Posted: May 24th, 2013

Johnston, Robert Nelson “Bob”, of Vulcan, passed away May 12, 2013 at the Vulcan Community Health Centre at the age of 83 years.
Bob was born July 4, 1929 at Brome, Quebec, where he attended school. He worked on the farm and had many jobs and hobbies in the off season, including building and driving stock cars and working in the bush. He worked at many garage repair shops, then worked for Bunnie Chev Olds in Quebec. Bob played the drums in a dance band, at first with his mother, sister and uncle and later with other band members. They played at many dances in the Brome area including the Brome Lake Resort, two nights a week for two seasons during the 1940’s. they played until 1952 then the band continued to play dances and a radio show in Vermont.
Bob had many interests including operating a short wave radio which he also built and repaired. He sold Maple Wood logs to a furniture factory, which used the logs to make cabinets. The last spring he was at home, he took off three hundred gallons of Grade A maple syrup.
Bob married Betty Barnum at Sutton, Quebec in 1952. They moved to the Vulcan area in July of 1952 where Bob started working on the farm for Phil Lucas. At that time, Glen Dahl and Phil were working a lot together on different projects and when Bob was introduced to Glen, many of his questions were answered by Bob. Glen wanted to hire Bob on the spot but Phil had hired Bob to help with the harvesting. Later that year, Bob moved into Vulcan and went to work for Glen Dahl at Central Garage. Some years later Bob was offered a Shop Foreman position across the street at Richardson and Gould Chev Olds Cadillac where he worked with the many owners until 1977. He worked for Alberta Parks at their shop in Vulcan until 1994. They moved south of town to an acreage in 1990 where after his retirement from Alberta Parks, Bob had room for his own auto repair business. During his spare time at Alberta Parks and after his retirement there, he restored his beloved antique cars. After Bob retired from Alberta Parks in 1994, he continued to work on his cars and was an active member of the Southern Alberta Classic and Antique Auto Club, based in Lethbridge. Once the children were grown and gone, Bob and Betty enjoyed traveling, especially a trip to Great Britain, where they found some of the roots of the family tree.
Bob was a member of St. Aldhelm’s Anglican Church and the Calgary Highlanders Reserve Army. He was a charter member of the Kinsmen Club of Vulcan and also served the Vulcan community for 21 years, as Fire Chief and driving ambulance.
Bob is survived by his five sons: John of Lethbridge, Gordon (Linda) of Didsbury, David of Calgary, Hugh of Banff and Duncan (Seona) of Vancouver, as well as seven grandchildren (Arlen, Graham, Landon, Logan, Gordon, Alannah and Shanlee) and seven great grand children, along with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Bob was predeceased by his father Nelson, his mother Daisy, his loving wife Betty in 2004 and his sister, Grace McPhail.
Celebration of Life will take place Monday, May 27, 2012 at 2 pm at the Vulcan Seniors Centre (303 Centre Street) with Rev. Gordon Cranch officiating.
Tributes in Bob’s memory can be made to the Canadian Red Cross Society (Equipment Loan Program), 1305 – 11 Ave. SW Floor 2, Calgary, AB T3C 9Z9.
Arrangements in care of Vulcan Funeral Home. Telephone 1-403-485-2633.
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  1. Dawn says:

    Our most sincere condolences for your loss. May you find comfort in God’s promise that one day we will never have to part from those we love (John 3:16).
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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