Robert Victor Way
Bob celebrated his 90th birthday in February and left this life on March 21st, with family members at his bedside and surrounded by love as he made this final journey. Bob was born on February 15, 1925, in Killarney, Manitoba. He was the fifth of nine children born to Harry and Mabel Way. Two of his siblings died in infancy, so there were seven children during his childhood years. His youngest sister, Jean Galbraith is now the sole surviving member. Life was hard for the “Way” family during the depression years and the family moved between Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Bob wrote about these years and noted that, “he had as good a childhood as any raised in a village on the Saskatchewan prairies during the dry years”. While his roots were in the prairies, the bulk of his life was lived on the West Coast, in White Rock, Richmond and South Surrey. Bob joined the RCAF in October 1942, at the age of 17½, and was trained as an airframe mechanic. He spent 3½ years working on planes. Most of his time was in Canada, but he did have a short stay overseas at Biggin Hill, in Kent, England. He made good friends in the RCAF and enjoyed the excitement of overseas travel. Life after the war was again difficult. There were too few jobs. Bob tried his hand at a number of occupations, working in the fruit industry in Kelowna, running a hamburger, hot dog, ice cream and pie shop at White Rock beach, working in a mattress factory and for a tile business, before he found work with the Hudson’s Bay training program in Edmonton, Alberta. This was the beginning of a long career in retail. Starting with HBC, he worked in Edmonton, Nelson, BC, and Pine Falls, Manitoba. Then he moved the family to British Columbia to be close to family and found work with Collister’s department store in New Westminster, followed by Field’s Stores (after Collister’s burned down) then working at head office for Field’s Stores as they expanded throughout BC and Alberta. At retirement his career came full circle as Field’s Stores merged with The Bay and he left with strong ties to both businesses. His career in retail spanned 34 years and he could never enter a store without straightening clothes on their hangers. He always liked to go to the stores and to “shop”, or give advice on what looked good. You could take the man out of retail, but you couldn’t take retail out of the man. Bob was blessed to have two long term marriages: to Isabel (nee Kendall) 1948-1985; to Helen (nee Ullrich) 1987 to present. He enjoyed gardening, church activities and travel. Family was everything to Bob. He celebrated the birth of his four children; Gayle, Sandra, Donald and Heather. When he and Helen married, he enjoyed the company of Lowell and Donna (stepchildren). He was blessed with five grandchildren. Mourning his death are his loving wife, Helen, children, stepchildren and grandchildren. Gayle Way, Sandra (Chris) Foster, Don (Lonnie) Way, Heather Way (Ben Leier), Lowell (Marnie) Ullrich, Donna (Simon) Austin, Jes Way, Mike Way, Patrick (Mandy) Foster, Evan Foster, and Julia Ullrich. He is also remembered by his extended family, including his sister Jean (Jack) Galbraith; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law across BC and Alberta; and many nieces and nephews who loved their “Uncle Bob”. As a family, we celebrate Dad, Robert, Bob, Bobbie, Daddy-O, Grandpa, as he was known to each of us. We give thanks for his life and all that he gave to each of us. We are grateful for the excellent, supportive care by nursing and care aides at The Residence at Morgan Heights over the past 32 months, especially the last 8 days. At Bob’s request, there will be no formal service. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Following his wishes, he will be cremated and his ashes will rest in the Memorial Garden at South Arm United Church in Richmond, BC. Donations in Bob’s memory can be made to The Alzheimer’s Society, or Heart and Stroke Foundation, or to the BCSPCA.
“Sunshine passes, shadows fall, and Love’s remembrance outlasts all”