December 3, 1931 – April 16, 2021
Robert William Blackburn was born in Salmon Arm, BC on Dec 3, 1931. He died April 16, 2021 in Smithers, BC.
Growing up a farm boy during the dirty thirties and WWII, he learned early that hard work was easier when you shared it and made your own fun to go with it. He became a life-long prankster and tease.
In 1952 he took a job building roads for BC Forest Service. He enjoyed working outdoors and took great pride in every well-functioning culvert, sturdy bridge, and properly banked corner. Recently, sorting thru a box of slides that had been spilled, he was able to easily say “Oh, that’s the culvert at mile 3 on the Blunt Rd” or “That’s the bridge on the Suskwa Forest Rd”.
In 1954 he married Lucille Lepine and they began their family, moving their trailer from one construction camp to another, all over BC. In 1961 they settled in Smithers.
Bob loved hockey. He played, coached, taught at referee schools, and held office in the local Minor Hockey Assoc. as well as in the BC Minor Hockey Assoc. He insisted on sportsmanship and fair play. He was a patient teacher but had no time for BS and accepted nothing less than best effort.
He was very proud of the boys he coached who later played in the NHL or refereed at Junior A and B levels.
He joined the Smithers Rod and Gun Club when he retired. His work ethic insisted that he serve. He did everything from groundskeeper to trap boy, to president of the local club. He continued to shoot trap until Nov of 2020 when he was recognized for 125,000 registered targets. He was a good sport and a good shot. He twice earned the right to go to The Grand Pacific International Shoot in Evergreen Washington.
Family was all important to Bob. Whether it was helping his siblings, coaching hockey, teaching kids to water-ski or just sitting at the family table stealing the icing off someone else’s chocolate cake, he always loved having family around. Visits from his grandchildren were highlights and the refrain “Grampa! Quit Bugging!” was often heard.
He is predeceased by his sister Barbe Mosher, his brother Edward Blackburn and his son Kim Blackburn.
He leaves behind his wife Lu, sons Neil, Rick (Kat), Rob (Jodie) and daughters Linda Rosner (Carrol), Mimi Hawkins (Tom), 15 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
A Memorial Service will be held in the summer in some way that is Covid approved. Condolences for the Blackburn family may be offered at www.schraderfuneralhome.ca
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