Saturday, September 9, 2023
Knox United Church
5590 Balaclava Street, Vancouver, BC
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July 22, 1930 – July 13, 2023
Robert “Bob” Norton, born July 22, 1930 in Liverpool UK, passed away peacefully at Blenheim Lodge in Vancouver BC on July 13, 2023 at the age of 92. He was a doting father and husband, and an active member of the Knox United congregation. Bob spent the majority of his life lifting others up, and giving whatever he could of himself to the people he loved.
Bob was brought up in the Lewisham borough of London by his parents Charles and May Alexandra. He was the youngest son of four siblings with older brothers Charles Jr. and Stanley and younger sister Dorothy.
Bob began his long-term career in Insurance in London, but left the UK in 1955, choosing Canada because a steamship ticket west was cheaper than to Australia. Bob worked his way across this new country, shoveling coal for the railway and washing windows. He eventually made his home in Vancouver and resumed his career in Insurance. He retired at 74 from his position as a Vice President of Parsons Brown Insurance.
The main job of a man of Bob’s generation was to provide for his family, and he knew that did not mean financial provisions alone. Bob excelled at this job, supplying both financial and emotional stability. He was a shoulder to help bear life’s burdens, and a source of endless laughter and wisdom. Bob was a loving husband who was endlessly kind and devoted to his family.
Trudy let Bob escort her home after a party because “He looked safe”. For their first date he invited her out for dinner. He brought her to the house he shared with three other bachelors and handed her frozen steaks in a kitchen bereft of clean dishes. Miraculously, she forgave him. After marriage, Bob provided for Trudy and the family they made together. He helped around the house (although he never did learn to cook much past scrambled eggs!), shuttled Trudy to endless garage and church sales, and accompanied her on frequent travel. They remained married for 51 years, until her passing.
Bob was a doting father to their one daughter, Andra. He once wore a tuxedo to the Vancouver Symphony’s casual afternoon Sun Family Pops because 6-year-old Andra insisted that “one dresses for the theatre”. Bob didn’t always understand his artsy daughter’s flair and creative expressions, but he always supported her unconditionally.
Be it making Trudy laugh with jokes, stories, or absurd animal print speedos (while vacationing in Africa), or holding her hand as she passed, Bob provided. Be it telling Andra silly dad jokes, walking her down the aisle, or always showing deep and unconditional love, Bob provided. “Getting old is a drag, but it sure beats the alternative” Bob said often; we hope that he is living it up in what comes after.
So Bob, the getting old is done and the alternative has happened. Here’s hoping you are playing rounds of celestial golf, enjoying the wind on a sailboat, and making Trudy laugh. Your actions and kindness will not soon be forgotten.
A memorial service will be held at Knox United Church on September 9 at 2 pm.