Bill was born Viljo Maki, Finnish name for William, to a wonderful Finnish father Henry (Heikki) and a Canadian mom Irja Sandstrom in Port Arthur, Ontario, now known as Thunder Bay. From the time he could hold a pencil in his hand Bill loved to draw cartoon characters, which he calls “doodling”. Over the years Bill has been know to take a photo from our news paper of someone we knew, cut it out and glue it to a sheet of paper, and then turn it into a cartoon with his own caption. In the first few years of our marriage Bill did pencil drawings of his sport heros, sent them out and had them autographed. He kept the envelopes and drawings for proof of his work. Bill gave two drawings to Cec Ede’s boys, after he was killed in a plane crash, and the rest went to our son Al.
Though the years anything that left Bill’s hands had his funny face drawing on it.
We have made many trips to see our son Al and his family.
Our son Al is almost as good as his dad, drawing cartoon characters. When his children were small, neighbours love to come to the Maki's birthday parties just to get one of Al loot bags. Al decorated the bags with cartoons. As time went on Al got too busy with three children and writing for the paper, to do anymore drawing. From time to time he now sits down with his grandson and they draw together, just like old times.
Our grand daughter Jenna, also loves to draw. Jenna was 14, in 1999, when Bill and her would sit at the kitchen table or on the floor at the coffee table to do their drawings. They would decide on a subject, then Bill would fold the construction paper in half and draw his picture first, hand it back to Jenna, without her seeing Bill’s drawing, she would draw her own version. Jenna would open the paper and ask all of us, “who did the best”.
Bill had many of his drawing published. His most proudest moment was seeing his drawing and Al ‘s article in the same paper, The Hockey News. Bill contributed to the Hockey News for over two decades, and also to the Ontario Golf news, printed in Montreal, Quebec.
1965, he designed the crest for the Thunder Bay Twins senior hockey club. If you look closely at the crest of the Tampa Bay Lighting NHL team, you will notice the similarity of the crests. In the early 1970's, the Thunder Bay Twins played exhibition hockey in Florida, maybe someone liked Bill's crest. The Thunder Bay Twins won the Allan Cup five times.