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"ETH" 2007 Obituary


ÉTHIER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-11-27 published
With courage and dignity, Bob STALKER died at the age of 74 on November 25, 2007 in the embrace of his wife and daughters. He will be greatly missed by his wife Jacqueline, his daughters Patti GRAY/GREY, Lynn PRESTON, and Bobbi ÉTHIER, their spouses, Bob BANKOSKY, Brian PRESTON, and Mike ÉTHIER, his grand_sons Jamie GRAY/GREY, Jeremy GRAY/GREY and Paul DESCHAMBAULT, his brothers Stan and George and members of his extended family. Robert STALKER was born in 1933 in Broughty Ferry and spent his childhood in Scotland. At the age of 14, he boarded the R.M.S. Aquitania with his family and headed for Pier 21 in Halifax. Like other immigrants to Canada after the second world war, Robert and his family had to spend their first few years on a farm. As soon as possible, however, his parents opened their own corner grocery store in Midland, Ontario and Bob himself escaped farming by joining the Air Force. At the age of 16, Bob met Jacqueline DAOUST at a high school graduation dance. They dated and married in Ottawa two years later after he was established in the Air Force and she had graduated from teacher training at Ottawa University. Their 55 years of marriage were filled with joy and happiness plus a fair bit of challenge and accommodation due to Air Force transfers which had the family living in eighteen different homes in Canada, the U.S., and Europe during Bob's thirty years in the service. Finally settling in Winnipeg by choice, Major STALKER retired from the Air Force in 1980, took Easter weekend off, and then began a second career with the Federal Government. His next and last retirement in 1984 enabled him to pursue new challenges. He continued running or walking five miles a day and also, through diligent hard work and persistence, became a vintner 'extraordinaire' which his family and Friends wholeheartedly appreciated. Retirement enjoyment increased with the 1993 purchase of a villa in Florida and his wife's retirement in 1995. The villa, named Palybo after their children Pat, Lynn, and Bobbi, was the centre of activity for all of the extended family and Friends. This sanctuary from cold Canadian winters became a very special place where everyone was welcome. Bob loved the ocean, the outdoors, classical music, walking along the beach, and being with his family, including visiting animal members. He was an avid reader and always had an Economist at hand and a history book close by. After retiring from the service, he also volunteered for political candidates that he believed in and worked for political parties he supported. Despite annual physical checkups throughout his life, prostate cancer was only diagnosed in December 2005. Bob STALKER will be greatly missed not only by his family but also by all of those who knew him. The family extends sincere thanks to Doctor Bennett at the Health Action Centre, the staff at Cancer Care Manitoba, and especially to each and every caring dedicated staff member of 3 East Palliative Care wing at Riverview Health Centre. Cremation has taken place and, according to his wishes, no service is being held at this time. As an expression of sympathy, donations may be made to Cancer Care Manitoba or to 3 East Palliative Care, Riverview Health Centre Foundation, Morley Avenue, Winnipeg R3L 2P4.

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