Robert HARMS

Robert HARMS

Robert Victor Harms, athlete, artist, and businessman fought his last round and peacefully departed this world just after midnight on March 23rd, 2015. Bob was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan on September 9th, 1940 to Russian Mennonite immigrants, Peter and Helen Harms. Events brought the family and Bob to Chilliwack in 1948. Bob found acceptance and success in the athletics he pursued throughout his life. At Chilliwack Senior High School he was the star player in baseball, basketball, volleyball and badminton. He pursued bodybuilding, karate and judo while at UBC, which led him to Professional Wrestling. First on Stu Hart’s Wildcat circuit in the Prairies and then on the All Star circuit in the Pacific Northwest, he was known as “Bob Harms, the Magnificent Mennonite – Canada’s Handsomest Athlete, with a body that men feared and women desired.” Despite severe dyslexia, Bob achieved first class marks and an undergraduate degree at UBC in English and Psychology followed by an M. Ed in school administration. Bob had a long career in education starting in a one-room school in a logging camp up at Bear Creek on Harrison Lake. He ended up in teaching and administration Chilliwack, and also lectured in 1st year Psychology for UBC and Douglas College. Though he never planned to be a school-teacher and worked hard to escape the teaching profession, he loved to teach, mentor, advise and coach. He always cared deeply about his students and their success. Like his father before him Bob changed the Chilliwack landscape forever with his many property and business developments. Never a drinker, but always a night owl he started The Blue Unicorn Cabaret back in the 80’s, which, after many permutations, is now the popular Corky’s Irish Pub. There were many struggles through those years and he has always been grateful to the people who, along with their loyalty and hard work as employees, became his colleagues, confidantes and friends. Bob was consumed with artistic pursuits throughout his life. He wrote plays, poems and proverbs, and his greatest passion was oil painting. His success in business allowed him to paint full time. On canvas he expressed his excitement about design, his philosophy of life and his love of story telling. His paintings have been shown in New York, London, Vancouver, Hong Kong and, most recently, at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. Bob began a long battle against neurological damage from a spinal cord injury in 2008, which ended his career as a painter and kept him from playing the sports he loved. He fought hard to rehabilitate himself and made great strides before he was taken all too soon by liver cancer. He was planning projects and paintings right to the end. Bob leaves behind his wife of 54 years, Pauline, his son, Michael (and his wife, Barb), his daughter, Margot (and her husband, Bruce) and his children’s children (the quarter pounders) Frances, Alexandra, Simon, Nicholas and Olivia. He also leaves his sister, Juanita Darlene, his brother Harold, his nephews Bruce, Brian, Brian, Peter and Andrew and niece Jennifer. Bob loved a good joke and hated to be alone. He challenged all of us with his endless drive and his temper, but his kindness, patience, willingness to forgive and generosity made him the best person to have in your corner. The family wishes to thank Dr. Bull and all the wonderful staff at Cascade Hospice. Their attentive support allowed Bob to hold court and entertain his many wonderful visitors until he was finally able to find the rest he had so richly earned. A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at the Coast Hotel, 45920 First Ave. Chilliwack, at 2:00 PM on Sunday, April 12th. Bring your best Bob stories and pictures. In lieu of flowers people are encouraged to make a donation to the Chilliwack Hospice Society (www.chilliwackhospice.org). Henderson’s in care of arrangements, 604-792-1344. www.hendersonsfunerals.com


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