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Born: Dec 09, 1945

Date of Passing: May 15, 2019

Offer Condolences or Memory Make a donation to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation CancerCare Manitoba Foundation

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Bob was born December 9, 1945, in Gimli, MB. He passed away from glioblastoma on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.
His brother Ian, his father Ken and his mother Rawny predeceased him. Family left behind to mourn him include his wife Bernice Bowley; sister Sharon Coote; cousin Dean (and Heather) McDonald; nephew Ian Coote (Jeannette); niece Colleen Steidl (Garth); cousins, Tanner, Kaitlyn and Ava, Reed and Jodi; Bernice's family; and many close friends and respected colleagues.
Bob grew up in Pine Falls, MB. As a boy, he was intelligent and mischievous, troublesome with teachers, and ambitious and determined. He ran one of the largest paper routes in Manitoba, netted and sold minnows, gathered empty beer bottles along the roadside and pumped gas. As a youth, he worked in the paper mill, but knew he had other skills.
While excelling at baseball and most sports, Bob graduated with a B.A. from St. John's College in 1967. He considered a teaching career but decided he would be a lawyer. He graduated from the University of Manitoba law school in 1970, articled at Fillmore Riley LLP and was called to the Bar in 1971. Throughout his 48-year career at Fillmore Riley, he was a formidable insurance litigation lawyer, renowned for his insightful analysis, thorough preparation, brilliant and devastating cross examinations and absolute professionalism.
In 1975, Bob bought a cottage on Shoal Lake and found his paradise on earth. He fished, explored the lake system, fixed and renovated, and was always happy to host a social occasion. He was a competitive curler in his early years as a lawyer. As a testament to his work ethic and energy, he also managed to become a good golfer and golfed at Scotland's historic courses and many other famed courses. Watching golf and relaying all of the statistics for the last 60 years was an enjoyable pastime.
Bob and Bernice began our romantic relationship in August, 2001 and made each other happy. We married in August, 2011 and honeymooned at our favourite place, the cottage on Shoal Lake. Throughout our glorious time together, we enjoyed the company of family, great friends, fellow travellers and dogs. In recent years, he became my eternally patient golf instructor and coach.
Bob was joyful and enthusiastic about most things and committed and caring to those in his inner circle.
Sincere gratitude is owed to the many health care professionals who shepherded us through this struggle: Dr. Colin Kazina, the Health Sciences Centre neurosurgery ICU, including Cathy, the neurosurgery ward, including Emmanuela and Ariel, Health Sciences Centre OT, physiotherapy, Katy at Home Care, the palliative care team, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Palliative Care nurses, and Reliable Home Care personnel.
Donations in Bob's honour may be made to the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, 675 McDermot Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3E 0V9.
There will be a celebration of Bob's life on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at the Caboto Centre, 1055 Wilkes Avenue, Winnipeg, MB.

Arrangements entrusted to:
Interlake Cremation & Memorial Services

Publish Date: May 25, 2019


With unbearable sorrow, I announce that my dearest husband Bob passed away during the evening of Wednesday, May 15, 2019.
A longer notice with details for a celebration of his life will follow next week.
Bob is gone but I will cherish him for all the warm, sweet memories he has left behind in my head and in my heart.

Arrangements entrusted to:
Interlake Cremation & Memorial Services

Publish Date: May 18, 2019

Make a donation to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on May 18, 2019, May 25, 2019

Condolences & Memories (10 entries)

  • Bernice, We are so very sorry to hear of Bob's passing. Our condolences to you and your family. Take care, Patty and Eric Stainer - Posted by: Patty Stainer (Friend ) on: Jun 07, 2019

  • Auntie Bernice, I am very sorry to hear about Bob. I can only imagine what you are going through at the moment. My sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to you from me and my family. I miss you. - Posted by: Ryan Prokopetz (Nephew of Bernice ) on: May 29, 2019

  • Bernice, I am so sad to hear of Bob's passing. I have the highest respect for Bob and enjoyed every file that we worked on together. He was always the Lawyer that you wanted to hire first so he was on your side. I used to tease him about that, and that with him there was no negotiating. I have only good memories, and I know that he will be missed by many. - Posted by: Roseanne Reinke (Worked together on numerous files) on: May 29, 2019

  • Being in the presence of BOB simply made me happy! He always had a listening ear, was always open for invitation and always very humble. He was a true gentleman who cherished his friends and loved his family. My last encounter with BOB was at the Royal Cup at Bear's Paw in Naples. He was the star of our team that day and helped us win both points in the competition. Sometimes he has "off Days" where his golf ball could land in someone's pool or deep in the woods. Of course that was to my benefit. I have now successfully recaptured 4 Filmore and Riley Golf balls that I will hold dear to my heart. Thanks BOB. I will always cherish our memories. Love YA Big Guy! - Posted by: Robert Riess (Great friend plus squash and golf partner) on: May 29, 2019

  • Dear Bernice, my sincere and heartfelt condolences on Bob's passing. I always marveled at the knowledge that Bob had and his ability to see both sides of a situation. He was an amazing man and will be sorely missed by so many people. I helped Gary with several files that Bob had worked on and will always remember coming to the seminar that the both of you did for our credit hours back a few years ago. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care of you, Sincerely, Margaret Eastley - Posted by: Margaret Eastley (Friend) on: May 28, 2019

  • Dear Bernice, My sympathies to you for your loss. Although we didn’t know each other well, I have good memories of you and Bob at BearsPaw. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Marcie and Dick Watts, Ruxton, Maryland, USA. - Posted by: Marcie Wats (Friend) on: May 25, 2019

  • Bob was our neighbour in Shoal Lake, Ontario and was a great companion to my dad, Larry Holmstrom. We spent a lot of great times together out on the lake snowmobiling to Angle Inlet Minnesota for a buffalo burger and cheap booze. He loved to fish and hosted many fish fry frys at his cottage. Dad and I did alot of work at Bobs and to be honest when he'd try to help us he'd just get in the way. Lol He was a better lawyer than a carpenter. I remember after a few drinks one weekend in the spring he let me drive his 3-wheeler home to camp and I put it through the ice and walked back to his place soaking wet. The next day we got the wheeler out and for the remainder of the summer Dad couldn't figure out why the headlight was full of water. He was a character and we will surely miss him. I'm sure my dad was there to greet him on the other side and it brings me comfort. - Posted by: Barb Holmstrom (Friend) on: May 23, 2019

  • Bob was like a father to me. I first met him at the young age of five and loved him like family ever since. Bob and I spent countless hours watching our favourite WW2 movies, going fishing, and exploring Shoal Lake. My favourite memories as a child and as a young man were heading over to his and Bernice’s cottage with my parents and having his famous “rabbit track soup and shadow stew” for dinner. He taught me that “self praise is never a recommendation” and if it wasn’t for Bob I would not be the man I am today. Bob you will be sorely missed, but I am extremely privileged and grateful to have known you as long as I did. Rest In Peace, my dear friend. - Posted by: Jonathan Lee (Friend of 20 years) on: May 23, 2019

  • I first met Bob in Thompson in the summer of 1966. He was certainly an outward-going young man who knew exactly what he was going to do; a career in law and as much outside-in-the-open life as possible. We had great fun when he visited London (where I then lived) and even more when we went to Paris where we shared many bottles of his favourite red, Chateauneuf du Pape. But it was times with him in his beloved cottage on Lake of the Woods that I remember most fondly. Fall colours, fishing, great food and copious quantities of excellent wine – then winter Skidoo trips to the US border at -40deg C with him shouting “and subtract a lot more for the chill factor” – as we tried keeping up with him at 70mph on the eerie grey-frozen lake! Very different from where we live in Western Australia – a place he loved visiting - particularly for (guess what?) the red wine! I also remember Bob for his generosity – he enjoyed helping everyone – and I know he did much pro-bono work for first nation neighbours near his cottage; they admired him greatly. Bob lived his life to be enjoyed! To me, his great passions involved powerful boats, powerful cars, powerful skidoos and we all enjoyed his powerful personality and powerful sense of adventure. Bob – you were a wonderful friend who will be greatly missed! Our sincere condolences to Bernice. Ian and Jill Merker and family – Perth, Western Australia. - Posted by: Dr. Ian Merker (Friend for 53 years) on: May 22, 2019

  • Bob was a man who lived life to the full: he will be missed by many - Guy Prokopetz Family - Posted by: Guy, Rita, Julian and Stefan (Family) on: May 19, 2019

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