(807) 221-3000
249 Grand Trunk Ave, Dryden, ON P8N 2X3

Robert Archie Buchanan March 11, 1957 - March 7, 2021

Robert was born in the Dryden District General Hospital to Grant and Ruth (nee Nelson).The second child of three. He was named after his grandpa Archie Buchanan.

Robert was a man of simple pleasures. He knew what he liked and what he didn’t like. Robert was a man of precision and detail, he had a great work ethic and a high sense of morals.

Robert did not have a family of his own but he was truly a family man at heart. Family, home and hometown were very important to him. He remained at home and in Dryden his entire life. He was a loyal and loving son, brother, uncle and friend. He loved being part of a large group of cousins, many of us around the same age. One set of four brothers called Robert their honourary brother. Upon meeting him, the daughter of one kept saying “That cousin of Dad’s is a very, very sweet man”.

He really did have a heart of gold. Donna told him “You are one of the best!”. A friend of his recently said “Robert was a kind, gentle person, easy going and always a pleasure to talk to.”

Passions of Robert were; oldies music, fishing, blueberry picking, baking, getting firewood, running and marathons. He was also a great cook.

For years, Robert was often seen out on his early morning runs. His first marathon was the Manitoba one in June 2002 at the age of 45. From then on he did many marathons in Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary and Kelowna. He even ran The Reggae Half Marathon in Jamaica in December 2014 and 2018.

Speaking of fishing, in August 1990, Robert and cousin Reg Lindquist were the first time winners of The Walleye Masters Fishing Tournament here in Dryden.

Many happy years were spent at the family cabin on Wabigoon Lake. Robert also loved his annual trips to Saskatchewan to visit family when we were young and some in adulthood.

He discovered a new delight in life: spending time at a resort in Jamaica, going many years for his birthday. The staff became like family to him.

Robert attended Riverview and Albert Street Public Schools. He graduated from Dryden High School in 1977.

He began work at Grove Side Dairy, working there for many years altogether.

In September 1979, Robert attended the Sir Sanford Fleming College in Lindsay, ON in the Natural Resources Division. As happened to a number of students, Robert could not pass the difficult math course. His dream ended and he returned to Dryden and worked at Grove Side Dairy. In 1990, he began work at the Dryden Paper Mill, working there for 19 years. He was part of the big lay-offs in 2009.

February to April 2009, Robert became computer literate through training held at the Dryden Literacy Society. In 2010, he became employed at Morgan Fuels at the Dryden Airport. His last day of work was Sunday, February 28, 2021.

Sometime late Monday night, March 1, Robert was felled by a major brain bleed. Donna found him on the floor Tuesday morning. From the Dryden Hospital, he was air ambulanced to Thunder Bay. Wednesday he was flown back to Dryden Hospital where we could visit him. He passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 7, late afternoon. His sister Donna and a friend were with him.

Robert leaves many to grieve and miss him. He is survived by his sisters; Donna Buchanan of Dryden, ON and Lori (Cameron) Gatey of BC., two nephews; Tyler Buchanan, Michael (Reanne) Gatey and his great niece Lillian all of BC., one aunt, one uncle, two aunties-in-law, many cousins, our family cat Mickey and many friends.

Robert was predeceased by his father Grant (1996), mother Ruth (2018), niece Jennifer Gatey (2016), cousin Reg Lindquist (1997), grandparents, many aunts and uncles, several other cousins and his beloved cat Goldie (2013).

Many thanks to the medical personnel and all who visited Robert in the hospital. He heard us talking to him.

Robert shocked us all. On Thursday, March 11, 2021 he will be celebrating his birthday in Heaven.

Let us look up to Heaven, smile and wish him a Happy Birthday! Donna told him “We will all be together again!”

Robert lives on in our hearts. We will see him again. Until then we will miss him.

A Celebration of Life and Interment will take place at a later date.


  1. REPLY
    Susan Bunney says

    Such sad news, so sorry to hear of Robert’s passing.
    Heartfelt condolences.

  2. REPLY
    Frank McLellan says

    Robert was a quiet,nice guy .I am sure he will be missed.

  3. REPLY
    Greg Wilson says

    Rob was one of the gentlest people I knew. He was always kind, quiet and respectful. A man of few words -yet you knew there was a strong character behind the smile. Whoever wrote the obituary captured the essence of the man. Why do we often find out more about a person in death than when they were alive?

    …should drive us to reach out to others in our community more, smile and talk to others more freely. Especially those we knew as kids.

  4. REPLY
    Jordan Youngman says

    I am sorry to hear of Rob’s unexpected passing. He always had a smile as he pulled up in the fuel truck at the airport. Very thorough and meticulous with his job.

  5. REPLY
    Chris and Tracey Gallenger says

    We are saddened to hear of Robert’s death. He was a kind soul and we enjoyed his visit in 2019 and will cherish those memories. Sincerest condolences to all of Robert’s family.

  6. REPLY
    Gordon Gallenger says

    So sorry to hear of Roberts passing we enjoyed his company and support he gave us when he traveled to come to our mothers celebration of life. He was a kind and gentle soul for sure. I would have enjoyed running a marathon with him that would have been fun.

  7. REPLY
    Doug & Hyati Gallenger says

    Like all of Robert’s family and friends, we were shocked when we heard that Robert had fallen ill without warning. I didn’t hear the news until Saturday morning, by Sunday evening he was gone. It’s always sad when someone we care about doesn’t get to live a longer life, I’m sure there’s more that Robert wanted to do.

    It was very thoughtful of him to attend my mother’s (Dora) memorial service on Mothers Day 2019. My brothers and I appreciated his support and friendship at that difficult time, we bonded and he became one of us.

    Heartfelt condolences to everyone in the family, especially Donna and Lori.

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Donations may be made to the DRHC Equipment Fund through the Dryden Community Funeral Home, 249 Grand Trunk Avenue, Dryden, ON P8N 2X3.