Remembering Bob Stone

August 10, 2006

Bob’s funeral and tributes

Filed under: Bob — rememberingbob @ 11:14 pm

Although it was difficult dealing with Bob’s death so soon after he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, his wife Edie and children Dave, Becky and Barb quickly took charge of making arrangements for a visitation at Cavill Funeral Home in Gravenhurst on Friday, July 21 of 2006 and then a funeral service at St. James Anglican Church on the following day. Both were attended by hundreds of Bob’s friends and extended family members from across Canada and the United States.

Dave’s wife Jennifer and daughter Barb spent hours putting together photo displays of Bob (see below for a photo slideshow) that stood by the urn in the funeral home, and Mathew and Dave put together a program for the funeral service that included the words to the hymns that were sung and a profile/biography of Bob that Mathew wrote based on conversations with Edie, Bob’s brother Jack, the grandchildren and others (a PDF file of the program can be found here). The profile/biography can be found on the About page of this website, and more memories from Edie are collected in a post further down on this page.

(For more about the funeral click the word “more” below)

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Edie’s memories of Bob

Filed under: Bob — rememberingbob @ 11:10 pm

I remember going to the “tea dances” after the football games at U of T, I used to arrange to get off work to go to them; Dave Williams danced with me, and he had a little black book with all the girls’ names in there, and he put mine in there. About two weeks later he asked me out, and I thought he was quite nice but he didn’t call me back. That was in the fall of 1954. In early January, I got a call from Bob Stone, who said his frat brother Dave Williams had given him my name and number, and was looking for girls who would go on blind dates. All the other guys got hooked up with other girls, until the only couple left was Bob and I. Gord came in his old Hudson with Bob to pick us up, and we went and had a grand time.

I quite liked Bob when I saw him. It was raining, and I had to sit on Bob’s knee in the car because there wasn’t room for me to sit anywhere else. He had a scar on his nose from a car accident he had in Syracuse, and had a lump on it — I tried to pick it off because I thought it was a raindrop. I thought he was wonderful — kind and gentle, and he treated me like a lady. He told me he loved me. That was the first time someone came out right from their heart and told me they loved me. It was one of those things where you just clicked. I was quite smitten, but he didn’t call, and didn’t call, so I started dating other people. Finally in September, I was doing a stint working, and a call came to call Bob Stone. I was so excited, I called him back and we played phone tag; then set up a date and from them on continued to date.

I never knew why he didn’t call me for a long, long time. Then his mother told me later that he was going out with someone else at the time. We always talked about getting married — I don’t remember a formal proposal but at one point he asked to marry me and I said yes. I told him I didn’t want a ring but he went to his dad and borrowed $500 to buy a ring at Birk’s. He worked at Akers and I was working at Toronto General, and we got married in 1957. We decided to do it as simply and cheaply as possible, so went to the Riverside Inn in Bradford for our reception, and picked our own lily of the valley from the graveyard on the edge of our property.

(For more of Edie’s memories, click the word “more” below)

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Jack’s memories of his big brother

Filed under: Bob — rememberingbob @ 11:08 pm

He was just under eight years older. He was a natural teacher — he knew that if it was fun that you would learn. That carried right through to when he taught the kids Power Squadron. He was my Baloo in cubs. He was always fun to do things with. He loved to hike — he would even take me on outings with his girlfriends, hiking along Niagara Glen. He took me to visit a girlfriend in Simcoe area, and we hitchhiked (he taught me how to hitchhike). He taught me how to play poker. He read the comics with me every week, so he effectively taught me how to read. I remember making spaghetti with him when our mum and dad were out, and we would go through the spice rack and pick out different ones that we thought would make a good meal — it was always a learning experience.

He taught in Sunday school. He had lots of girlfriends — he had a charm, very affable, and he could really chat up the ladies. It served him very well when he became a sales rep.He was inclined to be an engineer — but he liked to build more than to take apart. He built balsawood and paper airplanes from World War Two, like the British Spitfire that hung from the ceiling of our bedroom which we shared. I looked up to him a lot — immensely. He played football in high school (quarterback), and was in the theatre too. At McMaster he was in the chorus of Mikado, the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta. He coached hockey for years too, Dave included.

Dave’s eulogy

Filed under: Bob — rememberingbob @ 11:03 pm

He was born Robert Edward Stone, but he was Bobby, then he was a brother aka Slug. He was Akela at 17 and then he was a husband, forever Mom’s My Bob. He was a father; he was Daddy and then Dad. He was Stoney to the hockey team and he was Shithead to his good friend Jack Lawson’s Turdface. He was a proud grandfather and he was Poppa. He was and always will be Bob.

My Dad was a great man with many outstanding traits that endeared us kids to him.
He was kind and gentle
Understanding and compassionate
Loving, nurturing and patient
But most of all, he was a teacher, who instilled morals and values in us kids by leading through example.

Dad was playful and quick to laugh and see the humour in things

Barb spilt milk on the floor in Dunsany and when Dad roared into the kitchen to properly chastise the offending party, Barb piped up “Don’t cry over spilt milk” and all was immediately forgotten and forgiven in tears of laughter over simple accident.

Dad could turn the mundane into special event. A simple task such as doing the dishes with Becky would turn into renditions of The Mikado or the Pirates of Penzance or any Gilbert and Sullivan musical and if they ran out of material it would be Monty Python skits like “We are the knights who say Ni!”

(for more of Dave’s eulogy, click the word “more” below)

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Mathew’s eulogy

Filed under: Bob — rememberingbob @ 11:02 pm

Like a lot of people who say things at funerals, I guess I wanted to do this so that I could tell Bob some of the things I should have told him when he was alive, but never got a chance to say. Somehow it never seemed like the right time, and now it’s too late. I should have made more of an effort, but I thought that I had plenty of time, and of course I was wrong.

I remember talking with Bob years ago, around the time he retired, and he was sort of looking back on his life and his career, and he seemed to feel that he hadn’t accomplished as much as he should have. I think he felt that he could have provided more for his family, that he and Edie weren’t able to go on as many trips as they wanted to, and that sort of thing. In other words, he seemed to be questioning whether he had been a success or not.

This is what I should have said to him: Bob, that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. You are as successful a man as I have ever met. You have been a wonderful husband and a terrific father and a great friend to so many people, me included. You have raised three wonderful children, who in turn have gone on to become wonderful husbands and wives, parents and friends. If that isn’t success, then I don’t know what is.

In school, we learn about so-called “great men” like George Washington and Winston Churchill, men who founded countries or fought great wars. Bob didn’t start a country or fight a war, but I would argue that he was still a great man, in the sense that he was a great human being. He was as faithful a friend as anyone could have wanted, and he was a great father — generous and kind, firm when he needed to be but also forgiving.

More than anything else, Bob was the kind of man who enjoyed people and enjoyed life, regardless of what it brought. Even during his final moments, you could tell he was happy to be with Edie and Becky and Barb and Dave, despite the fact that he was in the hospital hooked up to all kinds of tubes.

And so I think that Bob left this earth a happy and successful man. In other words, a great man.

Michael’s reading

Filed under: Bob — rememberingbob @ 11:01 pm

Ruth 1:16 and 17, King James

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go: and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people and thy God my God; and where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried; the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

Caitlin’s reading

Filed under: Bob — rememberingbob @ 11:00 pm

The Gospel according to Matthew, 5:1 to 5:12

And seeing the multitudes, he went up onto a mountain and when he was set his disciples came unto him, and he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven;

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted;

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth;

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled;

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy;

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God;

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God;

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven;

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake;

Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you

Christopher’s reading

Filed under: Bob — rememberingbob @ 10:58 pm

The 23rd Psalm (King James)

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

A memorial from Thornhill Newcomers

Filed under: Bob — rememberingbob @ 10:48 pm

Bob Stone, a well-known and highly respected former resident of Thornhill, passed away on July 14th at the Rouge Valley Centenary Hospital in Toronto. Bob and Edie moved to Cricklewood in 1982 and stayed until Bob’s retirement in 1994, when they moved to their cottage in Gravenhurst. Edie spent a number of years on our Newcomers’ executive, and Bob was very involved as well. He was on the Men’s BBQ planning committee for many years and an enthusiastic participant of the Couples Dinner Group and the Theatre Group. He started the Men’s Investment Club, Pegasus, in April 1984 and was its first President, 1984-1985. Through the following years, he held many other positions on the Executive, as well as hosting (over a ten-year period) the September annual Investment Club Retreat and Golf Tournament at the Quarry. This event was looked forward to and enjoyed immensely by the members. Bob will be missed by all of us who knew him and our sympathy goes out to Edie, still an active member of Thornhill Newcomers.

A photo slideshow of Bob and family

Filed under: Bob — rememberingbob @ 10:48 pm

Bob loved being in Muskoka with Edie and his family, especially his 10 grandchildren, and he loved being out on the lake in various boats and working on the cottage that he and Dave and Mathew and Steve and various friends all helped turn into an all-season getaway over the years. He even loved it when all three families came up to stay with all their children for Thanksgiving, Easter or Christmas, even if things did get a little cozy at times. Below is a photo slideshow of Bob and his family and friends over the years — even some shots of Bob when he was in his twenties, and when the kids were little, and some of his trips abroad with Edie. If the slideshow doesn’t show up, click on this link.

If you have any photos of Bob that you would like to contribute to this website or add to a slideshow, please email them to mathew@mathewingram.com.

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