We Remember

EIKENAAR, Robert Jan Hendrik

November 29, 1944 — November 23, 2016

Rob Eikenaar passed away peacefully after a brave, two-year battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Ruby; children, Jannik (Deena), Mieke (Jesse), Jari (Carolyn); grandchildren (Noah, Gabriel, Elena, Lyla, Imre, Juni); mother, Anne; and brothers, Richard and Ronald. He was pre-deceased by his step-father, Raymond Surrey, and brother, Paul.

Rob was born in 1944 in the Netherlands, was raised in England, and taught for thirty years in Westbank. He had an infectious sense of humour, loved travelling, and was athletic, musical, artistic, and handy. Rob loved to work in his garden, his wood shop, and his library, where he and Ruby spent many hours reading, knitting or watching sports and British television shows.

The family is grateful for the excellent medical care Rob received. They would particularly like to thank Dr. Verster, Dr. Sauciuk, and the chemotherapy nurses and volunteers, CAT clinic nurses, and palliative care team.

A service will be held Sunday, December 4, at 11:00 at Mount Boucherie Secondary School. In lieu of flowers and koden, donations can be made to the Rob Eikenaar Bursary, c/o MBSS, or the Kelowna Buddhist Temple Building fund.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Share Your Condolences.”

Sunday, December 4, at 11:00

Mount Boucherie Secondary School

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Rob Eikenaar Bursary, c/o MBSS Link: http://kelownabuddhisttemple.org/


Service Information

Service Details

The service for EIKENAAR, Robert Jan Hendrik is scheduled for Sunday, December 4, at 11:00. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Mount Boucherie Secondary School

2751 Cameron Rd, West Kelowna, BC


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  • Joe Diestel says:

    Ruby, Jannik, Kari and Mike,

    Please accept our deepest sympathies for your loss.
    I have nothing but fond memories of Rob.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

    Joe and Tara Diestel

  • Allan Castle says:

    Dear Ruby and family,

    I wanted to say how sorry I am to hear of Rob’s passing. I also wanted to share some of my fond memories of him from the old days.

    I think my very first memory of Rob is of gathering, with him and my Dad and other Brits, at what I think was your old place in Rutland (hazy memory!), to watch a tape-delayed FA Cup final, probably around May 1975. My first impression was one which endured: funny, active, chatting away, soccer-mad. If I recall correctly he was a Middlesbrough fan!

    I got to know him much better a year or two later when we had bought a new place and were converting the carport into living space, and there he was every day, hammering and sawing and telling jokes with Dad. Always upbeat.

    And lots of memories in the years that followed: New Years parties — on one occasion I can remember bonding with him in mutual appreciation of a Rod Stewart concert being shown — and soccer practices, and him refereeing, and debate tournament after debate tournament where he would rush the final scoring stats to the podium in time to award the prizes.

    He was a good man, with a great sense of humour, and a man who had an appreciation for everything Canada had brought him. And a man for whom family was top of the list, which was obvious.

    I’m sorry not to have seen more of him in recent years, but I will always carry those fond memories.

    Condolences and best wishes,

    Allan Castle

  • Kathleen Williams says:

    My condolences to the family. Mr Eickenaar was a great teacher!! Rest in Peace.

  • Valerie Hambrook (Vosper) says:

    Mr. Eikenaar taught me several courses over 5 years at Mt. Boucherie Secondary. The first thought that comes to my mind when I think of him is Kind. He was strict, but kind, and funny. Condolences to the family.

  • Melissa McAfee says:

    Was fortunate enough to be in one of Rob’s western civ classes as a teenager… He had a warm, wry sense of humour, a great love of learning and a lovely approach to teaching. My sincere condolences. Melissa McAfee

  • Cameron Waller says:

    I was fortunate enough to have received the humanities award in Rob’s name at MBSS in 2014, I am happy to have been touched by this man’s amazing legacy. I am sorry to hear of his passing – my love and condolences to the family, friends, and school he leaves behind.

  • Jackie Pinder says:

    A favorite and beloved teacher with incredible wit and humor. My condolences to the family.

  • Debbie Richards-Perakis says:

    Will always have wonderful memories of Mr. Eikenaar and his social studies classes – always inspiring us and opening our eyes to the rest of the world – a very special person – we were privileged to have him as a teacher and later as a friend. All our thoughts are with you at this very difficult time. From your friends in Naxos – Debbie, Stratos and Gabriella

  • Heather Hawkshaw says:

    So very shaken and saddened to hear of Mr. Eikenaar’s passing. Since I read this news I have been thinking about his teaching and enthusiasm for learning and how this shaped the paths and directions I have taken in my own education in the years since. His WesternCiv course with music, and art, and architecture, and history all intertwined ignited my joy of learning. I can still picture him quickly walking between classes to his next class with a binder under his arm with a few corners of papers sticking out. He was an influential teacher and I am so grateful to have crossed his life’s path. Sending warmth and condolences to his family. Heather Hawkshaw

  • Jeremy Duchan says:

    I’m quite certain Rob never knew what to think of me. During the time I was fortunate to spend with the Eikenaar’s, it was blindingly obvious he held each one of you in the highest regard. His intellect was inspiring, with hindsight, if not at the time.
    May he find peace. Please know my thoughts are with you all.

  • karen christensen says:

    I’m sorry to hear of your father’s/husband’s passing. Mr. Eikenaar was one of my favorite teachers in high school. I had him during 1980-84. He was a great teacher, he influenced me towards a career in art and culture. His lectures on history and art were expansive and I will never forget him. Nor will I forget the time he caught me sticking my chewing gum under my chair… he got me good for that one (but I never did that again!). I lost my mum a few years ago from cancer. It is a terrible disease, and it takes too many of the good ones. xo Karen Christensen

  • Ross Gilbert says:

    As a Mt. Boucherie grad from 1990, I had Rob as a teacher for a number of classes. My favourite was a European History seminar class. Rob was fantastic and really let us get into the subject while providing a great overview and structure. I didn’t take another course like that until my 3rd year at university. A fun teacher who also commanded the room. I can never hear a Rod Stewart song without thinking about him. I’m thankful for having been one of his students.

  • Leslie Pugh-Ogren says:

    Mrs Eikenaar and family, I am so very sorry to hear of Mr Eikenaar’s illness and passing. A true loss of a wonderful gentle man. He was one of those high school teachers one never forgets. He was delightfully energetic, and seemed to enjoy the company of teenagers. His laugh was actually a giggle- so funny and infectious. I will never forget it….and 1977 was a while ago. We were the second graduating class of MBSS. History/government was wonderful. We would challenge Mr Castle’s class as governing parties facing the opposition. We delighted in thumping our desks (as the real politicians did) with the odd “Here, here!” We were ridiculous,… and had loads of fun. I have so many great memories. Mr Eikenaar is a prominent, and fond one. I am very sorry for your loss.

  • Heidi Tovstiga-Glanz says:

    My deepest sympathy to the Eikenaar family – my thoughts are with you. May the many memories you carry in your heart comfort you during this time. Rob Eikenaar was a wonderful teacher. His dynamic energy, great sense of humour and passion for teaching left a mark on countless students. I was privileged to be one of them. He will be greatly missed.

  • Jessica Whitworth ( Bacon) says:

    To the Eikenaar family,

    ‘Mr Eikenaar’ taught me History in the late 90’s and he is amongst one of my favourite teachers from Mt Boucherie. I am also a teacher myself now, living in Australia and teaching History. I often wonder if I am communicating my message to my students as well as he did for us. I am truely sorry for you loss. He left a wonderful legacy.


  • Lisa Smith says:

    I was lucky to be a student in several of Mr. Eikenaar’s classes (’94-’99) and I still recall his sense of humour, his intelligence, and thoughtfulness. Sending my sincere condolences to all the family; may you be surrounded by peace and beautiful memories in this difficult time.

  • Emily Farraway says:

    Mr. Eikenaar was one of the best teachers at Mount Boucherie Secondary School. The classes he taught were my favourite because he had a great sense of humour and he made learning world history fun. It saddens me greatly that another great person has lost to cancer. My condolences to all of his family.

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of Mr. Eikenaar’s passing. I received the very first humanities award in his name in 2004 (the year he retired and I graduated). What a wonderful and inspiring teacher he was!

  • Nikki Reid says:

    My deepest condolences to his family. He was by far one of my favorite teachers I’ve ever had and I will always remember his kindness and wonderful sense of humour.

  • Drexl Family says:

    Our sympathy to your family from the Drexls Rudi, Sue ,Erika and Simon

  • Tracy Hansford says:

    I was so saddened to read the news of Mr. Eikenaar’s passing. Though I never had the experience of being taught by him, I was lucky enough to know him as the father of my teammate and friends. Over the years, our paths crossed again several times, professionally before his retirement and then as he helped me pick out the “perfect” plants for my garden, telling my sons stories about how we knew each other.
    My sincerest condolences are with you all in this sad time and I hope that all the wonderful memories you have made together over the years help to comfort you.

  • Deborah Guthrie says:

    Ruby and family, I am so sorry to hear of Rob’s passing. Rob was a member of the Habitat of Humanity Board of Directors and his insight, his ability to look to the future, see the whole picture and what the Habitat organization could be in the Okanagan Valley helped shape who are today. Rob’s dedication contributed to providing homes for 34 Okanagan families. We missed Rob when he stepped down from our board and we still feel this loss today. Rob’s good humour made us laugh and his thoughtfulness made us a better community. I am so glad I was given the opportunity to know Rob. Such a very nice man. He will be missed by all of us at Habitat Okanagan. Thanks, Rob.

  • Harri Henschler says:

    Rob was a good friend and colleague at various Habitat for Humanity building projects and its Board of Directors.
    He has been greatly missed after he was forced to leave the organization, but he continued to have a deep interest in its progress.
    It was always a sincere pleasure to update him on its developments over a cup of coffee – even decaf.

  • Robyn Springer (Atwell) says:

    Hello Eikenaar family,
    Very sad to see Rob’s obituary in the paper. I remember him fondly on the soccer field and hearing his English accent calling out. A few weeks ago I saw Jannik reffing a Heat volleyball game and smiled as he reminds me so much of Rob. Sending love to all of you.

  • Nick Sawisky says:

    I don’t know how to start this and I certainly don’t know how to finish this. I was lucky enough to be in several of Mr Eikenaar’s classes during my time at Mt B during the late 90s, namely history and comparitive civilizations. I can say in all honesty that the classes I had with him were the best memories I had during my entire high school experience.
    Learning about his death broke my heart, I always remembered him as a gentle, thoughtful, and always funny soul who would not tolerate any BS of any sort in his classes. I very much wish I knew him better as I always thought he was one of the most fascinating people I ever had the fortune of meeting. My thoughts are with all of you at this time, and if there is anything I could do to help please let me know. My favourite teacher gone now for ever. Mr. Eikenaar, thank you so much for your instruction and patience over the years. May you rest in peace.

  • Corinna Mulyk (Paterson) says:

    My sincere condolences to the family on the passing of such a remarkable man. It was a privilege to have been given the opportunity to learn from him at Mount Boucherie and enjoy the wit and infectious enthusiasm he brought with him to work each day. He was truly one of the best teachers I ever had. I believe the greatest testament of a life well spent is the number of lives you touch, and Mr. Eikenaar helped shape the lives and futures of many. Thank you for sharing him with us. He was most definitely a leader worth following.

  • Ryan and Kerry Harvey says:

    To the Eikenaars
    We are sorry to hear about your loss and we send love and comfort to your entire family.

  • Shirley Hall says:

    Dear Ruby and Family. Our sincere condolences on the passing of Rob. He was a good soccer coach and taught many a young boy discipline and soccer skills which they carried all their lives and now are teaching their own children.
    Sincerely,Shirley, Dennis and Steve Hall

  • Geoff Fullerton says:

    Mrs Eikenaar, Jannik, Mieke, Jari and family; I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I have a lot of memories of Mr Eikenaar, all the way back from playing soccer as a very little kid (it wasn’t his fault – I was uncoachable) through European History and Western Civ classes in high school. He was one of the very best teachers I ever knew. Passionate, inspired, always setting a high standard. I still pronounce /w/ as “wubble-you”. Even more than that, though, he was my friend’s father, and I spent a lot of time in my teens with your family. Lot of memories. I can see by reading these messages here that Mr E had an impact on, and was respected by, a lot of people. I’m fortunate to have been one. My sincere condolences to all of you.

  • Nick Mansfield says:

    We are enormously shocked to hear the news of Rob’s death and send deepest sympathy to Ruby and the family.

    I studied with Rob at Manchester University (UK) between 1970 and 1973. As a mature student then, Rob was incredibly kind to me and other younger colleagues, bringing a sense of stability to those of us trying to find our feet in the big city, away from home for the first time. He was the inspiring skipper of the newly founded Politics and Modern History football (soccer) team and led us to a few famous victories. Rob and Ruby also hosted slightly raucous parties to view the international football matches on an old black and white TV in their flat in Whalley Range.

    We’ve kept in touch over the decades and shared pride and gladness in our families and friends. The Eikeenars visited us in the UK a few times; when we lived in Norfolk and Manchester and on one memorable occasion they visited our seaside holiday let in St David’s, Pembrokshire (See attached picture). It was lovely to see over the years Rob and Ruby’s children growing up into such fine young people.

    We are very sad that Rob has died and give our condolences to Ruby, children and grandchildren. He will be remembered for his many good deeds and kindnesses.

    All the best
    Nick and Julia Mansfield (Manchester, England)

  • Gwyn Jones (Abraham) says:

    Dear Ruby and family
    What a shock to discover today that Rob had passed away last year. I was sorting through lots of papers in anticipation of us moving house soon and found some correspondence from Rob dating back many years after you moved to Canada and thought I would google you, little thinking that I would discover this news.
    I was never the best at keeping in touch so think I am to blame for the huge gap in contact in intervening years. I remember you both well and can echo the comments made by the Mansfields above although I didn’t know them in Manchester. I was so sorry to read this news and miss the opportunity to make contact with him again. My sincere condolences to you and all your family. Xx

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