We Remember


A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 11:00 am, at Kelowna Christian Center, 905 Badke Rd, Kelowna, BC.

It is with immense love and sadness that the family of Robert “Rob” Wickenheiser announce his sudden passing. He went to be with the Lord on February 18, 2021 at the age of 58. Robert was born, raised, and lived in Kelowna, BC.

Robert will be deeply missed by his wife Lenora and his extended family: brothers Ed (Patty), John, Doug (Donna), Arthur (Angel); sisters Cindy and Diane (Darry); mother-in-law Myrna; father-in-law Joe; brothers-in-law Kelly and Nolan (Pat); as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and many friends. He was predeceased by his daughter Emily, parents Peter and Elsie, and brothers George and Peter.

Robert was a kind, compassionate, generous person; always giving of his time and never missed an opportunity to help someone. He was dedicated to his family and was a well respected, active member of his church and community.

Robert grew up in the middle of a family of 9 with 5 older brothers, one younger brother, and 2 younger sisters. He is remembered as being a joker, always getting into mischief, and making his family laugh at his antics or misguided adventures.

Robert met his wife Lenora in 1983 at a Kelowna Regatta. They were married in 1984 and together raised a lovely and amazing daughter, Emily. For Robert, God and family came first above all else. Rob could always be counted on to be there; never hesitating if you needed him. He provided for his family as a safe, reliable delivery driver for several businesses in the Okanagan.

Over the years, Robert enjoyed many outdoor activities including: cycling, teaching archery, hunting, fishing, snowshoeing, gardening, and vacationing. He was active in his church; he assisted with Sunday services and other church activities, and maintained his spiritual connections through his weekly men’s group meetings. He always seemed to be volunteering his time, whether to help someone fix a vehicle, offering rides, teaching a skill, or helping friends and others to move homes. He was very social and can be described as one of a few people who could strike up a conversation with anyone and chat at great length.

For all of their care and compassion during a very difficult time, Robert’s family would like to thank the amazing care teams who attended him, including: the paramedics, ER staff, ICU staff, and BC Transplant team.

If you wish to donate money in Robert’s name, please consider the ICU units at Kelowna General Hospital or the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

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

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ICU units at Kelowna General Hospital or the Heart and Stroke Foundation  Link: www.kghfoundation.com, www.heartandstroke.ca




  • Marc says:

    Robert was one of a kind, I have never met a person who would do no wrong and always see the bright side of any problem. I will never forget your kindness and understanding.

  • MP Tracy Gray says:

    I am very sorry for your loss and wish your family strength during this difficult time.
    Tracy Gray, Member of Parliament, Kelowna – Lake Country

  • Peter Fedak says:

    Thank you Lenora for sharing Rob with us. I pray that God’s peace is with you at this time.

  • Carole Cyr says:

    So sorry for your loss. I remember Robert coming to Sutherland Hills Rest home to see his mom almost every night. He was such a nice man . Well I want to give my condolences . Carole Cyr

  • Joyce Rechel says:

    Rob was a warm, wonderful person. You will be remembered always and missed by family and friends. Enjoy Jesus!

  • Randy and Sandra Zahara says:

    This long good-bye is for a childhood friend, Hooterville Hog teammate, neighborhood funny-guy, Ring-Around-The-Wiener-Pole Champion, and all-round good person, Robert Wickenheiser, or as we called all the Wickenheiser boys, “Wicki”, or for Rob, it was sometimes just “Wick”, maybe because he was a little shorter than his brothers, I’m not sure. Long before Wikipedia, Wick was a source of great knowledge and trivia! I remember spending hours hanging out with him on the short, dead-end, dusty street we grew up on, “Parsons’ Rd”.
    Each summer back then held enough memories to fill a lifetime.
    The Wickenheiser’s, with their 9 children, a mother who really was “The salt of the earth” (as well as one of the most gentle and loving people on the planet), lived in a house near the middle of the neighborhood. Their house was just a single story three bedroom bungalow, but, they made it work for their 7 boys and 2 girls, and often a neighborhood kid or two. With their yard, backing on to Mission Creek, just like my parents place did, meant that each spring our yards got flooded, and each night we would be seranaded by a chorus of frogs looking for a mate, or just wanting to hear the sound of their own voice in the darkness. By early June the flood waters of the creek had subsided and during the summer it turned into a giant swimming hole for the entire neighborhood. Robert, if he wasn’t riding his bike, playing touch football or ball hockey, or squatting on his haunches three feet in front of his Parents’ TV watching Bonanza or Saturday Morning Cartoons, would be found either swimming, bombing “water skeeters”, collecting rocks or fishing in Mission Creek.
    During those hot summer days the kids of the neighborhood, the Wickenheiser’s, the Grison’s, Neighum’s, Tuckers, Beaton’s, Halter’s and of course, the Basaraba’s and Zahara’s, (and when Robert was really young), the Kozub’s, Dalmond’s, Schwartzes’, and Taschucks, could be found playing Monopoly, or Stock-ticker, or with their Hot-wheel cars and tracks, or with their troups of green and grey Army Men in the temperate shade of the giant willows that grew in some of the yards next to the creek, or in home-made tents designed from cardboard and old worn, almost see-through threadbare sheets. Robert always had a knack for designing the most elaborate and unstable of these tents, some even containing multiple rooms and flooring made of discarded carpet or old sofa cushions. At night the little kids would stay home, but the older children would get together to walk up and down the road, sometimes wandering as far as the first corner on Spiers Rd, just past Heimlich Rd, which, if you walked all the way to the end of it, and were brave enough to cut through the Wigglesworth property in the dark, where supposedly a giant and viscious German Shepherd lived, you could get onto the gravel levy of Mission Creek and hike upstream back to Parsons Rd.
    When we got tired walking, and sitting and of doing nothing someone would often suggest a game of Ring Around The Wiener Pole, which Robert loved.
    If you have never played this game, it is much the same as Hide And Seek, but, before you start counting, while everyone else hides, you have a chance to get out of your duty as seeker and leave someone else stuck with that task. To do this, you have to guess “Who poked the wiener in”.
    Each round starts with whoever was caught first in the previous round putting their hands over their eyes and leaning forward onto the side of a house or a telephone pole, or any tall and strong enough surface.
    The person who is “It” is surrounded by the rest of the players who are all within an arms length of the “it” persons back. As soon as the “it” person closes their eyes the rest of the players sing, “Ring Around The Wiener Pole, Who Poked the Wiener in”, (or some variation of those words). While the singing is performed one of the players continues to draw a circle on the “It” players back, then, as soon as the song ends, someone, at random, pokes their finger into the middle of the imaginary circle that had been drawn. If the “It” person guesses correctly, then the “Finger Poker” has to do whatever acts the “It” person had outlined, such as, running to the next neighbor’s driveway and back, and then counting to 50 before starting searching for the rest of the group who would already be busy scurrying away, looking for the best hiding spot they could find.
    I have gone into a lot of detail about this because this is the neighborhood that Robert was raised in, and he loved playing Ring Around The Wiener Pole. I have a very clear memory of his face, beaming, with his large eyes wide open behind those pop-bottle thick glasses, finger poised, hovering, ready to poke, and then making the jab. Anyone who knew the game, and who knew Robert, could always tell when he was the “poker” because he loved to poke so hard it seemed as though he was trying to impale you with his finger, and, if you were “It”, when you turned around to face your pool of known assailants, Robert’s face would be the one with the devilish-impish expression, straining with the effort of holding back the high-pitched snorting bellow that was his laugh.
    That is the Robert I grew up with and loved! A care-free, fun, funny, mischievous, loving, honest and caring person who had a ton of energy and was always willing to go the extra mile to help someone else.
    As young adults a lot of us from the same neighborhood also played on a mixed softball team, the Hooterville Hogs. Robert often played Centre Field, or first base. He was the kind of athlete that had the ability to look like he was running a million miles an hour while covering very little ground, and some of the catches he made, which could have been made by his brother Art with one or two steps and his eyes shut, Robert made look like they should be on the TSN weekly highlight reel.
    He is still the only fielder that I have played with who would dive and roll after he had already made the catch. I especially loved the way he ran bases, we tried, many times, to teach him how to slide, but, for some reason he would sprint from base to base and then, when the slide should have started, he would curl himself into a tight ball of Wicki-flesh, like a human Armadillo, and cannonball himself sideways into the upcoming base. It is amazing that he never seriously injured himself doing this, but, unfortunately, I think he did accidentally injure the leg of a second base woman during one of our games.
    Sadly, as we got older and started families of our own we all drifted further and further apart, and it breaks my heart to find out that Robert passed away almost a month ago now, yet we only heard about it yesterday. This last year has been a tough one for all of us, but, we all need to try a little harder to try to keep up with what is happening in our lives, and to try to keep the memories of our youth alive as long as possible, as that is the only place we can still find some of the people we loved the most as we were growing up.
    Once it is safe to get together I am proposing a quarterly (once each three months) lunch at McCulloch Stn. Pub (or any other local eatery) for all the old Parsons rd. Gang. Anyone who wants to come is welcome to show up, including spouses and children. Let’s tentatively set the first date for Saturday October 16 at 12 noon. If Covid permits, we could do something sooner, or maybe we will need to delay it, but, to have something to shoot for let’s put Oct. 16 into our calendars. If you plan to come, please let me know at thezaharas@shaw.ca so I can make reservations, just in case there are very many of us. Hope to see some of you there!

  • Shawn Bird says:

    . How well I remember the day Rob came up to Lenora and me at our booth at the Regatta, to charm us with his laughing eyes and bright smile. No surprise when a year later the joyful face was reflected in wedding photos.
    Rob was the calmest man I’ve known. How many kids did Rob teach to drive? He even let me drive his old multi-coloured Toyota pick-up once. I can attest to his unflappable nature with new drivers, because he didn’t scream at all when I took the corner of Benvoulin and Springfield on 2 wheels, at 50 km/h. He just calmly pointed out his speedometer was in miles, so I needed to slow down, as he pulled his fingers out of the dints he’d made in his door handle.
    . When my kid made the move to the big city for university, how pleased I was that she was safe under Rob and Lenora’s roof, with the kindest, most considerate landlords she could ask for.
    . Though we didn’t live in town, he would regularly call to chat with John about the latest cars or innovations in bikes. Whenever we were in Kelowna, a guys trip to the auto dealerships to debate engines and body types was routine.
    . Rob was unfailingly kind. He seemed to get along with everyone. He always had a story and a smile. He set the world to rights by his presence. I am not surprised that he made provisions to share his body after death with those who needed miracles of healing. Rob was always and ever a blessing to others.
    . It is a great comfort to know that Emily is now looking into her daddy’s twinkling eyes, but we’re sure going to miss that sparkle here on Earth. Rob, you were one in a million. Thanks for being our friend.

  • Jody Kirschner & Brent Healy says:

    We were so sad to hear of Roberts passing. It was an awful day watching the paramedics next door. We will truly miss Robert as our neighbor. He was very funny and knowledgeable. He was always willing to help out or water our flowers. Robert was too young to have passed away. He had so many dreams of a new truck and wanting to go camping and fishing. We will miss you. We wish the family our condolences. Take care Lenora and Joe and know we are just next door if you need any help.

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