Robert Thomas Ireland passed away at Mount Cartier Court, Revelstoke on Tuesday, January 26th, 2021 at the age of 98 years. We grieve our loss while rejoicing in a life well-lived. Due to COVID19 restrictions there will be a Celebration of Life held at a later date.
Robert was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on December 26, 1922 to Ross and Ethel Ireland, he was the youngest of four children, he adored his older siblings Eileen, Dick and Joan. Bob’s career with CP Rail started in 1939 at the age of 17 years. Bob worked in Revelstoke from 1943 to 45, where he made many friends and happy memories. He moved back to Kamloops and in 1948 he married our Mom, Margaret. During many moves with CP, they had Jack in Kamloops before landing in North Bend where they had Kathie & Lorraine, a growing family that was completed with the arrival of Coleene, in Penticton. They spent 6 happy years in Penticton before being transferred to Vancouver.
Dad’s career spanned 43 years, retiring as a Train Dispatcher. He was an active member of the Canadian Train Dispatchers Association, attending many conventions all over Canada. He loved to talk about his work with the CPR, his loyalty was rewarded with 38 years of pension income.
Dad was an attentive father who loved to have fun, after chores were done. He loved and shared golf, fishing, bike riding and vacations. He loved to ride the loaded and empty grocery carts from and to the local Safeway on Tenth Avenue in Vancouver. He retired from these wild rides in his mid sixties after a spectacular crash resulting in road rash, cuts and bruises. He had a wonderful garden, foraged for asparagus all over the Okanagan and the banks of the Thompson River. He was an accomplished woodworker, filling our houses with coffee tables, end tables, cabinets and many other useful items. After moving back to Penticton in 1991 Dad and Mom joined the RV Club, adventuring around the province. While on the building committee at Penticton United Church Dad built props and improvements for the sanctuary and other areas of the church.
Dad had a passion for growing raspberries - trimmed the canes and guarded against all intruders into his domain. This passion was nurtured by his mom, our Nana. He had Apricot, Peach and Plum trees. Mom and Dad’s “cold room” was stocked with preserves, dried & canned from their own abundant garden.
There are many funny stories that made their way to the dinner table where lively conversations entertained us all with Dad frequently changing sides to stimulate well intentioned arguments. Almost every evening Mom would brew a strong pot of coffee just before we were to go to bed. Our many visits home included games of cribbage with Olympian competition.
Mom was integral to his story, from their tragic fire in Spences Bridge where they lost everything, their moves to Kamloops, North Bend, Penticton and Vancouver then back to Penticton, on to Revelstoke and a final reunion with their family living out their lives in assisted living and long-term care. They were together in marriage for 70+ years.
Robert was predeceased by his beloved wife Margaret in 2019. He is survived by his son Jack (Paula) Ireland of Toronto; three daughters: Katherine (Drew) Parkhill of Revelstoke, Lorraine (David) Beruschi of Revelstoke and Coleene Ireland of Calgary; grandchildren Alexandra (Jeremy), Richard (Alda), Jack, Courtney (Brady), Kaitlyn (Tom), Ben (Kelsey), Cassidy (Ryan), Garrett (Kate) and Connor and great grandchildren Roman, Isabella, Luca, Hugo, Mack, Koby, Charlie and Chase.
In lieu of flowers a donation to The Revelstoke Community Foundation in Bob's name, or charity of your choice, would be greatly appreciated.