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Publication: Globe and Mail, The
Issue: 10 October 2008, page R12
Title: ELLISON, Robert (Death Notice)
Web Link: link
ELLISON, Robert (March 13, 1911 – October 4, 2008)
Born in Trail B.C. on March 13, 1911, oldest son of the late Alfred and Eleanor (Davey) Ellison, Bob died October 4, 2008 at home in Vancouver on his father's birthday with both his family and his wonderful sense of humour present.
He was a member of a pioneer Trail family and a lifelong member of the Cominco family: son of a foreman, Cominco Scholarship holder at UBC 1927-1933, had multi faceted career with Cominco as a chemical engineer in Trail, Montreal and Vancouver, was a pensioner after 1976. He was a member of the generation born of immigrant parents that saw Canada, dominated by one industry towns, through the depression, World War II, and post war prosperity. Having been a Navy League cadet, he tried to enlist in the navy during World War II. The recruiter wanted him but said his superiors would object because of the war production and research he was doing. His research efforts in precious and high purity metals resulted in pioneering electronics applications and advanced weapons systems; he was also involved in developing heavy water for nuclear power. After transferring to head office in Montreal in 1954 he did market research and was an advocate of value added products. He felt the culmination of his career was represented by the Canadian Pacific – Cominco pavilion at Expo 67. In 2006 he was acknowledged for being a member of the Free Masons of British Columbia & Yukon for 70 years.
An active outdoorsman, he hiked all over the West Kootenays. When fishing he carried a geologist pick looking for lost mines. Once while skiing Kokanee Glacier Park he convinced the leader they might be swept into the lake by an avalanche unless the ski party changed course. Another time he and brother Maurice's raft went around a Columbia river whirlpool 28 times. One year after term at UBC he rode the rods on the Kettle Valley Railway between Vancouver and Cascade and finished by walking over the Summits home to Trail. He helped build a log cabin at Champion Lakes and had numerous other adventures in The Kootenays.
He was interested in sports, both as a participant and fan. At UBC he split his head open playing rugby the day before an important exam but thankfully lived to tell the tale many times.
Bob and his wife Ruth raised their family in Rossland, B.C. and NDG and Baie d'Urfe. P.Q.
He would drive Robert to watch trains and assist in model railroading; supported Barbara in her love of horses and found she was always a joy in his life; Eric and he shared a lifelong passion for baseball. The hallmark of the Ellison family was the summer family vacation at a lake be it Christina, Kootenay, Pend O'reille, in the West, or Champlain and Winnipesaukee in the East. He loved to travel and traveled worldwide often having family members or friends join him. His business travels allowed him to visit all of the original 16 major league baseball parks. Many Canadians have done all 50 states but how many do Florida last? In later years Bob spent the fall in Portugal until 2004 and March in Arizona until 2006 when his family gathered for his 95th birthday. He was active at home until three days before his death.
Bob was predeceased in 1989 by his wife of 49 years, Christian Ruth (MacKichan), his brothers Maurice (Veronica) and Gordon (Jean) of Trail, sisters Dora (Fred Canavor) and Jean (Harold Hemphill) of Toronto. He is survived by three children: Robert (Margaret Bateman) of Halifax, Barbara (Jeremy Mordell) of Guelph, and Eric (Francis Schembri and Cindy Josen) of Vancouver, five grandchildren: Scott (Lynda Shoveller) Ellison of Halifax and Richard (Chilian Wong) Ellison of Grand Cayman; Devon Mordell of Hamilton and Sarah Mordell of Vancouver; and Wally Ellison of Abbottsford; eight great grandchildren: Gregory, Claire and Timothy of Halifax, Sabine, Sophie, and Phineas of Grand Cayman; and Sarah and Hailey of Abbotsford; numerous nephews, nieces and grand nephews and nieces.
Burial will be at Ocean View Burial Park, Burnaby, next to his beloved Ruth. Cremation has taken place. There will be no formal funeral at his request. A celebration of his life will take place graveside at 2:00 p.m., Friday, October 17. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of choice.
Another member of the ''greatest generation'' has passed on, similar to his favourite Smoke Eaters and Cominco brand name, Bob has come to the end of his earthly trail, peacefully at home, his wishes fulfilled. The family is extremely thankful to Johanne and Jim MacDonald as well as the Hislop family for supporting, in so many ways, Bob's wish to stay in his home until the end.