Chalmers, William (Bob) June 9, 1923 – December 31, 2014
Bob and his wife Helen of 62 years lived in Summerland until Bob’s death on the last day of 2014. Bob started out wanting to be an aircraft engineer and even worked at a Boeing plant for some time. However, tuberculosis intervened when he was a young adult, changing his life path in a number of ways. During his rather lengthy convalescence, he met a neighbor who was a teacher and began to think about teaching as a career. During a hospital stay to have part of a lung removed, Bob met Helen, a lovely young nurse, who later became his wife. Bob and Helen moved to Summerland in 1951 to take a teaching job at Summerland Secondary School, where he taught primarily math until 1981. After Bob retired from classroom teaching, he tutored math students for another 25 years. Bob was also involved with the high school band. For about 25 years, he and Helen spent their May 5th wedding anniversary chaperoning the school band on band trips. He and Helen also accompanied a group of students to Expo 67 in Montreal. Bob loved jazz and used to invite interested groups of high school students to listen to Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong on his old 45s and LPs. Jazz lit up the weekends for Bob, too. When Friday rolled around, he’d head home, put on his jeans and sweatshirt, crank up the jazz, and wrestle with his boys, and whatever dogs were living with him at the time – Skipper, Sophie, Barney, Louie, Grady, or Becky. Bob also loved horses and spent a number of years driving out to Prairie Valley early in the morning, before school started to feed and water his. He especially liked snowy mornings when he got to “break trail”. He spent many pleasurable hours trail riding with his kids and with Chester Reinertson, a real cowboy! Bob and Helen were involved in the United Church for many years and served in all sorts of volunteer roles there, as well as in lots of other volunteer capacities in the community. Having the summers off gave Bob and Helen the opportunity to travel, first with their three kids, and later in their little motorhome. The Yukon was a favorite destination and they travelled the Alaska Highway many times to visit their daughter, Joie and her family. They also got to know Idaho when middle son Bill and his family were living there, and when youngest son Dean moved to Chile with his family, off they went to visit, when Bob was 86 years old, right after the big earthquake. Bob’s adventurous spirit was alive and well until his death – after living for 62 years in the Okanagan, he finally decided to try wearing sandals! Bob is survived by his loving wife, Helen, and by his three children, Joie (Gerry), Bill (Sophie), and Dean (Sandra) as well as seven grandchildren – Emily, Will, Jonathan, Dawson, Ursula, Phoebe and Nicola. There will be a Memorial Service on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. at the Summerland United Church.
Condolences may be sent to the family through www.providencefuneralhomes.com.