It is with the greatest sorrow that we announce the passing of our sweet William George Cockrell, born Nov. 4, 1991 in New York City, who left his earthly body and gained his wings to a peaceful place on Aug. 10, 2022, at a tender 30 years of age in Victoria, British Columbia.
Will is survived by his father, Robert Cockrell; his mother, Elizabeth Rankin; his sister, Stefanie Papasoff; and his brother, James Cockrell. Will had always considered his childhood nanny, Maria Rodriguez, to be a genuine and treasured mother figure to him. Will’s beloved friends and family members, as well as the many more lives and communities that he touched, will miss him dearly. Will expressed the idea that family isn’t always blood and deeply loved his best friends Abdi and Tucker — as if they were his “brothers”.
From a young age, Will’s parents shaped the bright intellectual that Will would eventually grow into. His father, Bob, instilled in him a great understanding of spirituality, culture and art. His mother, Beth, took Will traveling to many cities rich in zest around the world, where he grew to value war history, world religion and people from all walks of life.
Will’s beloved sister Stefanie will cherish all the memories of growing up with her cool older brother — sharing their first dog Blitz, playing their Gamecube, camping, cooking and forever protecting and loving her through their bond as siblings. She will never be prouder of Will and like many was blessed to have his empathetic heart, head, and ears by her side through the years.
Along the way, Will inspired many of his educators as they did he, at Saint David’s (New York), Carbondale Community School, Colorado Rocky Mountain School, King’s College (London, Ontario), and finally, Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario). He would eventually find his calling in the field of political theory.
Will’s wisdom rooted in philosophy was beyond his years. He read many books and further pursued his Master’s Thesis at Queen’s University — his research titled “What is Democratic about Property-Owning Democracy?” built upon the likes of John Rawls and Richard Rorty. His supervisor referred to Will as a “brash, vibrant Yankee” in his debates in reference to his undying passion and heart in his dialogue.
Our hearts will never be the same after enduring this great loss. We find solace in knowing that through his great love of music, he will forever live on through the beauty, strength and struggle in every song. We will continue to look up to Will for his kind, caring, intelligent nature and will live each day knowing we are closer to joining him in the great gig in the sky.
Please direct thoughts and condolences to Will and his loved ones on the McCall Gardens website at www.mccallgardens.com