Robert John MacDonald, age 61, passed away on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Hospice Unit with loving family by his side, after struggling for many years with illness.
He was born on December 25,1951 in Nipigon to Angus MacDonald and Marie (Perrier) MacDonald. He grew up and attended schools in Thunder Bay and the surrounding area.
In the 1970’s, Bob lived in Vancouver, B.C. working first as a postal worker and then as an inspector for the Canadian Grain Commission. This job led him to Churchill, Manitoba where he worked for a few shipping seasons, then back to Thunder Bay with his new best friend, his Great Dane, Juneau. At this point he decided that this was not the career for him. He worked as a carpenter, something he thoroughly enjoyed. Then in 1980 he attained his greatest career triumph, Bob was hired as a Thunder Bay Firefighter. This was his true calling and he was so incredibly proud during his whole career and after retirement in 2008. He shared a strong bond with his colleagues, and considered them his extended family right up to the time of his death. In true firefighter fashion, Bob also worked hard at his second job. He maintained his love of working with his hands by installing siding, soffit, fascia and eaves.
Bob enjoyed life and was passionate about everything that he did. He was a tough competitor in arm wrestling, darts, boxing, pool, and hockey. While living in Vancouver, one of his favourite pastimes was to sit beside the visitor penalty box at NHL games and antagonize the opponents. Unless, of course, it was the Boston Bruins…he was a true Bruins fan to the end. He also loved to travel, seeing such places as Fiji, Thailand, Australia, Greece and Italy. His dream was to retire on the beach in Thailand.
Bob appreciated the importance of family and enjoyed being in their company, especially during holidays. He loved children and even more, he loved scaring them with his inverted eyelids! He was always there with love for his daughter and wore his heart on his sleeve with the best intentions. Bob and Mariah were best friends, always facing the world together.
Bob was fortunate to have many great friends during his life. He was not as lucky in love, but even though the bride may have changed, the best man was always the same! Bob was a very caring man, always thinking of other’s best interests. He was very forceful in his beliefs. You were in trouble if you dared to disagree with him, as his opinion was the only one that counted!
Bob is survived by the greatest gift of his life his daughter Mariah, brother Richard MacDonald, sisters Linda MacDonald (Len Simmons), Donna Stein, Barbara Dziurda (Ted), Deborah MacDonald and Laurie Lankinen. He was also survived by many nieces and nephews, who he loved dearly. He was predeceased by his beloved mother, Marie and father Angus.
Following cremation, a Celebration of Bob’s Life will be held on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 for family and friends at the Current River Community Centre, 450 Dewe Avenue, beginning at 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. with a formal tribute beginning at 2:00 p.m. There will be an open mic opportunity for anyone to share stories and memories about Bob’s life. Interment will follow at a later date in Sunset Memorial. As per Bob’s wishes, if friends desire, donations may be made to the Thunder Bay Fire & Rescue or Toys for Tots.
On-Line-Condolences may be offered at www.harbourviewfuneral.ca