Robert John Robertson, better known as “Bear” by many, left us far too soon at the age of 58 on June 27th, 2019. He passed away at home, on his farm south of Ochre River, Manitoba, with his wife Trudy by his side.
Robert was born on September 24th, 1960 in Ste. Rose Du Lac, Manitoba, and attended the Ochre River School, Mackenzie Junior High, then the DRCSS in Dauphin, Manitoba for his high school years.
After high school, he married Bev Mason (Schapf) in the village of Makinak, Manitoba on September 29th, 1979 until 1994 when they separated. He then married Trudy Britsky (Thompson) on August 3rd, 2009 at Scanes Crossing in Ochre River.
In his younger years he lived in Brandon, Manitoba for a short time, and also spent a few years living in Dauphin, but for the majority of his life he lived on the Robertson family farm south of Ochre River. Being on the farm is where Robert was the happiest.
Robert was well-known for his strong work ethic. In his youth, he had odd jobs before starting work for Tom Smart in the RM of Ochre River. He worked as a farm hand with Tom for several years, and then for George Giesel, before moving on to work for the Rural Municipality of Ochre River. His skill as a heavy equipment operator then led him to work for Tony Tordon of Tordon Enterprises in Dauphin.
Finally, for over 20 years, he worked for Bonnie and Gerald Strilkiwski of Strilkiwski Contracting in Dauphin. He hauled gravel, cleared snow, moved machinery, and was Gerald's go-to man for any task. The staff at Strilkiwski's became more than just co-workers to Robert, they became family
As a young man Robert enjoyed many hobbies, including riding his dirt bike, baseball, horseback riding, curling, hunting, and snowmobiling. Later on he enjoyed quadding, target practice, having bonfires and wiener roasts, working on his cabin, attending local auctions, collecting various antiques and treasures, and simply enjoying his grandchildren.
It wasn't unheard of for him to want to go for a drive when it was the stormiest, or drive somewhere he really shouldn't be, whether it was up a gravel pile, in 3 feet of snow, or down the river in the deepest water to see if the quad would float, just for fun.
If you really knew Robert, you knew he had a strong compassion for animals, and that he loved his dogs and cats, which he affectionately nicknamed “the kids”. Robert brought home, bottle-fed, and revived any helpless stray that was in need.
Robert will be deeply missed by his wife Trudy Robertson of Ochre River, Manitoba, his children Jenine Robertson (Rob Spooner) of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Wade Robertson (Krista) of Regina, Saskatchewan, and his stepchildren Amber L'Heureux (Joël) of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Travis Britsky (Kalyn Ashbacher) of Lacombe, Alberta.
His memory will live on in his cherished grandchildren, including grandsons Stephen, Konnor, Finley, Oliver, and Simon, and his granddaughters Rylee, Naomi, Nora, Anna, and Samantha. Robert was also looking forward to the addition of two more grandchildren to the family in July and September of 2019.
He will also be deeply missed by his brother Frank “Robin” Robertson (Eileen) of Winnipeg, Manitoba, his nephews Corey Robertson (Christine) of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Colin Robertson (Kelly) of Steinbach, Manitoba, his niece Ashley Taylor (James) of Winnipeg, Manitoba, his mother-in-law Sherry Thompson of Dauphin, Manitoba, as well as numerous cousins, extended family, and friends.
He was predeceased by his father Willard “Ted” Robertson on November 28th, 1988 and his mother Beryl Robertson (Dale) on July 5th, 2005.
A celebration of Robert's life will be held on Friday, July 5, 2019 at 2:00 pm in the Ochre River Community Centre, Ochre River, MB. Interment in the Ochre River Cemetery.
Thank you so much to everyone for your support at this difficult time. The visits, food, and all offers of help are appreciated more than we can say.
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Manitoba
1379 Kenaston Boulevard, Winnipeg MB R3P 2T5
Canadian Hearing Society
271 Spadina Road, Toronto ON M5R 2V3