Dad - gone fishing, one his favourite pastimes.
My Dad, Robert Henry Bird Churchill, known as Bob, was the first of six children born to William Bird Churchill (week #23) and Alice Clarke (week #2). He was born on January 13, 1931 and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. Henry was the middle
name of his maternal grandfather and Bird was the surname of his father's birth mother. His brother was born 18 months later; four sisters followed over the next eighteen years.
As a youth, Bob was independent; he left school before high school
and began working to support himself in a variety of jobs from auto repair and factory work to a deck hand on a Great Lakes freighter. At age eighteen, he started working at Stelco, one of the city's two major steel companies. This was the
beginning of more than 40 years as a steelworker and manager for the same company from which he would eventually retire in 1990. While not formerly educated for long in the school system, my dad was one of the smartest men I have known.
He was self-taught and learned from experience. If he did not know how to do something, he learned.
Around the same time, he met my mother, Beverley Cockburn (week #7), at a community dance and they were married in August 1950. Over the
next nine years, they had three children: my brother, me, and my sister. They would be happily married for over 55 years. My dad loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman. As children, he took us all camping and later our kids,
My parents loved to travel and my father was a great organizer of their trips which often included others. They toured various parts of Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States. For two years, in their 60's, they
lived in Mexico while he worked as a consultant in the steel industry, post-retirement.
By the age of 75, my dad was enjoying life and grandfatherhood, especially. He had experienced some health problems and was wanting to slow down a bit.
Sadly and unexpectedly, my dad died in his sleep on May 5, 2006. He was buried at Eastlawn Cemetery in Hamilton next to our brother, who had died suddenly nearly nine years before; almost four years later, they were joined by our