We Remember

RUSSELL, Robert (Bob)

It is with great sadness that we announce Robert (Bob) Russell passed away on December 25, 2014 at the age of 83 years.  He is survived by his daughter Sandra Cooke, his granddaughter Tara, his sister in law Donna Russell, his nephew Roger Russell (and family) as well as extended family in BC, Alberta and Ontario.  Bob was sadly predeceased by his wife Patricia in 2006 and his brother Leslie in 2010.


Bob was born in 1931 in Jacquet River, New Brunswick to very humble beginnings. His early life was exceedingly difficult but helped to form the hard working, compassionate man he would later become in life. 


Bob moved to BC at age 19, working in Vancouver before settling in Kelowna. A carpenter by trade, Bob worked on several major dam projects in BC and Manitoba, including the Revelstoke Dam, the Mica Dam and the Limestone Dam. 


Although it appeared Bob was a confirmed bachelor, he met his future wife, Patricia at age 47. They married three years later in 1981 with Pat’s daughter, Sandra standing as a bridesmaid.  Relatives remember 13 year old Sandra weeping tears of joy after the wedding, knowing she finally had a dad to call her own. Bob legally adopted Sandra in 1986, confirming his own deep desire to make it official.


For leisure, Bob and Pat enjoyed camping, often enjoying family holidays at Mara Lake and Mable Lake. Bob also enjoyed fishing and could often be found on a Sunday afternoon at Postil Lake enjoying the solitude fishing afforded him. Occasionally he had to share his little fishing boat with a grounded and sulking  teenage Sandra, who did not quite share the same passion.


Bob was an active member of the Okanagan Chapter of the Old Time Fiddlers. In years previous Bob competed in several fiddling competitions, often winning top prizes for his musical ability.  Self taught on the fiddle, Bob played by ear, never having had the opportunity to learn to read music.


In 1996, Bob waged a valiant battle against cancer overcoming bleak odds, which afforded him another 18 years of active life. Bob could often be found on Monday evenings playing his fiddle at the Kelowna Cancer Lodge, offering entertainment to people who found themselves sharing the same battle he had. It was his way of giving back.


Bob also enjoyed gardening, and in the past few years created a community garden in his side yard, sharing the space with several other seniors who shared his passion for tomatoes, peas, cucumbers and radishes. Bob shared the rewards of his efforts with neighbours, who then repaid his kindness by shovelling his driveway or taking out his garbage for him when such activities became more difficult.


At the end, Bob accepted his terminal diagnosis with the quiet dignity in which he lived his life. He will be sadly missed by his family, close friend Al Chretien and his faithful dog Leo. 


A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Kelowna SPCA, www.spca.bc.ca or the Canadian Red Cross, www.redcross.ca .  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.”

A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.

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Kelowna SPCA, www.spca.bc.ca or the Canadian Red Cross, www.redcross.ca . Link: www.spca.bc.ca , www.redcross.ca


Service Information

Service Details

The service for RUSSELL, Robert (Bob) is scheduled for A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

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  • Kathy Audy says:

    This really brought back memories of our teenage years and Bob’s quiet strength. I remember the way he could just say your name to diffuse a situation. Or the way he would hug me, not quite sure what to do with those long arms but with every bit of his heart in it. Thank you for the music Bob.

  • Nicole Petrie says:

    I am saddend by the loss of my uncle bob. I have many fond memories of him growing up. There are too many to mention but there are a few I will. His love of violin was mentioned above. In his basement above his tv he had 4 little violins on the wall (decorations). I remember visiting my aunt and uncle as a little girl and he would take them off the wall and let me play with them. I would pretend to play them as he played his violin for me. Another fond memory is when I was about 6. He gave me my first violin. I remember that he showed me how to play “twinkle twinkle little star,” it likely did not sound very good when I played it, but I remember him being so happy for me and in turn me being excited that I could play just like him. My condolences go out to sandy and Tara ; as well as anyone else who knew him. May peace be with everyone as we remember him.

  • Vic Ukrainetz says:

    I know Bob as a kind gentle person that had a great passion for fiddle music .
    I will always remember Bob for his knowledge of the down East Don Messer fiddle music.
    His dedication to the Monday entertainment at the Cancer Centre.


    So sorry to hear of Bobs passing.May all of the happy memories of youre Dad bring youre family, joy and laughter as well as tears. I PLAYED back up piano for Bob for a number of years at the cancer clinic in Kelowna. He could sure play that fiddle Irene donison

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