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March 19, 1947 - October 4, 2023

In loving memory ~

It is with profound sadness that the family of Robert Charles Cowlin announces his recent passing at the age of 76. Bob left peacefully, in his sleep in the early morning of Wednesday, October 4th.

Robert/Bob/Bobby was born to parents Thomas and Esther Cowlin in Calgary Alberta. He joined sisters Shirley, Beverley and Patricia, and brother Thomas (Bud). Bob spent his earliest years in Three Hills, Alberta and settled in Castlegar when he was six years old.

It is difficult to put into words a description that would do Bob justice. He was an amazing man, and had an incredible impact on those that were fortunate to know him. In spite of a lifetime of physical challenges, Bob never let those define him or limit his accomplishments. Bob taught us a lot by his example; about perseverance and commitment. He humbled us with his positive, can-do way of life. Bob was always smiling, never complained and was a joy to be around.

Bob loved his family fiercely and was often the "keeper" of family knowledge and current events. He was sincerely interested in each and every one of us, and provided counsel on many occasions. No issue was too small or insignificant in Bob's eyes, and he always made sure to follow up.

Bob lived a life of service. He helped family, friends, and strangers whenever he could. Bob took on a caretaker role with Mom/Grandma Esther. Through his efforts, Esther was able to stay in her home with Bob until well into her nineties. Bob was often late for Christmas dinner because he delivered "Meals on Wheels" first. If Bob thought that a neighbour needed a hand with snow removal, he was out there making it happen. He could fix anything and often did so, for not-so-mechanically or electrically-minded friends and family.

Bob had an unparalleled sense of humour. He had a dry wit and charm that could win anyone over. He was fun to be with and it was a joy when Bob got going with his stories, embellished as they were with his witty observations. His humour was kind, and never at the expense of anyone else. Bob had a way of surrounding himself and others with laughter.

Bob had an exceptional intellect, and a burning curiosity to know about everything and anything. He was always up on current events and could converse about world issues with ease. He was the quintessential lifelong learner. Bob grew up surrounded by encyclopedias, dictionaries, and how-to manuals. In later years his computer and iPad became his learning tools. Bob learned something new every day and was always a wealth of information. And nobody could beat him at the "Price is Right!"

The family would like to thank the staff at Poplar Ridge who helped make Bob's life easier while he was there, especially in those challenging final days. Thank you too, to Bob's friends who continued to support him when things got more challenging for him at home before he moved into Poplar Ridge.

To know Bob was to love him. One of the staff who spent time with Bob at Poplar Ridge summed it up for us with these words. "Thank you for giving me the privilege to know Bob. He is the best guy I have ever met."

Bob was predeceased by his parents Tom and Esther Cowlin, sisters Shirley Cowlin and Patricia Crantz, and brother Thomas "Bud" Cowlin.

He is survived by:

Sister Beverley Varty, Kimberley BC.

Sister-in-law Donna Cowlin, North Vancouver BC.

Nieces: Cynthia Bernier (John), Quesnel; Melissa Sinclair, Salmon Arm; Barbara Livingston (John), Trail; Sandra Stuart (Bill), North Vancouver; Deanne Doman (Tony), Langley and Carmen Matis, Gabriola Island.

Nephews: Brian Varty (Glynda), Cranbrook; David Varty (Sandi), Cranbrook; Cameron Fitzgerald (Anita), Nairobi; Alan Crantz, Haida Gwaii, and Miles Varty (Laura), Gibsons.

Additionally, Bob is survived by many cousins, great nephews and nieces, and a growing number of great-great nephews and nieces.

Bob/Uncle Bob asked that there not be a service held on his behalf.

Those wishing to make a donation on Bob's behalf could do so to the Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC Branch which was so incredibly supportive of Bob, or to Kootenay Animal Assistance Program, the organization that found the perfect home for Bob's beloved cats, Sam and Ozzie when they needed to be re-homed.

You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the family's online register at

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