Remembering Bob Stone

About the life of Robert Edward Stone

Bob Stone was husband to Edie, father to Becky, Barb and Dave, brother to Jack and grandfather to Christopher, Caitlin, Michael, Andrew, Matthew, Meaghan, Laurel, Jonathan, Justin and Zoe — and friend to many.

Robert Edward Stone was born in Niagara Falls in 1931, on April 21, to Charles Robert and Evelyn Atack Stone.

He grew up in Niagara Falls with his younger brother Jack, who looked up to his big brother the football quarterback and loved the time they spent together, whether it was Bob helping him read the comics or the two boys making spaghetti when their parents were out. Bob was Jack’s scout leader, and even let his brother tag along on hikes with girlfriends (of which there were quite a few). When Jack was married, Bob was his best man.

Bob went to high school in Niagara Falls, then to McMaster University for two years, followed by three years at the University of Toronto, where he graduated with a BASc in engineering and business in 1957. While at school, he developed a lifelong passion for Swiss Chalet chicken and met the woman who would be his bride (not necessarily in that order).

Engineers and nurses go together like Scotch and water, so Bob and Edie were probably destined to be together. And since love is blind, it’s fitting that they met on a blind date, arranged by Bob and Edie for a group of fellow engineers and nurses. The other members of the group paired up and left Bob and Edie together. “I thought he was wonderful,” says Edie. “He was kind and gentle, and he treated me like a real lady.”

The night they met, Bob said he loved her. “That was the first time someone came out right from their heart and told me they loved me,” says Edie. But Bob didn’t call for months, and Edie started dating other people. Finally, she got a message from him, and her heart started pounding all over again. She found out later he had been dating someone else and it took him that long to break off their relationship so he could be with Edie. In other words, Bob engineered his way into Edie’s heart.

The two married in 1957 in Bradford, with lilies of the valley that Edie and her sisters picked from the graveyard near their house. Bob worked for H.G. Acres in Niagara Falls for five years, and during that time his son Dave (1959) and his eldest daughter Rebecca (1960) were born. At one point, they lived in northern Quebec in a one-room trailer, and Edie learned how to fry onions in garlic when she saw Bob heading home, so it smelled like something good was on the stove for dinner.

Bob went to Northern Electric in Toronto for four years, and his second daughter Barbara (1963) joined the family. In 1966, Bob and Edie bought a small cottage near Gravenhurst that became their refuge for the next 40 years. They expanded it into a summer home, as Bob built a sleeping cabin and a sauna and workshop. The bay was used for mudpie making and volleyball games and the raft was the scene of many play fights, while the loft provided room for heaps of sleeping grandchildren.

Bob’s time at Northern Electric was followed by six years at Ferranti-Packard, then five years at S&C Electric in Toronto and finally a job at Superior Electric, where he stayed for 18 years and became manager of the Canadian division. During their time in Toronto, the family made many lasting friends, including the Fennings and the Lawsons and the Schwasses in Etobicoke and the Adams, Crossmans and Kerrs in Thornhill, where Bob helped run the Pegasus investment club.

Bob retired in 1994, and he and Edie moved to Muskoka to live full-time. In later years, they split their time between the cottage and a retirement home in Florida, where Bob’s calendar seemed even more packed with things to do than it was when he was working full-time. Bob spent many wonderful days with his children and grandchildren swimming in the ocean, collecting shark’s teeth and watching the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico.

Bob was many things to many people: a loving son to his mother and father, a teacher and role model to his kid brother Jack, and a devoted husband and faithful support to his beloved wife Edie; to his son and daughters he was a wise and patient father, friend and hockey coach; to his sons-in-law and daughter-in-law he was a second father and friend, and to his 10 grandchildren he was their loving Poppa. To just about anyone who knew him or came in contact with him, he was a loyal friend.

At his 75th birthday party in April, Bob read a nursery rhyme about how Monday’s child is fair of face and Tuesday’s child is full of grace, and noted that he was born on a Tuesday. “I hardly think that I’m full of grace,” he said, “but I am full of gratitude — for my wonderful wife, Edie and my three beautiful children, David, Becky and Barbara. I’m grateful for my lovely daughter-in-law Jennifer and my two stalwart sons-in-law Steve and Mathew. God has blessed me with 10 beautiful grandchildren and I love each and every one of them and am fortunate to be loved in return. I have been truly blessed and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Well said, Bob. We thank God for letting us have you for so long. We are all the better for it.


1 Comment »

  1. […] 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 program profile can be found on the About page of this website, which you can get to by clicking here (a longer version with more details from Edie will be coming soon). […]

    Pingback by Remembering Bob Stone » Bob’s funeral and tributes — August 10, 2006 @ 11:14 pm

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