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"WUT" 2005 Obituary


WUTKE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-06-17 published
Loving husband of Persis McLENAGHEN, Richmond, Ottawa. Much loved and missed father of Tara (Drew) and D'Arcy (Nick), and grandfather of Olivia and Alex LAHAIE, and Nicole HATELY, all of Toronto. Uncle of Joan BECK, Harold McLENAGHEN and the late Donna WUTKE, and many cousins in Western Canada. Devoted friend of Walter and Ruth FAHRIG, and enthusiastic honorary uncle of Kristen, Lenore, Martha and Rebecca. Born in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, on November 13, 1925. Splashed in prairie sloughs, sweated in the mines, went to war with eyes open, returned in peace time to a career designing the interiors of Canada's embassies - and took from it all the stories from which we clamoured and from which we learned the value of the view from another's shoes, and the essential soul-saving skill at laughing at oneself. With you we found richly textured summers, exploring backroads and wild places. We encountered no subject that was not ripe for inspection and lively debate. With you we flourished - had room to grow and make mistakes, but were always wrapped safely in your unabashed love and affection. We love you more than words can say, and will miss you. A memorial service will be held at St, John's Anglican Church (67 Fowler Street, Richmond) on Monday, June 20th, 2005 at 3 p.m. followed by a reception from 4-7 p.m. at the family home. In lieu of flowers, memorial charitable donations would be appreciated.

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WUTTUNEE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-06-18 published
Couriers honour mentor
City's oldest messenger dies on job
More than 100 attend impromptu wake
By Sikander Z. HASHMI, Staff Reporter, Page B3
He was their mentor, their "grandfather."
They were his life.
More than 100 bike couriers working in the city's core came out to remember Bob BYERS, who died Thursday while on the job. He was 58.
"I'm blown away," said Jim BYERS, " Biker Bob's" younger brother, as the crowd gathered on the sidewalk in front of the Duke of Richmond on James St. BYERS died on Thursday afternoon of what his Friends believe was likely a massive heart attack.
John, a courier who didn't want to give his last name, recalls passing BYERS at the corner of Queen St. W. and James St. that afternoon and saying "Hi." About 10 minutes later, BYERS reportedly turned purple and collapsed. He died soon after.
The crowd of couriers, dispatchers, drivers and walkers gathered to pay their respects to BYERS and to have "a beer for Bob."
"We're gonna... send him off peacefully to heaven, where he belongs," said Eric WUTTUNEE, one of the organizers of the wake for BYERS, who had been a courier for 18 years.
There's no question that BYERS was a giant in the courier community. A gentle giant.
"He was a great guy all around," said WUTTUNEE.
"He was always more compassionate to younger guys coming on the road, always trying to give them the lowdown of the do's and don'ts as a courier.
"No matter what age you were, he'd always talk to you as if you were the same age as him."
It's believed that BYERS was the oldest courier in town.
"I will forever be a rookie to this guy," said a courier, who didn't want his name used.
"He was always in a good mood," said another.
"Fiercely independent" is how Jim described BYERS. "He was the family hermit."
But that didn't diminish his fondness for his brother.
"He was completely invincible till yesterday," Jim BYERS said.
Kip GORDON said his uncle's biggest fear was to become incapacitated before he died.
"He just wanted to ride."
But there was no riding or driving on Queen St. for a couple of minutes as the couriers took to the street and lay down their bikes in memory of BYERS.
"It was a hero's goodbye, I guess," GORDON said.

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