Last week Norfolk Housing Association and the community of Kensington lost a beloved resident, friend, and community supporter. Bob, who is responsible for the beautiful murals you see along our main building as well as some of the paintings inside the buildings and main office, passed away peacefully in his home on January 18.
Bob started as an artist at the young age of 16 in Southern California, working for Lewis Berber as a production artist. The artists were responsible to paint anything they were assigned (a cabin, a tree or mountain scene, etc) in six minutes. SIX! Bob credited this experience to his diversity as an artist and also his quick precision. His paintings were sold to Eatons, Simpsons, and other big store chains. Bob even met Andy Warhol during this time! Prominent artists were always passing through, selling a design that the production artists would replicate over and over and over…
Throughout the ’70s Bob continued his work as a production artist while raising a family and eventually branched out into selling his own work and moving back to Canada, where he sold to galleries and toured malls. He had many an interesting story to tell you…including an incredible meeting with Charlie Manson not long before he and two others were accused of murder. Those of us who had the pleasure of knowing him will treasure those memories and stories and Bob will live on through them.
Bob is survived by his ex-wife and childhood friend, and their two children and five grandchildren. The pair could often be seen puttering around the community together, running errands and lending a helping hand to others. When his car was running, Bob was always offering his neighbours rides to appointments or the grocery store whenever possible – the true embodiment of community spirit. This year Bob had hoped to be able to offer free art classes at nearby associations and was always looking for a new way to lend a hand, share his knowledge, and inspire people to create. He was constantly committed to giving back and sharing his skills, improving the lives of everyone he came into contact with.
We are so grateful to have had someone so committed, warm, and generous as part of NHA. You are already so missed, Bob. To honour Bob, NHA and the Kensington BRZ hope to continue with the murals and to incorporate an homage to Bob within them. We will share more about that in the spring.
Bob’s family has generously invited everyone who knew Bob to honour his life and share in good memories this Thursday, Jan 26, 2017. More information can be found here.back to news & events