To all the McBain extended family: I am so sorry for your loss. Uncle Bob was one of a kind. While there could be an edge to him, my memories are mostly of his smile, that ever-present twinkle in his eye, and the genuine interest he would take when he asked how you were. And of course, the way he could make your mom giggle.
Thinking of all of you, and wishing you good memories and laughter amidst the inevitable tears.
Dear Valerie, Sue, Ken, Colin & Martha,
Please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers. I hope all the wonderful memories and family stories and experiences you shared together with your Dad bring you some comfort.
My memories of Uncle Bob were always that he was the strong silent type. While I remember Aunt Betty smiling and giggling, often with a mischievous twinkle in her eye, I recall Uncle Bob as being more serious and reserved. It could have been I was simply too young as a little kid to appreciate his humour, because from the stories shared here, it certainly seems he had a wonderful joke repertoire that he loved to share with others.
When I had the opportunity to briefly speak with Uncle Bob at Aunt Betty's funeral, I was impressed by how sharp he was and his memory for detail. He asked me about my music and whether I still kept up with it. He recalled that I had studied music at Sir Wilfrid Laurier. I was impressed and touched by his effort to make a personal connection with me, despite us not having talked in many many years.
Wishing you all peace and hope that we stay in touch.
A memory shared by Ben Brackenbury
Bob was an honest, caring, principled person and one of his qualities he hated to show was that he was a big, loving Cream Puff that cared deeply for each of you...Valerie, Susan, Martha, Ken, Colin and each of your kids....just as deeply as he loved your mom. One of his habits in his courting days with Betty, while he was working in Montreal, was to spend summer weekends in Ottawa where he could be with Betty and get a "free lunch" at '712'. Grandpa B, the master of the 712, had a long-standing tradition of taking a few zzz's after dinner. It seems Bob was developing a similar pattern. He would rise from the table, co-opt the sofa, turn on some classic music and drift off. While Betty and the rest of us waited for the explosion, Mom would wink and giggle and the storm would pass and bliss would be restored
Please know people, Doreen and I have you in our hearts, praying that you can share your dad with each other so that your loss passes into peace.
I was very sad to hear of the news of Uncle Bob's death and am sending condolence to all of the extended McBain family. The memories you shared in your wonderful message about your Dad brought up many memories from my childhood when Uncle Bob and Aunt Betty would visit us in Whitby or we would gather for an important family event like weddings or Grandmommy's 90th birthday in Ottawa. Although I hadn't seen Uncle Bob for many years, I do remember being amazed at the arsenal of jokes that he always had at the ready. He was able to reel them off without even trying, a talent that has always eluded me. I don't think I ever understood most of them and (according to your memories of them) maybe that was a good thing! I was heartened to hear that he loved and had an encyclopedic memory of his favourite meals. I think he was the first person I ever remember seeing smoke a cigar in real life (probably at Valerie or Susan's wedding) and he made it look so good as he puffed on one after his meal. It clearly stuck with me since I always have a couple tucked away for special occasions largely stemming from that childhood memory of Uncle Bob. He and Aunt Betty clearly created a loving family and I hope that the love for one another and for your Dad,Grandpa and Great Grandpa helps you to smile even through your sadness at this time.
Sending my sincerest and deepest condolences to all of uncle Bob's children, grand children, and great grandchildren. I didn't have the privilege of seeing uncle Bob and aunt Betty as often as I would have liked to. However, I did always enjoy the many visits they made to mom and dad in Kingston on their way to or from Ottawa. And what always stood out to me during those visits, is the love that uncle Bob and aunt Betty shared. It was so apparent and palpable. You could tell they were best friends. Kidding and joking with each other....and always warm, smiley and excited to find out what the Brackenbury's were up to.
And, of course, not having grown up with a dog, I just loved that they almost always had their sweet dogs in tow with them. Winston stands out to me most. I always say people who love animals like they are part of the family are very gentle and loving people. And I know uncle Bob was both of those things.
I know that the loss of aunt Betty was very difficult for him....but now I am hoping that they are reunited and happily smiling down on all of you -- the loves of their lives.
Sending strength and love to all of you.
Julia Brackenbury and Ryan Waye
Once again the McBain family has to say goodbye to someone special, their father and grandfather. It is never easy but memories are golden treasures that make it so that you can tolerate the heartache of such losses.I was fortunate enough to meet Sue's parents-her mother always wearing a smile and Bob always had something of importance to chat about, his dog was one topic that he enjoyed.He had a few rules for Winnie's care and Sue broke most of them, we visited at the French one summer and Sue was dog sitting, as we arrived we came upon a very happy Winston off leash skipping about the water's edge nudging a few frogs. We laughed as Bob would have been upset to see his pooch in that scenario, he loved his pet and was ever so protective. Once visiting in London he gave me a kiss when I left so I knew we had connected.Memories like this will keep him alive in our minds and hearts always.To all of his children and their families I offer my condolences.
Bob you left us November 18th a day very significant to me my mother passed away the same day 2018. we have had connections over the last 2 years sharing hospital’s and keeping up on each other’s health thanks to Sue. The times we did see each other we had good chats and I loved your Christopher Walken voice (well that’s who I thought you sounded like).
You are now at peace with your beloved Betty ♥️ and if you happen to see my Mother Lucy give her a hug from me.
Bob and I always talked at the family events, mostly about how much food I will eat and a joke or two. I recently got into a new industry, and Bob pulled me aside at Thanksgiving this year to talk about trucking. He had been reading about it in the Globe and Mail, new regulations to truck driver training. Right up my alley. He was well informed and even taught me a couple things in that moment. It was an awesome chat and I promised to get the answers to his questions and continue the conversation next time we crossed paths. Unfortunately we won't get that opportunity, but the connection I felt that day will carry on with me. Thanks Bob.
A memory shared by Christopher Lawless
I have lots of good memories of Uncle Bob, mostly from the early ‘60s when we lived in London and used to see your family in Windsor fairly regularly. I remember one day our moms were out shopping or something so Uncle Bob got stuck with me, and I was being a troublemaker. We went to the Windsor farmers’ market and as we walked by a table with all these hollowed-out pigs’ heads on it, he said “That’s what will happen to you if you don’t behave yourself.” I was in shock, sort of believing him as a gullible 2nd grader and from then on was on my best behaviour. But the next day he took us to the Detroit Zoo!