Bob’s great-grandfather moved from Ireland to Ontario in the mid-1800’s. His grandfather homesteaded at Poplar Point, Manitoba where Bob’s father was born. In 1932, while Bob’s Dad was working in Joliet, Illinois – Bob was born, the oldest of three children – a brother and a sister were born later, following his parents move to Oakville, Manitoba.
At the outset of The Korean War in 1952, Bob joined the Lord Strathcona Horse, which was actually a Tank Regiment and was posted to Korea. Tragically, his brother who was serving with the PPCLI was killed in Korea, the same year Bob arrived.
Dorothy’s grandfather was born in Wellington County in Ontario in 1860, and moved to Sunningdale, Saskatchewan where he lived and brought up his family until he died in 1935. Dorothy was born here on the farm in 1936, the third of four children. She has two brothers and a sister. In 1947, the family moved to a farm near Penhold, Alberta.
Following the Korean War, Bob returned to Red Deer and re-established his friendship with Dorothy whom he’d met before going to Korea. They were married on November 3, 1955. This marriage produced two sons and two daughters, and they now have 11 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
Bob has worked in construction all his life. After their marriage, they moved to Calgary so that Bob could attend S.A.I.T. While in Calgary they lived in Forest Lawn, but apart from this they have always lived on acreages, where Bob built two of the houses. And Dorothy was happy to be able to have her beloved horses again. In 1961 Bob joined CJ Oliver Construction where he worked for 13 years, rising to the position of Construction Superintendent. In 1974, he moved to Cascade Construction in the same position. His main forte was the construction of high-rise office and residential towers. Some of the buildings he was involved in building are well known – the South YMCA, Woodman Junior High School, Mount Royal House, the Suncore Building, Norcen Tower, Rose Kahn Arena and Mayfair Place.
When he completed the Norcen and Suncore buildings in 1970, they were the second and third highest buildings in downtown Calgary, at the time. Look at the high-rise buildings in downtown Calgary, now! In 1986, while the construction bust was happening across the country, with interest rates soaring to 20 per cent and beyond, Bob and Dorothy moved to Strathmore. Up until 1993, Bob worked with his son Bob Jr framing houses, and he also worked with various construction companies in and around Strathmore before retiring in 2008. He assisted in the building of the recent extension at Strathmore Legion #10. As a long time member of The United Church of Canada, he soon put his construction skills to work with the Property Team at Strathmore United Church, where he was responsible for building maintenance.
In the meantime, Dorothy was not idle. She spent many years working in craft stores, as a nanny, and at one time was the daycare cook for up to 110 children. Since moving to Strathmore, she has worked with children at The Crisis Shelter, spent eight years working at The Toddle Inn Daycare, and served as a nanny for nine years with the Smail Family while they were in the RCMP. She has served on many different committees and projects with Strathmore United Church, and is a member of the Quilting Group and UCW.
She and Bob both enjoy gardening, their family and friends, and their country home with its wonderful views west to the mountains.
The main changes they have seen in this area include the increases in the number of acreages, highway traffic, and population in and around Strathmore. They are concerned with the loss of businesses in downtown, as some businesses are moving closer to the highway.