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Wilkie benefits from longtime volunteer, Bill Sittler

From the ball diamonds to the board room, Wilkie resident Bill Sittler has served many roles in his years of service as a volunteer in the community.

WILKIE — People in and around Wilkie know Bill Sittler.

His is a familiar face at hockey and ball games, going for daily walks, always taking a few minutes to chat. His reputation as a volunteer goes back many years.

Sittler grew up on the family farm near Leipzig with his parents Norbert and Gerry and his siblings. This meant there were lots of chores to keep him and his siblings busy with little time to get into mischief.

Baseball was an early passion and over time he transformed from player to coach. His dedication to baseball earned him a place in the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame in North Battleford in July of 2013 in the individual category as player/builder.

He played minor league ball, graduating to the Wilkie Brewers highlighted by a provincial championship in 1975 with a silver medal at the Western Canadians.

Sittler met and married Patty and as their family arrived, he went from playing to coaching his boys, first Craig and later Mike, winning championships in many divisions. Sittler did play oldtimers ball as he never lost his passion for ball.

“Ball wasn’t the only thing [he] helped out with,” said daughter Jill. “Dad and Mom … found time to help at the schools with activities that Craig, Mike, Jennifer and I were part of. I don’t think Dad knows the word ‘no’ when asked to help.”

Sittler also enjoyed hockey, helping the boys, coaching, managing and driving them to tournaments. He was active with the Wilkie Outlaws holding many positions on the executive, including president. Sittler could be found in the arena well before the start of an Outlaw game, ensuring players on both teams were taken care of.

He would be in the lobby before game time, joking and laughing with the fans of all ages, prior to the game and when the whistle blew for the start of the game, he was cheering on the Outlaws. He was also a staunch supporter of minor hockey, helping whenever he could. He loved watching his boys playing hockey and now enjoys watching the grandkids.

Sittler was a councillor on the RM of Reford for many years and later, when he and Patty moved into Wilkie, he served a term on Wilkie town council. Residents say he was and is easy to talk about anything and willing to help in any way he can.

Sittler was a member of the Wilkie and District Health Foundation for many years and later became chairperson. This was a committee he was dedicated to, always finding time to help keep health in the forefront with the provincial government.

Sittler is the kind of volunteer that every community needs more of; people who are willing to take the time and have the energy and drive to make things happen. He embodies the slogan "Community service is the price you pay for the space you occupy."