In Memory of




Obituary for Robert Grigg MacDonald

Peacefully, at his long-time home. Survived by his three sons Robert (Lisa), Keith, and Kenneth (Yvonne), his grandchildren Alistair and Kathleen, and his partner Susan. Predeceased by Merle, his wife of 49 years, and his one sibling, Mary. The funeral will be at West Vancouver United Church (in the chapel), at 2062 Esquimalt Avenue, West Vancouver, B.C. V7V 1S4 on Friday, December 8 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to charities are encouraged.

Bob was born to Norman and Virginia MacDonald in Vancouver and grew up there, attending school at McGee and Point Grey in Kerrisdale. From his summer jobs in logging camps came lifelong friendships and memories; he often reminisced about them over the years. He graduated from UBC’s School of Engineering (Mechanical) in 1949, and went to work in Vancouver as a sales engineer at General Equipment, which supplied heating, cooling and ventilating equipment for commercial buildings. He married Merle in 1953 and started his family a few years later. First came Rob in 1959, then the twins Keith and Ken a year and a half later. He gave all his children a happy childhood, involved them in a wide array of extracurricular and community activities, encouraged their educational achievements, and in general prepared them well for life.

He loved the outdoors – hiking, bicycling and swimming in particular – and travelled abroad with Merle in later years to Alaska, Europe and South America. He bicycled regularly right up until his 97th year.

He was a skilled craftsman. For examples he designed the family home in North Vancouver, and a later addition, and then he designed and built a tree house for the boys in the backyard. Next, he built his cottage (and later an out-building) at Post Creek in the Chilliwack River Valley, where many family weekends were spent and many happy memories were made. After Merle’s mum died he renovated her house. He built a model train for his children one Christmas. He was also a skilled mechanic. He kept Merle’s 1957 Volkswagen Beetle running smoothly for at least three decades. He even replaced its engine, which involved constructing a gantry with pulleys and chains, all in the backyard with only the boys to help. He also replaced the engine in his mother’s Morris Minor. He kept everything – cars, furnaces, lawnmowers, you name it – running well.

After Merle’s untimely passing in 2003, Bob volunteered as a driver for cancer patients to go to medical appointments. After about five years he met Susan, and she became the new light of his life. They joined the Silver Harbour Seniors’ Activity Centre, where they attended various events such as dinner dances. They enjoyed trips to the cabin, and to Cultus Lake for swimming. With Susan, Keith, Ken and Yvonne he took other trips to Vancouver Island, Harrison Hot Springs, and the Sunshine Coast. Susan stayed by his side and was a great comfort to him for the rest of his life.

He will be sorely missed.