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Date of Passing: Jun 20, 2020

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B.Sc. Eng., P.Eng. FEC

On June 20, 2020, with a loving smile for his wife, Bob was called Home, led by his two daughters into God's embrace.
Left to cherish his memory and honour his amazing accomplishments are his wife, Linda, of 41 years, son Terry, granddaughter Paisley, son-in-law Max Ritson and mother-in-law Irene Kozar. His loss is also greatly felt by his siblings and brothers-in-law, Lorri (Frank), Florence (Keith), Carol (Ron), Ray (Bev), Vicki (John), Nettie (Garry), Colleen (Larry), Marilyn (Garry), Garry, Gayle (Domenic), Gary (Maureen), Alvin (Ida), Thomas, and James (Treena) as well as a vast number of nieces and nephews and colleagues. Bob was predeceased by his brother Raymond Ernest, parents, Michael and Nellie Romanetz, father-in-law Michael Kozar and daughters, Karen Leanne and Stacey Lynn.
Robert John (or later known as Bob) was born in 1955 in Ethelbert, MB. He was raised on a mixed farm in a family of 12 children. Bob had a close, personal connection to his family, and the farm; its land and machinery. He was an integral part of the responsibility of the farm especially in later years helping to run its multi-faceted operation. He would learn to take apart and repair the tractors and combines as he worked beside his dad. Through these early years of chores, he developed a strong and dedicated work ethic. This carried with him for all his future endeavors. He learned resourceful ideas from his parents about how to fix and mend and make-do. He has been a contributor to mentoring the younger generations of the family to that same work ethic and resourcefulness and they, during his illness, showed their respect and knowledge passed on to them.
Bob graduated from Ethelbert Collegiate in 1973 and achieved well academically. He attended University of Manitoba and obtained his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1977. His summer employment involved working for HBM&S in Flin Flon and as a quality control instrumentation inspector at Long Spruce Generating Station. His experience with the northern part of the province became an asset later in his career.
In June 1978, Bob began employment with Reid Crowther & Partners, Ltd. His hard work and dedication as an engineer in the municipal department led him to be an associate, and then a shareholder within the firm. In November 1989, Bob joined UMA (Underwood, McLellan & Associates) as senior municipal engineer and shareholder. Bob's career became more specialized over the years to be a key consultant for First Nation and rural projects of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. His leadership in project management of multi-disciplinary teams was crucial to the establishment of infrastructure to many northern communities providing them with better housing, roads, water and water services, health and education facilities. Bob's contributions included the development of water distribution, waste water collection, water treatment plants, mechanical waste treatment plants, lagoons, lift stations, nursing stations, bridges, roads, airports, subdivisions, schools and numerous studies. Bob also has been integral to the development of many rural communities, notably the cities of Steinbach, Thompson and Kenora.
Bob's expertise and guidance were recognized on many levels including winning several engineering awards. Bob and his team of professionals won the national UMA sponsored Taciuk Innovation Award for two projects. Those projects plus "City of Kenora Marine Line" were also given awards by the Consulting Engineers of Manitoba.
UMA became part of a larger international firm AECOM. As Senior Project Engineer, Rural and First Nations Infrastructure he continued to excel and won many project management recognition awards for his service. He was an exemplary engineer and promoted the highest of standards and strong ethics in the industry. Public safety was of utmost importance as an engineer. He proudly served for APEGM (Engineers Geoscientists of Manitoba) for 17 years on the ERC "Experience Review Committee" ensuring quality professionalism for new engineers. Bob was extremely honoured to be given the rare recognition of a 'Fellow" by the Association of Canadian Engineering in 2014 in honour of exceptional contributions to the engineering profession in Canada.
Bob handled over 70 projects at a time, served over 20 First Nation communities, took hundreds of charter flights and gave tremendous support and satisfaction to his clients. He was very proud of his profession and administered it with safety, respect and integrity. He took great pleasure in mentoring the junior engineers and truly appreciated his support staff. Many got to enjoy his dry wit, deep down caring and sage advice.
Parallel to his career and of even greatest importance to Bob was his pride and joy of his family. Bob met Linda at residence at the University of Manitoba in 1974 and they felt a strong loving connection from the start. After completion of their degrees, they married on October 7, 1978. They felt as equals, as companions, as one. They lived in synchrony, landscaping their yards, developing their home, planting a garden and making everything under the sun from the produce.
Bob and Linda so proudly had their first born Terry Robert in 1983. Bob was pleased of how impressive his son presents himself and especially appreciative of his kind heart. Karen Leanne was born in 1986 and had a loving aura to her. Stacey Lynn completed their family in 1991 and she brought everyone great joy with all her energy, sweetness and ideas. Their family time was full of barbeques on any day, playing in the backyard, many family trips to the farm to help out and connect with cousins, and trips to Flin Flon for visiting and fishing. Picking berries, renting cabins at Buffalo Point, Jessica Lake, and Madge Lake, attending the girls' dance recitals and watching or coaching Terry play baseball, soccer or hockey were all part of life's pleasures. Trips to BC and Northwestern Ontario were memorable and especially the trip to Disney World gifted by Children's Wish. However, the best time of all was many camping trips, especially to Hecla Island. His favourite campsites made him feel happy and at peace with his family around him.
Bob's talents went beyond dedication to his profession and family. He aimed to continuously learn and try out ideas. These talents included everything from building a solid oak entertainment unit, desks and unique garden sheds, replacing carbs and transmissions and motors on almost any vehicle, especially his legendary dark green 1969 GTO, to landscaping his yards of which he was so proud. Electrical work was second nature and he always knew what to do or find a way to fix anything with patience and perseverance. He explored and enjoyed photography and the technicalities of it.
However, that was just the tip of the iceberg as there was the 'fun things' he liked to do for relaxation including making pickles, jams, jellies, Neiman Marcus cookies, perogies, cabbage rolls, breads and buns. His specialities, however, which will long be remembered were his borscht recipe, his infamous horseradish and his pickled peppers, homegrown from the hottest and domestic peppers to add the best flavours.
His dedication and his love for family showed in all those wonderful fruitful gifts he shared by doing for them. He loved his children dearly and though man of few words, would jump to give rides, support and give them what was needed. He quietly led the way by example of unconditional love. Bob valued family traditions and maintained them with his children by celebrating Ukrainian Christmas Eve with the 12 dishes, compiling the customary Easter basket with symbolic foods, saying grace before special meals and setting examples of faith.
Bob's love of the land led him and Linda and their family to purchase an acreage within the Seine River forest. In a park like setting, he spent as much time outdoors and puttering as time could allow. It was important for him to host large family reunions in the backyard and has set the tradition for all his family. Bob enjoyed the privacy and beauty of nature.
In later years, Bob fell in love again. This time with his granddaughter, Paisley Rose Romanetz. Every night he would say. "She is so wonderful". His life was ignited with playfulness as he would always find time to play card games, hockey, soccer, read books and pretend they were "lava hopping" from pillows in the solarium. But especially, he had a special time every day for adventure walks before supper with Paisley where they would play, pretend there was snowstorms, and he would gently show the trees, shrubs, plants, name them, discover shapes of leaves and come home with pockets and bellies full of berries. They always came in beaming and ready for supper.
Kind, determined, witty, driven for good purpose with endless energy and enthusiasm... Bob, your presence fills our home. Everything around us inside and outside speaks of you - your reverence for nature: the Saskatoon berries, the prolific tomatoes, the garden structures, trimmed trees and wildlife photography - your down to earth pleasure in creating: the freezer full of goodies, the handmade furniture, the tools for every need. We hear your voice guiding us, and we know we have lots to learn. We thank you for looking after us every day, every minute with all your heart, with all your devotion. You filled our life with your love. Your contribution to this earth in a short time is immeasurable.
If you so wish, please donate to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation in recognition of the great care and support they provide or the Price Faculty of Engineering in care of for direct encouragement in the education of future engineers.

Family and friends may sign a
book of condolence at

Glen Lawn Funeral Home

Make a donation to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 25, 2020

Condolences & Memories (5 entries)

  • Good evening to the Romanetz family. Sorry for your loss. I worked for UMA from 1980 to 2015 in Saskatoon and Edmonton offices. I met Bob a few times at company technical or Annual meetings. He was always very quiet but you knew he was a very humble and a dedicated company worker. Thanks for the great obit and and insight into Bob's life. He lead a very full life. - Posted by: Arvid Pederson (Worked for UMA) on: Aug 20, 2020

  • Wendy and I are so very sorry for your recent losses for both Stacy and Bob. Our deepest condolences. - Posted by: Ron & Wendy Haynes (Family Acquaintance at St Emile school. ) on: Jul 26, 2020

  • I had the pleasure of working with Bob for many years at UMA. When I first met Bob I saw a quiet man but you soon learned there was a brilliant mind behind the calm demeanor that commanded respect. A true and honorable professional. I had no idea Bob had so many talents other than those in the engineering profession we worked within, but then that was Bob - never one to brag. So sorry Linda and Terry for the multiple loss you have had to endure recently. - Posted by: Shirley Edmonds (Co-worker at UMA Engineering Ltd.) on: Jul 26, 2020

  • Our family knew you as Robert. Prayers for you and all your family. I have good memories of playing at the family farm. - Posted by: Genevieve Morris(Pidskalny) (Ethelbert neighbour) on: Jul 25, 2020

  • Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Bob's family. We are so sorry for your loss. - Posted by: Alex and Diane (Pidskalny) Hrychuk (childhood neighbor of Bob) on: Jul 25, 2020

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