Bob passed away July 11, 2020 at age 94 after a brief illness.
He was predeceased by his wife Maud (Black) and his only sibling, Doug.
He is survived by Bob and Maud’s only child Sharon.
Bob was still living at his beloved Beachcomber home seaside when he left us to be with Maud.
Bob was born in Calgary in 1926 and raised there through High School. Too young to fight in the early part of WWII he enlisted in the RCAF as soon as he turned 18, which was just after D-Day in 1944. After training he was about to be shipped to fight in Europe when the tide turned in the Allies favour and the need for fliers in Europe waned, He was honourably discharged from the RCAF but immediately reenlisted in the Army to fight in the Pacific. He was due to be shipped out when the war in the Pacific ended. With the war over he was again honourably discharged, and he attended UBC and graduated as a Civil Engineer, a field in which he practiced his entire working life.
Bob was building a pulp mill in Port Alberni when he met Maud. She had graduated from university in Edinburgh as a dietician, was a recent immigrant to Canada and was the Dietician at the local hospital.
They were married in 1956 and in 1958 Sharon was born. Bob and Maud lived in several places in Canada and the USA as Bob pursued his career. He worked for HA Simons Engineering for several years and then moved to Commonwealth Construction Company eventually rising to President. His career was based on industrial construction: dams, bridges, office towers and most significantly pulp &paper mills.
Bob and Maud had purchased a waterfront lot in 1957 when the Beachcomber area in Nanoose Bay was being developed for homes. They built a small garage there to store a car during a move to Maine to build a pulp mill. The garage became the cabin upon their return to Canada in the early 1960’s and Beachcomber became their weekend touchstone. The cabin again, became the garage after they built a larger A-Frame summer house in 1975. Bob and Maud moved into the A-frame house permanently in 1993 after some renovations to make it a year-round home. Unfortunately, it burned down in April 1995. By December 1995 they had it redesigned and rebuilt as a retirement home.
Bob and Maud were also active members of a Parksville tennis club, Probus and the Fairwinds Golf Course.
Bob and Maud were die-hard world explorers. They travelled the world extensively together.
After Maud passed Bob continued to travel far and wide. By the time he was 90 Bob had visited many countries on every continent of the globe. At age 85 he even went ashore in Antarctica from his expedition cruise ship via Zodiac inflatable and was by far the oldest person on that expedition.
Bob was an extremely avid salmon, crab and shrimp fisher and owned a series of three boats for ocean fishing. Bob also made at-least-annual fly-in fishing trips to Hakai Pass or Haida Gwaii often with Jeff Taylor, his long-time fishing trip buddy. This tied in nicely with his love of seafood - if it swam or crawled in the ocean he would eat it.
Bob was a hunter in his early years: ducks, geese, upland birds as well as deer and elk. As he aged the hunting gave way to a love of shooting clay birds by way of trap, skeet, and sporting clays with the Parksville & Qualicum Fish and Game Club. At age 85 the club presented him with a plaque to commemorate his being the oldest person in the club to shoot a perfect string of 25 clays at trap. Remarkably, he did it again in the years afterwards including a perfect 25 in his 90th year. When the sight in his right “shooting eye” began to fail in his 90’s he changed shooting from right to left-handed and continued to shoot well. Bob finally racked his shotguns permanently at age 93.
Bob will long be remembered and admired as the old guy who swam in the ocean daily in the Beachcomber Regional Park from May into October. He will also be remembered as the old guy who daily around 4:00 pm walked around the Beachcomber Loop.
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, getting together the numerous friends and neighbours who knew and loved Bob is simply not possible now. Rest assured however, that once it passes and hugs are allowed, there will be a celebration of Bob’s life. Meanwhile, if you enjoy it, raise a glass of whisky to Bob. He is probably looking down on us now enjoying a glass of Glenmorangie with Maud.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Bob’s name to your preferred cancer-related charitable agency
To send flowers to Robert's family, please visit our floral store.