ForeverMissed
Tributes
Posted by Sam Younger on January 22, 2021
I can’t think of Bill without smiling - he was so full of warmth and humanity, a twinkle always in his eye and never at a loss for something to say that was interesting or amusing or more often both. I remember him saying at one of his stand-up gigs that he always wanted to be centre of attention. Maybe so, but what made him such a rewarding companion was also the genuineness of his interest in others. Serious or light-hearted, he was always a pleasure to be with. Annie joins me in sending much love to Jane and all the family.
Posted by Caro Millington on January 20, 2021
It seems only yesterday that Jane first introduced us to Bill. So many memories. Driving with Bill to Stratford on Avon while he raised £100,000 on the phone to fund his latest project - so laid back and relaxed: we were in awe! The first big group of friends meeting in La Bonne to celebrate his birthday - and then annually ever since - playing ping pong in the garden there. Visits to obscure parts of London to see Bill the stand-up comedian. And most recently relishing the sight of Bill throwing himself into dancing Scottish reels in Orkney. So many years of enjoyment. But most of all being part of Jane and Bill’s loving relationship. We miss him.
Caro and Michael.
Posted by Becky Rea on January 18, 2021
We didn’t know Bill for long but we are so grateful we knew him for as long as we did. To share tapas, home-cooking, stories, opinions and laughter, was a privilege. What a deeply good man. Our heart breaks for you Jane and we send our love and condolences to all of Bills family.
With all our love,
Stephen and Becky Rea
Posted by sara harrity on January 17, 2021
We came across Bill and Jane relatively late in our lives, and were delighted to realise through our friendship with them that very good friends can be made at any time in your life. We loved the conversations we had when we met up, and we always left wanting more. Bill and Jane became a regular and treasured part of our lives. Bill was a very generous soul, funny, warm, perceptive and we always particular enjoyed his telling stories about his own family. We also loved hearing the stories about their canoeing trips, film festivals and all the other expeditions. We will miss Bill a lot, and count ourselves lucky to have known him and enjoyed his friendship for as long as we did. 
Posted by Krista Skalde on January 16, 2021
I feel fortunate to have known this wonderful man named Bill Nemtin!!! His energy, his passion, his kindness and his big, beautiful smile! We should all take solace in the fact that there is another ray of sunshine that has been added above, shining down on us, keeping our hearts and spirits warm!

My most sincere condolences to Andrea, Jessica, Tito, Jane, Joan and Heather.
Posted by Mahlon Meyer on January 14, 2021
I knew Bill since I was a child. I remember going to his movie theater in Canada. Of all my father's friends, he was one of the kindest and most sensitive in supporting me. I always admired the projects he undertook. I remember one on Big Blue, the supercomputer. He was always a constant, loving presence in my life. I only learned later about the kind of Jewish upbringing he had had, and when I was going through a tough time, he connected with me on that level, as well. I'm really sorry he's gone. He was always so good-spirited and courageous. Also, sometimes, you never knew when he was being funny or not. He had this kind of wit. He once said of my father, "he is probably the cleanest person I have ever known." It is both true, serious and funny at the same time. I trust his humor, lovingness and kindness will live on in his kids and in his wife.
Posted by Brent Reid on January 14, 2021
I knew Bill for a few years when he was in Vancouver in the 1970s. The highlight was helping him run an NFB summer workshop at UBC which he entitled "Canadian Immersion--For Canadians." (The need was great because back then many of our fellow citizens thought Robert Frost was Canada's greatest poet).

Bill was great fun to work with (unless you were a hidebound NFB regional manager). One of our students was Eleanor Wachtel, who had just finished her studies at McGill and was about to start the career at CBC Radio which eventually bestowed the gift of "Writers and Company" upon our country. Watching as Bill and Eleanor bartered knowledge of visual media for insights into literature was a rich experience for everyone lucky enough to be there.

I remember the Nemtins' gorgeous old house in Kitsilano, and his delightful interactions with his daughter, Andrea. I also enjoyed his sense of humour, especially his stories from his time on Fogo Island. Bill was never bored, never boring, and damn near always smiling.
Posted by Mark Starowicz on January 14, 2021
My deepest condolences to Andrea, Jane and Bill's whole family. I was deeply saddened when I heard of his passing. We worked together on several co-productions for CBC documentaries. He was also a mentor to me , introduced me to many documentary producers and editors in Europe, and guided me through the intricacies of independent production. We would always share a beer and bowl of peanuts in the same hole-in-the-wall cafe in Cannes during the festival, and had many delightful dinners in London, where his jovial wit and his stories regaled us all. I shall always remember him fondly as a friend, and as a wise, gentle man. Mark Starowicz
Posted by Sayedali Rawji on January 14, 2021
I was very saddened to learn that Bill had passed away. I met Bill while I was at the NFB. I have wonderful memories of our conversations. His smile and good nature were infectious and he had the ability to connect with everyone he met. A true gentleman.
Andrea, please accept my most sincere condolences and I pray that his soul rest in eternal peace.
Sayedali Rawji
Posted by Angie Kaye on January 13, 2021
I have many happy memories of Bill. All infused with his intelligence and wit that to this day we recount and makes us laugh. Bill was with me on my first canoe trip, and his good humour and joy inspired me to make this a favourite hobby of my own.
I met him first as a film maker and then as a friend through Jane and his family in Canada. We played tennis, we laughed and I always found his "take"on life insightful, wry and illuminating.
To say he will be missed is an understatement - he is irreplaceable.
Posted by Paul Neuburg on January 12, 2021
The great thing to me about Bill was his love of life, and the profound way in which he and Jane had found each other to share its enjoyment. From kayaking in the wilderness of north-west Canada or down Baja California to a weekend in Bilbao to visit the Guggenheim and feast on the gourmet cooking of San Sebastian, from dashing up to see a Shakespeare production in Stratford to hopping across to Paris for the French Open, from an avid immersion in books to his passion for films old and new, from his pride in and love for his family to his open-hearted and fond embrace of friends, and above all in how he treasured Jane, Bill glowed in a way all of us will miss and none of us will ever forget.
Posted by michael wineberg on January 11, 2021
I've always loved all the Nemtin brothers, since our days in Young Judaea and Camp Shalom. At Stuie's bar mitzvah, I was often mistaken for one of the brothers! Steve is my best friend, Stu a pal, Howie a great guy, and Bill I remember as so funny and smart with a great laugh and smile, a really caring human being. My sincere condolences to all his loved one. Yisgadal, v'yiskadash... Love ‍♂️
Posted by Adina Meyer on January 10, 2021
I first met Bill when I was a toddler. He was my dad's best friend, and like an uncle to me. I remember dancing with him at my dad and Susan's wedding. I remember the bromance road trip he and my dad took up to Canada. He was the gentlest man I knew. His stand up comedy routine inspired me to take a stand up class myself. He loved his family so much and I loved being able to get to know Tito during our visits. Sending love to Jane - we will hold you and Bill in our hearts.
Posted by John Blake on January 10, 2021
Well done Bill. A great life, richly lived, much loved. Indefatigable paddler, portager, cheer-raiser, wild-camper and dogged Scrabbler in Quetico and Algonquin. You always knew how best to be comfortable in difficult circumstances, and uncomplainingly brave when the going got tough, whether at work or play - a very rare and happy gift. Thank you for expanding our horizons and for sharing so much fun together. 
With so many happy memories, and love. John.  
Posted by Jennifer Abramsky on January 10, 2021
I remember the moment Jane rang to say she had met someone who was the most special person she had ever encountered. She sounded radiant and overwhelmed. So began the most devoted love between two people I have ever known. Bill came into our lives with his gorgeous smile and warm hug. We found, that despite growing up on different continents , our Jewish upbringing was almost identical. The same songs, the same swear words, the same jokes.

I still remember, as we were battered in an open zodiac, pounding the seas off the Washington peninsula, looking for orcas, Bill leaning over and whispering in my ear “ this isn’t doing my kishkas any good”! 

For years we did an annual pilgrimage to explore Spain and going on Tapas crawls, or laughing at Al’s devotion to satnavs Bill was just a joy to be with.

His standup , in a pub in north London was a triumph. My children brought their friends and they couldn’t believe a seventy year old was daring to say those things! A tour de force.

Our last holiday was to Orkney. And seeing Bill try to dance an 8 some reel was as hilarious as it sounds. A joyous, man of such integrity and ethical strength. A privilege to have such a friend.
Posted by brenda goldstein on January 10, 2021
I have a special place in my heart for Billy...from our very early days in Trenton where we lived across from each other to our high school days when I taught him how to jive and he taught me about shemeshkes! Billy's all-encompassing love of life, his great laugh and his caring relationship with friends and family knew no bounds. I will miss this very special man...My heartfelt condolences to Howie, Stevie, Stuart and all Billy's Family.
Posted by Eve Salomon on January 10, 2021
Bill was a North American Jew. Now, for North Americans, that’s no big deal, but when you’re living in England, it’s something pretty different, and special. Or at least it was with Bill. He was thrilled to find in me another one of this rare species and we became allies; we’d share our portfolio of Jewish jokes (I exhausted my supply; his never ran out), he’d teach me rare Yiddish words I’d not come across, and of course we’d get nostalgic about Jewish foods, especially those that are particularly bad for you. I was an avid listener to all of Bill’s stories of his Jewish childhood, reminding me of almost my childhood, and I’d share mine knowing that we both understood the stories at a level that no Gentile could ever understand, as behind each incident lay generations of Jewish pride and suffering that added layers of meaning.

And this is how Bill became my ally, as well as my friend. He always agreed with me when I felt wronged, sometimes with more vehemence and anger than I felt myself. And it felt so good to know that this man whose heart was bigger than the universe was on my side.

When I think of Bill, I see the smile that curled the sides of his mouth and went up beyond his eyes so that the light just poured out. To receive that smile was a blessing, and I am blessed to have known and loved him for he lit up the world.
Posted by Stephen Whittle on January 10, 2021
Every picture tells a story. The delight on Bill’s face as he enjoys both his children and grandchildren reveals how much he loves them. He loved life. He enjoyed his family and his friends and he was an adventurer who remained up for a challenge right to the end.

Bill was a storyteller, a raconteur, and a stand up comic. He was also a man of passion who used film to make us aware of others realities and struggles as well as tell the tales of other adventurers. He was naturally curious and interested way beyond his immediate environment or history. He read widely and deeply and that enhanced both his story telling and his comedy. His laughter and wit were something to treasure.

But, above all, Bill was a lover and Jane was his great love. What adventures they shared and how much they gave each other.

His friendship was a special gift shared in walks, or over a dinner table, or in museums and theatres, and in conversation that provided a great sense of well-being and companionship.

He lives on in our hearts.

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