands. Judith was his dedicated primary caregiver, and in the course of their duties, caregivers Artemis Soleil, Alexandra (Sandi) Sutherland and Dale Cartwright became his cherished friends. Despite his situation, William never once complained and never lost his sense of humour, or his amazing memory for detail. He somehow managed, though unconscious for the last three days of his life, to remain at Judith's side, dying at peace one day after their 30th wedding anniversary. Son Tim and care aide Dale, were at William and Judith's side throughout his last hours in palliative care.
William is survived by his devoted wife, Judith, his beloved sons Timothy (LaRae) Munns and Edward Munns of Washington State; sister, Louise Kuzmarskis, Chicago, IL; and brother James Munns, Pattaya, Thailand; grandson Gavin Munns, Buckley, WA., as well as his loving stepdaughters, Christine (Ralph) Motzek and Kathy (Doug) Bell, and stepson James Goehringer, of Nanaimo, BC. He is also survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews, who fondly remember joyous family reunions at Roann, Indiana.
William was very proud of his step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren including Scott (Jaime) Parker and daughters; Graeme (Karly) Parker and children; and Courtney (Dave) DeFehr, and children, Nanaimo BC; Brandon Goehringer, and Bryan (Kaleigh) Goehringer and sons, Calgary AB; James Ross, and family, Winnipeg MB; and Ashley Smith, and family, Lethbridge AB.
William's Celebration of Life will take place at Unity Vancouver Island Centre, 2325 East Wellington Road, Nanaimo, at 2:30 pm on Saturday, June 24, 2023, as a final remembrance of the many years that William was both student and teacher at Unity churches throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Western Montana and British Columbia.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Unity Vancouver Island, or to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.