It is with a heavy heart that we announce the death of Bob Bieniarz, on Monday, October 26th. He passed away at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, in Guelph, after an unexpectedly short battle with Cancer.
Words rarely seem adequate to express our sorrow of a wonderful person, like Bob, but we were recently comforted by a quote, shared with us from a dear friend, by A. Foley:
“The passing of a good friend, like the felling of a great pine, leaves a vacant space against the sky.”
Bob will be remembered as a writer and poet. He was always there to lend a helping hand to whoever needed it and was keen to strike up a conversation with anyone, but you had to keep up with his quick-wit and dry sense of humour. He was not defined by what he did for a living, but always loved what he chose to do and often found great reflection in his hobbies, writing and fishing. While Bob had many jobs throughout his life, he most enjoyed the time he spent as a keeper at the Toronto Zoo. This is also where he met the love of his life, Mary.
For over 40 years, Bob has been the loving husband to Mary Hamilton, and supportive and caring father to stepsons Gary (Carrie), of Guelph, and Brian, of Ottawa. He is predeceased by his father, Alfred Bieniarz, but left to mourn, with fond memories is his mother, Julianna Urban, and the families of his brother, Gary Bieniarz with sister-in-law, Grace Elliott, his Aunt Diane, and his Aunt Wanda, all of Toronto.
Shortly before his passing, Bob shared one of his written pieces with us, which we agree provides a perfect reflective tone, to help us through this difficult time:
“There is a sanctuary to which I shall return, either in this life or the next. It displays no parallels of latitude or longitude, no harbour or anchored jetty, nor port of call. Navigation cannot mark its location on any map. A pink coral reef surrounds its shores where palm trees sway in rhythm to the salty ocean breezes. Passports are not required and Island music is the decree. There is a white sandy beach and thatched roof bar perched on the edge of a turquoise sea, where you can find an empty bar stool and someone with a story to tell.”
Written years ago, Bob always knew that he would, one day, be seeking an empty bar stool, ready to tell a story.
Memories of him will last in our hearts forever.
Fulfilling Bob’s wishes, cremation has already taken place. A celebration of life will be held at a date to be announced. As an expression of sympathy, donations can be made, in Bob’s memory, to your local animal rescue centre. Please visit Bob's obituary notice on Facebook.