ROBERT (BOBBY) EDWARD JONES March 2, 1931 – March 12, 2015
It is with great sadness the family of Robert (Bobby) Edward Jones announces his death on Thursday, March 12, 2015. He will be missed by his beloved wife of 43 years, Arlene Draffin Jones, son Richard Jones, daughter-in-law, Maryanne (Bowcott), brother Barry (Edmonton), grandchildren Kendra (John Sparrow), Rebekah, Jennifer (Tom Boomer) and Kevin, and great-grandchildren: Sarah Sparrow, Thomas and Griffin Boomer. He will be remembered with fondness by sister-in-law Diane and her husband Robert Leinweber, and the rest of Arlene’s family. Bobby was predeceased by his father Howard Jones and mother Mary (Ozubka), his first wife Elizabeth (Betty) Timmer, son Larry, infant daughter Jacqueline, sister Carol Savage, brother-in-law Jack Savage, and nephew Michael Savage.
For over 50 years Bobby was active in the sport of Amateur Olympic and Professional Wrestling as a competitor, coach, manager, administrator, and official. He always gave credit to the Central YMCA where he started as an amateur at age 17 for his career as a wrestler. In 1952 he acquired Professional status and wrestled in the USA and Canada with the AWA. Bobby was also a baseball pitcher playing in the industrial league. But his love of amateur sport remained. He introduced and conducted kids and youth wrestling in community centres, clubs, schools and First Nation communities throughout Winnipeg and the province. In 1967 Bobby was the Manager for the Manitoba Wrestling Team at the First Canada Winter Games in Quebec City and Coach of the Manitoba Wrestling Team at the First Canadian Junior Olympic Wrestling Championships in Edmonton in 1974. He served as an official at the 1979 Canada Winter Games in Brandon and the 1990 Western Canada Summer Games. He was the founder and editor of the publication “Manitoba Let’s Wrestle”, produced and hosted a weekly television program: “Let’s Wrestle Manitoba”.
Bobby graduated in Recreation Studies from the University of Western Ontario, and in Business Administration from Red River College. He worked as Recreation Director and Counselor at Knowles School for Boys (now Knowles Centre) and in 1962 began his career as Recreation Supervisor and Superintendent with City of Winnipeg Parks and Recreation Department. As a dedicated community member over the years, Bobby served on the Board of Directors for the Native Effort for Talent program, President of Acqua Percept Inc. (a national adaptive swim/gym program to develop motor skills); President of Manitoba Parks and Recreation Association; Manitoba Society of Seniors Board of Directors and Chair of the MSOS 55 Plus Games; and Board of Directors, Age and Opportunity and the Canada Seniors Games Association and a member of the 1991 Grey Cup Parade Committee. He was the Host and co-producer of “Seniors On The Move” Shaw Cablevision program for eight years. In the past few years Bobby’s interest found him on the Board of the Seven Oaks Historical Society and the Luxton Residents Association. Both he and Arlene belong to the Compassionate Friends and are members of Westminster United Church. After retirement from the City of Winnipeg Bobby and Arlene operated a Bed and Breakfast in their home “Bannerman East” for 15 years where people from all over the world enjoyed Bobby’s homemade bread and hospitality. A keen fitness buff he was a regular at Sargent Park Recreation Centre (Cindy Klassen Centre). Movies (10 locally filmed), musical theatre (played in “Oliver” with North Kildonan Players) and modeling were adventures for him. While Bobby was a fun kind of guy he was actually very spiritual and sensitive to others needs. He loved classical music, jazz, enjoyed art and wrote poetry.
Bobby supported Arlene in her work, projects and volunteer activities. He was proud of her involvement with the Council of Women of Winnipeg, and the Provincial Council of Women of Manitoba. Together they travelled extensively across Canada and the USA, Australia, China, Turkey, England, Scotland, France, Spain, Germany, Hawaii, Mexico and Cuba. A special thank you to our family, friends and neighbours especially Leanne Landriault (for the many suppers) and Curtis Palidwor, Joann MacMorran, Eva Marie Lessing, Mary Gigliotti, the wonderful home care workers who helped make Bobby’s last few months more comfortable, the staff on E6 at St. Boniface Hospital for their care and patience (especially when he wanted to use the phone), the Paramedics, the Khartum Shrine Pipes and Drum Corps and the St. John’s Cathedral. Arlene and the family very much appreciate Pastor Dr. George Takashima for coming from Lethbridge to lead the celebration of Bob’s life. A celebration of Bobby’s life will be held at the St. John’s Cathedral, 135 Anderson Ave. on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to The Compassionate Friends TCF/Winnipeg Inc., 685 William Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3E 0Z2, The Merchant’s Corner Project c/o North End Community Renewal Corporation (NECRC), 509 Selkirk Ave., Winnipeg, MB R2W 2M6, or a charity of your choice. Bob’s granddaughter Kendra said: “Bob had a long and fulfilling life, but it is nonetheless very difficult for everyone to cope in a world without his smile.” NEIL BARDAL FUNERAL CENTRE 204-949-2200 neilbardalinc.com
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on March 18, 2015