Robert was born on May 13th, 1946 in Preston, Ontario to the late Ruth Hillborn and Tom Conaway. Beloved husband of 53 years to Sharon (Kieswetter) Conaway. Loving father to Lisa (Richard) Hepditch and Chad (Courtney) Conaway. Dearly missed by his grandchildren Samuel, Madeleine, and Nicholas Hepditch, and Jacob, Jackson and William Conaway. Robert is lovingly remembered by his big brother Tom (Patricia) Conaway and his many nieces and nephews.
Robert had an adventurous spirit and always thought outside of the box. His career with Bell Canada took him and his family to all corners of the world where he assisted with establishing the first telephone system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for almost a decade. Everything Robert did in life he did for his family- they drank tea in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, walked through the pyramids in Egypt, went on safari in Africa and looked over the City of Paris from the Eiffel tower. The upbringing he provided for his children gave them a true appreciation for different cultures, traditions and ways of life.
Robert was a self-made entrepreneur and was always innovating business ideas and opportunities. After returning from his work overseas and retiring from Bell Canada, Robert and Sharon converted an old home on the main street of St. Jacobs into a beloved pub and specialty store (Shadetree). Robert loved running the Shadetree, serving guests who became regulars and often good friends. If you visited the Shadetree you surely remember being greeted by Robert’s welcoming smile.
Robert’s second love was carpentry and all custom projects made of wood. Having sub-contracted the family home that included the design and creation of an authentic English pub, true to his heritage, for family and friends to enjoy- no project was too big for him to take on. Robert utilized his talents and personal touch to renovate a small cottage in Howick, Ontario into a peaceful and beautiful space for his family to gather. Today, the cottage is Robert and Sharon’s legacy where family and friends can gather to fondly reflect upon many memories and create new ones for generations to come.
Robert will be dearly missed by those who knew him. He will continue to guide us and inspire us through the many fond memories we have of him. Robert’s children and their families wish to acknowledge Sharon’s tireless example of compassion and commitment, “through sickness and in health”, she so lovingly demonstrated by caring for Robert for over a decade.
The Conaway family is thankful for the loving support and care that Robert received from Ruby, Clarissa and staff during his long stay at The Village at University Gates.
A private family service and burial will take place at Parkview Cemetery in Waterloo, Ontario. A date for a celebration of life where we can join and share our memories of Robert will be announced in the coming weeks. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Robert’s memory to Hospice Waterloo Region (www.hospicewaterloo.ca/donate/ ).
Messages and condolences may be left for the family at www.tricitycremations.com or 519.772.1237. Please visit Robert's obituary notice on Facebook.