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Date of Passing: Aug 05, 2021

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1947 - 2021

Peacefully, at his lake home in Gimli, Rob passed on August 5, 2021.
Rob was predeceased by his parents, Norman and Peggy (Milne) Hilliard of Montreal, QC. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Leslie Turnbull and children, Dan (Satya) and Gillian (Emile); predeceased by second wife, Nancy and surviving children, Cindy (Jen) and Jeff; survived by first wife Lynn and children, Jen (Smarty) and Mike (Kelly). Rob is also survived by his seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and sisters, Linda (John) and Pam (Michael).
Those who knew Rob would describe him as a fierce, unapologetically outspoken advocate for social justice and human rights. Rob's lifelong passion for worker's rights was fuelled by his experience as a miner in Thompson and Leaf Rapids, MB. As long serving president of the Manitoba Federation of Labour, Brother Rob walked picket lines, sat at bargaining tables, organized and fought for the rights of both the individual and the collective. He was a champion of and deeply involved with the NDP and received numerous awards for his work through the years.
Personally, Rob's zest for life was evident in his love for sports, blues music, the outdoors and his family. He loved a good road trip with impromptu photo opportunities and would later reminisce ad nauseum. He had plenty of stories of wildlife encounters, canoe trip fiascos and was quick to share some new trivia he discovered during his travels. Most importantly, Rob spent his last years holding his family close, sharing laughter, saying hard things and allowing himself to be vulnerable. He died having lived a full and happy life surrounded by family and love. He will be deeply missed.
We would like to thank the staff at the Manitoba Lung Transplant Program, the Health Sciences Centre and the Palliative Care team for their kindness, care and encouragement.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Manitoba Federation of Labour Occupational Health Centre.
Memorial to take place at a later date.

Neil Bardal Funeral Centre
204 642 7124

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Aug 14, 2021

Condolences & Memories (7 entries)

  • I first met Rob in the late 1980s in Leaf Rapids where he was a strong supporter of workers and the NDP two priorities he kept all his life. He was a remarkable union leader and committed to helping workers in need. He will be missed. My condolences to Leslie and his family. -David Chadwick - Posted by: David Chadwick (friend) on: Aug 18, 2021

  • So sorry to hear. Rob was a great union leader. He listened to those he was trying to help. Always had a kind word for those in need… “may you have fair winds and following seas" - Posted by: Barny Haines (Colleague ) on: Aug 17, 2021

  • Dear Leslie Turnbull, extending our deepest and heart sympathy on the passing of your dear husband Robert Hilliard. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute of his love of family and deep commitment to influencing and promoting change in the workforce. It's evident that he touched alot of lives along the way. Wishing you all strength and comfort in the days ahead. 'A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.' Winston Churchill Lynda Ruban staff & friends at the HSC Foundation - Posted by: Lynda Ruban (staff at Health Sciences Centre Foundation) on: Aug 17, 2021

  • Sincere Condolences to Rob’s family and friends. A kind, soft spoken, intelligent man who advocated for many in the workforce. A true role model. Grant & Margaret Ogonowski. - Posted by: Margaret Ogonowski (Friend) on: Aug 16, 2021

  • Now, your paddle dips through the calmest waters, the wind is forever at your back, every challenge easily dealt well good friend, but save a seat in your canoe....we can catch up at Wekusko Falls. - Posted by: Dennis Atkinson (Friend) on: Aug 16, 2021

  • The Labour movement has lost a diligent advocate for fairness and justice. He will be missed. - Posted by: Grant Rodgers (Freiend) on: Aug 14, 2021

  • Rob made me laugh, made me question, and made me think how I could do better. I loved watching the Colonel banter with Gilly and Dan, cheer for his Winnipeg Jets on the holy crap huge TV and love Leslie. I hear his words of wisdom in my head and his laugh because I don't like to relax; something he could never understand :). In summary, I miss him dearly. ox - Posted by: Alison Nicholson (friend) on: Aug 14, 2021

Neil Bardal Inc. (Gimli)

Neil Bardal Inc. (Gimli)

82-5th Ave. (Map)
Ph: 2046427124 | Visit Website

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