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.