OBITUARY

Robert "Bob" William Kearse

20 July, 196210 September, 2021
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It is with profound sadness and much love that we mourn the loss of Bob Kearse of Richmond Hill, ON, who passed away unexpectedly on September 10, 2021, at the age of 59. Bob had been in hospital for a few weeks and was thought to be on the mend; however, in the early hours, after spending an enjoyable evening chatting and watching football with Mary, his much-loved wife, Bob suffered cardiac arrest and slipped away.

Bob will be desperately missed and survived by Mary (nee Dempsey), his wife and true love of almost 37 years, and their son, Stephen (Emilee). Bob will be missed deeply by his brother Percy (Laura) and his sisters Pat (Don) and Betty (Larry), as well as his nieces Nikki (Mike), Karen, Cindy (Jason), Colleen (Brandon), Erin, Brigitte, Philippa and Clementine and his nephews Craig (Nicole), Ian (Erin), Brian (Stephanie), Addison, Yves (Becky), Nolan, Grant and Ryan. Bob will also be missed by Mary’s siblings, Will (Denise), Gordon (Barbara), Peter (Lisa) and Colleen (Geoff). In addition to his family, Bob’s loss will be felt keenly by his many friends and colleagues.

Bob was predeceased by his beloved mother, Dorothy Kearse (nee Kane) of Durham County UK and his beloved father, Chief Warrant Officer Cyril William Kearse of Burlington, ON.

Bob was born in Montreal, Quebec, the youngest child of a proud military family and known fondly to his family as “Bobby”. The Kearse family eventually settled in Belleville, where Bob met Ken Pearce, his lifelong friend, and eventual Best Man. In high school, Bob was a long-distance runner, sailor, cyclist and, by some accounts, mischief-maker. Indeed, one of Bob’s proudest accomplishments was cycling across Canada on his own.

In 1982, he entered the civil engineering co-op program at the University of Waterloo where Bob engaged in any number of shenanigans, perfected the art of beer case furniture construction, became an avid boat racer, and made many life-long friends. One such friend is Ian Spice. In the last few years of Bob’s life, when Kennedy’s Disease had robbed him of mobility and rendered him house bound, Ian would often drop by to have lunch with Bob, shoot the breeze, compare notes, and talk smack about their favourite sports team and athletes. In fact, Bob was texting with Ian about the football game the night of his passing. Ian’s friendship was precious to Bob; he treated Bob like he always did and that was a true gift.

In 1984, Bob was introduced to Mary Dempsey through a mutual acquaintance. This chance introduction changed the course of both Bob’s and Mary’s lives. Falling head over heels, they began a partnership that spanned nearly 37 years and produced their much-loved son, Stephen. Bob’s career took them to Egypt and Barbados, and their shared curiosity and love of live sporting events took them on adventures across Canada and into the States. In fact, Bob’s admiration of Kirby Puckett nearly resulted in the naming their son Kirby, but we are all thankful that saner heads prevailed, and the name Stephen was chosen. Bob and Mary also shared a love of musical theatre, music, sports, reading and latterly wagering in the various Dempsey Family sports pools. For many years Bob and Mary were Blue Jays season ticket holders and were thrilled to be present when the Jay’s won the World Series in 1993.

Bob’s smile lit up his entire face and the hearts of those around him; his laughter and chuckles were contagious and his wit always on point. Bob will be remembered for his love of music, avid love of sports, sense of humour, enjoyment of Opus the Penguin and all things Bloom County, dedication to photography, keen interest in politics, love of reading, troubling addiction to extreme hot sauce, skills as a professional engineer, concern for the environment and love of family. Bob was a clever, kind, compassionate person who was always prepared to forgive.

Despite facing many challenges, including Bob’s worsening Kennedy’s Disease, Bob and Mary were true partners. Mary was the love of Bob’s life, his best friend, his world, and his happy ending. Mary’s heart is broken, as she has lost her life’s companion, her champion, and the string to her kite.

Bob, we miss you and we love you. You will be with us always. We will speak of you often. We will laugh and cry, thinking of all the jokes that we shared and the adventures that we had. We will smile as we remember you. We had no idea how much this would hurt.

Visitation for Bob will be held Monday, September 13, 2021, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Kane-Jerrett Funeral Homes, 8088 Yonge Street, Thornhill, ON L4J1W3. A visitation will occur Tuesday, September 14, 2021, from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM, 8088 Yonge Street, Thornhill, ON L4J1W3. A funeral service will occur Tuesday, September 14, 2021, from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM, 8088 Yonge Street, Thornhill, ON L4J1W3. A graveside service will occur Tuesday, September 14, 2021, from 2:00 PM to 2:30 PM at Westminster Cemetery, 5830 Bathurst Street, North York, ON M2R 1Y6.

Services

  • Visitation

    Monday, 13 September , 2021

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, 14 September , 2021

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    Tuesday, 14 September , 2021

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  • Graveside Service

    Tuesday, 14 September , 2021

Memories

Robert "Bob" William Kearse

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Hilary Dolby

18 September 2021

Bobby and I have corresponded on and off over the years and I am so thankful that we reconnected 18 months ago. He had a wicked turn of phrase and I always looked forward to his comments regarding the F1 racing, which were knowledgeable and very funny. This past weekend there was a massive crash between Hamilton and Verstappen and I thought 'I wonder what Bobby will say about that?' and then I was filled with an overwhelming sadness to think that he didn't see it and wouldn't be sharing his wonderful thoughts anymore. Adieu Bobby, so brave, you left us all too soon, we weren't ready.
Much love to Mary, Stephen and the family . Hilsx

Ahmad Mian

15 September 2021

Bobbie was such a wonderful human. I always enjoyed chatting and extracting knowledge from him. I admired his bravery fighting the disease and always being so cheerful and helping. I cannot believe he is gone. You will be greatly missed my friend!
Condolences to his family.

Annette Synowiec

15 September 2021

To the Kearse Family and friends,

My sincere and deepest condolences on Bob's passing. We worked together in Solid Waste at the City - I have much respect and appreciation for Bob's eagerness to share his wealth of knowledge and experience about our organics processing facilities and operations.

His passion and pride in the industry was commendable. He will be missed but not forgotten, it was our privilege to have Bob as a colleague over the years.

Larisa Dante

14 September 2021

Bob was a sincere and resilient individual and a wonderful colleague, he shall be missed dearly.

My heartfelt condolence to the Kearse family, so sorry for your loss.

Tami Bemis-Cooper

14 September 2021

I have wonderful memories of hanging with Bob when I was dating Ken Pearce and we were all at Quinte Secondary School .. he was a tremendous athlete .. had a gorgeous smile .. and was a consumate gentleman .. my condolences to you all .. rest in peace Bob 🙏

Meaghan Davis

14 September 2021

I would like to send my sincere condolences to Bob's family and friends. Working with Bob at the City of Toronto, I truly appreciated his generosity in sharing his insight and experience to support my work, especially as someone new to the waste industry with a lot to learn. I admired Bob's advocacy in raising awareness about rare diseases, including making sure that the Toronto sign was lit up in blue for Rare Disease Day in 2019! Bob will be missed.

Kathy Thompson

14 September 2021

I was stunned and deeply saddened to hear of Bob’s passing. We had met at a KDA conference at some point, but didn’t really become friends until more recently when he “friended” me on Facebook. We enjoyed reminiscing about Toronto where I attended U of T, and I particularly appreciated his posts with the beautiful pictures of the city. We had off-line discussions about other topics including politics which were always stimulating and enjoyable. I’m sorry those conversations will not continue and that such a wonderful person was taken from us so soon. I can’t even imagine how difficult this must be for his family.
I’d like to offer my deepest sympathy to Mary and the family, as well as extend condolences on behalf of the KDA which has lost a very well-regarded, special member.

Joshua Fick

14 September 2021

I had the pleasure of working with Bob briefly at The City of Toronto. Our paths crossed only briefly in an official capacity but I followed up with him on occasion to check in and see how he was doing. It didn't take long for me to see how kind and strong Bob was as a person. He had a profound effect on me professionally and personally.

My most sincerest condolences to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed and his positive influence will live on.

Andrew Heit

14 September 2021

My deepest condolences to Mary, Stephen and the entire family.
Bob and I worked together on a few projects at the City of Toronto. I looked forward to my meetings with Bob. He was always so kind, funny and thoughtful in his insights about work and life. He was a terrific engineer and project manager. In 2010, while at a resort in Barbados I was delighted to bump into Bob at the reception and was able to enjoy some great times with him and Mary that week. Bob was a treasure and I am glad for my time with him.

Kerri Thompson

14 September 2021

To Bob's family and friends I am so sorry to hear this news. I had the great fortune to grow up during my high school years in the house that backed onto Bob's family home. This made it easy to keep tabs on what he was up to...which as so many have shared, was always good fun and athleticism.
A small tribe of us walked to Quinte Secondary every day. As I reflect back on those great teenage years, I know how blessed I was to be friends with Bob. Our friendship was filled with conversations that were positive, respectful, fun, and trusting. Bob created a steady calm in years that did hold some teenage angst. You knew Bob would meet you at the corner mailbox, with a smile, something nice to say, homework done so he could tutor you, and yes talk of sports but I'd switch that channel. He was a friend to Rick, Ross, and me on those daily walks. Of course, Ken, Denis and Brenda when we arrived at school and no doubt countless others during our Quinte days.
I lost track of Bob after high school, but once in a while when we reconnected, I was warmed by his gentle kindness and fast smile. He never rushed in my memory of him. I easily remember his pace steadily unstoppable always sure of his direction. RIP Bob. Too soon.

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