A tribute to my beloved brother Rob,
on the occassion of his memorial service and interment at Zion Cemetery,
July 28, 2006.
Different people knew Rob by different names. Some people called him Nick, some people called him Bob. For me,
he was Rob - my big brother Rob.
He was born in 1949 on Friday, May 13th and oddly enough, I considered him to be one of the luckiest people I know.
There was 13 years between Rob and I. He was the second oldest in the family and I was the youngest, so by the time I
was about seven, Rob was pretty well on his own. Even so, throughout the course of our lives, in the different places
across Canada that we lived, Rob still popped into our lives enough that I truly feel like I knew him both as a brother and
The very first memory I have of Rob was in the winter of 1965 in Bracebridge, Ontario. I was three years old and Rob was sixteen. He
asked Mom if he could take me skiiing. He loved skiiing all his life. He picked me up and put my feet on top of his feet. I hung
onto his legs and away we went sailing down the hill. As a three year old, it was one of the most incredible experiences you could
imagine, until we crashed head-on into a tree. He always wondered why I never wanted to go skiiing with him anymore.
The next memory of Rob that really stands out to me was in 1970 in Severn Bridge, Ontario. He had moved to Toronto and got a job as
a door-to-door salesman selling Encyclopedia Brittanica. After being gone for about two months or so, he one day walked in the door with
a big smile on his face, pulled out his wallet and started throwing twenty dollar bills onto the floor. I believe this was where he discovered
his gift for selling things.
The next memory I recall of Rob's life was shuttling cars between Toronto and Vancouver for a company called Auto Enterprises, a company
that wholesaled cars. At that time in his life, it was the perfect job for Rob. He loved cars, he loved driving and he loved being free
and travelling. I believe this was a pivital moment in Rob's life. He already had salesmanship in his blood and then his love
for cars . This lead him into a lifelong career of car sales, and he was a salesman's salesman. He could sell you a car even if you
didn't have a driver's licence. For further details on this, talk to Susan and Gordon. Rob once told me if I ever bought a car from anyone
else he would shoot me. That's pretty good salesman strategy if you ask me.
The next time Rob came back into our lives was when we lived in Lytton, B.C. in 1978. Rob got a job with our Dad running a boiler system
for a large building in the area. This was a really special time for all of us. He got to spend some quality time with Dad and by that
time I was in my teens and we did all kinds of things together, like jogging and skiiing. Only this time, if I wiped out I couldn't blame him.
All through my childhood Rob was kind of my hero. He had a certain charm about him that just seemed to cause people to instantly like him.
Even almost 30 years later, after spending only one year in Lytton, people still ask me about him all the time. Even animals seemed to recognize
his caring nature. One night he was visiting friends in Vancouver and they heard a noise at the door. When the people opened the door, a
homeless dog was standing there. There were quite a few people in the room, but the dog went straight to Rob. That dog was Burt. Rob loved
animals and couldn't leave him. Although Rob couldn't have a dog where he lived in Penticton, he brought him to Lytton and Burt was a
faithful friend to us all for many years.
I once heard a saying. "People don't care what you know unless they know that you care". I think that that concept was the key to Rob's
greatest success in his life, which was relating to people. He loved people and being around people, and people loved him. I think people
could sense his genuine character and his genuine care for people. I don't think a week ever went by that Rob didn't call to check up on his
There was also a spiritual side to Rob that not too many people knew about. He read his Bible regularly and knew Jesus Christ as his personal
savior. The really special thing about Rob was that he didn't have to try to be a Christian. He just naturally did the things that a Christian should
do, like helping people, taking in homeless animals, and just genuinely caring for people.
Some people measure success in life by how many years they live or how much money and material they accumulate. Rob's life and how he
lived it is proof that these things really are secondary. What really matters is how we touch the people in our lives and come to genuinely know
and show love.
My brother Rob accomplished this and even though he didn't live as long as we would have liked him to, he probably lived a fuller life and
did more in his life than many people who live 80 or 90 years.
I already miss him so much, but I find comfort in knowing that we will meet again in Heaven.