Robert “Bob” Smallwood


Robert (Bob) Charles Smallwood will be greatly missed and remembered always. Bob passed away on Thursday, June 3, 2021 in his 89th year.  A long-time resident of Comox, British Columbia, he moved to Riverview Gardens, Chatham, Ontario in 2018. Bob was born in Handsworth (Birmingham), England, the first son to the late Ralph and Ivy Smallwood. Fascinated by planes he became an RAF Air Cadet. After World War II, Bob received a letter from King George when he was 17 years old to call him up to the Royal Air Force which furthered his love of airplanes. In 1951 Bob married his sweetheart Eileen Elizabeth (nee Puffer). They emigrated to Canada in 1953. The couple travelled to Canada by ship and settled in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba where their first daughter, Linda, was born and Bob joined the RCAF. As an Aero Engine Technician, Bob started with the propellor planes and was promoted to work on the new Avro Arrow jets. Things changed and in 1959 he was transferred to #4 Wing, the Canadian Forces Base in Baden-Söllingen, Germany. At this time Eileen and Linda stayed in England where son Robert was born. During four different postings to Germany between 1959 and 1986, Bob became fluent in German, enjoyed a part time bartending position, learned Italian for a special assignment to Sardinia, travelled throughout the world and added daughter Brigitte to his family. Retiring to Comox in 1986, Bob became adept at photography, salmon fishing, and became the top seller of Electrolux vacuum cleaners in all of Vancouver Island! He also grew grapes, figs, peaches and enjoyed gardening, ran two half marathons in his 60’s and spent countless hours fundraising for the Legion and helping other veterans. Comox will remember Bob as the man who walked his Basenji dogs, friends will remember his favourite meal as fish and chips with malt vinegar and a good ale. Family will remember him as the father, grandfather and great grandfather who was passionate about so many things and had so many stories to tell.

Bob is predeceased by his beloved wife Eileen (June 2016). He is survived by his three children, Linda Smallwood (David Reid) of Michigan, Robert Smallwood of Edmonton and Brigitte Elgie (Jeffery) of Chatham, eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Bob leaves a legacy of hard work, passion for travel, interesting hobbies and the importance of telling a good story.


One Comment on “Robert “Bob” Smallwood”

  1. Sorry to have not known him. Much respect. Just a person who appreciates the sacrifices of those before us. So sorry for your loss. I am a stranger , and, sorry for you loss.

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