Robert Edward Smith
Passed away on August 6, 2019
Robert Edward Smith (Babij) October 3 1929 – August 6 2019 (89 years,10 months, and 3 days)
As a young man he was known to his family as Buster, growing up with his mother Mary and sister Shirley in the inner city of Winnipeg. They struggled through the depression but with hard work, support from family, perseverance and intelligence Buster overcame all odds to attend the University of Manitoba. He graduated with a Masters Degree in Science. He had a distinguished career as an Agronomist with the National Research Council Canada located in the Ellis building on the campus of the University of Manitoba. He became an adjunct professor contributing his expertise to young minds and several publications. He often said “he was fortunate that he never left university”
Bob met the love of his life Claudette (Coco) Dufault in 1956, they married August 25, 1956 sharing 36 years until Coco’s death in 1992. Together they raised four children; Guy (Michelle), Ken (Mona), Debra (John) and Mike (Sandra), the family lived in the Windsor Park area. The family grew to include nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren. While raising his young family vacations were spent camping at Grand Beach every year with extended family & friends or visiting his sister Shirley in Minneapolis.
Bob loved spending time with family and Sunday dinners were a staple each week. Bob had an open policy that no one was ever turned away from his dinner table he would just carve the roast a little thinner. The same applied to his home. If there was a need for someone to have a roof over their head his door was open. This is how Susie (Scott) came into his life, his surrogate daughter he always said. She was to stay for a few nights and stayed five years, they become very close friends, Bob was an integral part of her family life.
Bob loved growing vegetables and would share his bounty with family and friends. If there was a surplus of vegetables he would donate to Winnipeg Harvest so his vegetables would never go to waste.
Bob was a very generous man giving to every organization that asked for a donation he could never say no to anyone.
Bob was an involved enthusiast in many sports; belonged to and enjoyed curling with the St. Vital men’s curling league and the Heather seniors curling league. He loved to golf and enjoyed spending his time with friends and family on the course. He especially enjoyed going on the Nicolette golf junkets to Falcon Lake with his golf cronies which included a bag of Old Dutch Potato chips and a six pack of Blue for breakfast. He completed three Manitoba marathons, completing his last marathon in his sixties until a sport injury ended his marathon entries. In his later years, he took up swimming and enjoyed walking to keep fit. “BusterBob 80” had season tickets to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for eleven years with his son Ken and enjoyed the comraderies on the Eastside Row 13 sports fans.
Bob loved to dance, enjoyed the art scene that Winnipeg offered which included season tickets to the Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Opera Company and was involved in fund raising for these organizations.
Bob traveled extensively with his work all across Canada and other parts of the world. When he retired at 65 Bob donned a back pack and headed down under. This trip sparked his appetite to embark on further adventures. His most memorable trip was spent backpacking around South East Asia ensuring that he lived with the locals to experience the true taste of these countries, meeting and making countless friends.
Bob was a card carrying member of the NDP and very proud of it, he would debate issues with a passion.
Bob once said “he was living on heaven, so enjoyed the journey and always try to live life to the fullest”. He was diagnosed with vascular dementia which took his essence away in the end and passed away with family by his side. So, it is with immense sadness that we say good-bye to this wonderful and much loved family man.
The family would like to thank the caregivers from Charleswood Care Centre that made his end of life journey with grace and dignity.
Bob was predeceased by his brother William Schmanski 1984, wife Claudette Smith (Dufault) 1992, mother Mary Smith (Babij) 2002, brother Robert Anderson 2016.
A celebration of his life will be held on Friday August 23, 2019, from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm Pony Corral Pier 7, 1700 Pembina Highway, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Bob’s charities; Winnipeg Harvest, Siloam Mission or the Salvation
- Celebration of Life Friday, August 23, 2019
Robert Edward Smith
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