December 8, 1922 - November 9, 2018
Dr. Robert (Bob) Allen Green, DVM “I do not take credit for any of the many things that have produced my good fortune. I must say that I am fortunate beyond belief. My parents, grandparents and many generations before them contributed to what and who I am today.” So said the late Dr. Robert Allen Green. Bob died peacefully on Friday afternoon, November 9, 2018, at the C.E.E. Hospital in Petrolia, just twenty-nine days shy of his 96th birthday. He was born on the family homestead farm near Herronton, Alberta on December 8, 1922. Bob was the third of four children born to hard working settlers, Hildred (Fox), formerly of Washburn, Maine and Thomas Green, from Blenheim, Ontario. “Our parents Tom and Hildred had an eighteen-year age difference. This meant that they were not very close in years, and neither were they very close in other ways. However, they got close enough to have four children. They were pioneers and they persevered.” “Cowboy Bob”, as he was known by his children, loved to tell stories of his idyllic childhood, spent roaming the wide open, rolling grasslands by the Arrowwood Creek and working on the mixed grains and livestock farm that his parents lovingly established. His family often said that he rode horseback before he could walk. Bob’s relentless perseverance in the face of adversity was derived from the hardworking pioneers who raised him. The Green farm was a 1280 acre mixed grain and livestock farm producing hay, wheat, oats, barley, rye, crested wheat grass and clover, along with livestock and poultry. The livestock included horses for draft, wagon and saddle work, including transporting, herding, cutting and roping. There were cattle for both beef and dairy, hogs, sheep for wool and “spring lamb” production along with several hundred poultry. Like many of his teenage friends, he became enamoured with the war. Bob quit high school and joined the RCAF, training in Edmonton, Claresholm and High River, Alberta. Bob was sent to England via the troop ship, the Queen Elizabeth. The Queen Elizabeth (with one of its largest loads of nearly fourteen thousand troops) weaved, unescorted across the Atlantic at twenty-two knots an hour, changing coarse every few minutes. The ship reached Greenock, Scotland in five days with an uneventful passage. He was trained as a gunner and transferred to the Gun Crew (Blue Watch) on the troop ship and Bob would always claim later that he was glad that the voyage was uneventful because they would have been in dire straits with him as the gunner. After finishing his advanced flying training, he was posted to a Navigational Flying Training School in Llandwrog, Wales as a staff pilot. There he trained flight crews and navigators for the rest of the war. This had a profound effect on his life as the life expectancy of the young warriors he trained was only twenty missions. He served his last year in the service as a Warrant Officer, 2nd Class. Although he was rated as a High Average Pilot, he did not want a rank that would require administrative writing since he coped with severe dyslexia all his life. After the war, he returned to Canada and was offered employment as a commercial pilot. He chose to finish his high school education and then attended the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph. It was there that he met his classmate and life-long friend, Dr. Blake Graham. Blake took Bob to his family’s farm near Oil Springs for holidays. In 1951, shortly after graduation, Dr. Bob Green moved to Petrolia, where he opened his veterinary practice and married Blake’s sister, Margaret. They raised their family of four children and worked together in the clinic for more than 43 years before retiring. Like his wife, Bob was an active part of the social and political fabric of the community. Over the years, he served in many capacities as: an elder in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church; a councillor for the Town of Petrolia; a director on the board of C.E.E. Hospital and its committees; an advisor to the Dean of the Ontario Veterinary College; an advisor to the Progressive Conservative Parties of Ontario and Canada; a member of the Senate for the University of Guelph and as an officer of his beloved St. Andrew’s Society of Petrolia. In the 1960’s and ‘70’s he led the charge to save the unoccupied and condemned Victoria Playhouse building and the Victorian streetscape of downtown Petrolia. Through the 1970’s, Bob was a member of the Solid Waste Management Board for Ontario. The Board was instrumental in developing the concepts for the programs of municipal composting and “Blue Box” recycling. After retiring, Bob and Marg enjoyed travelling, especially to visit family in both Alberta and New Zealand. Marg suffered a devastating stroke in 1996 and Bob then assumed the all-encompassing role of compassionate caregiver until she died. Bob was a man of simple pleasures. He loved spending time on the land and hunting. He enjoyed gardening, tinkering with equipment, fine tuning his inventions and being at home with his family. He appreciated good food and a glass of wine. When his nieces and nephews visited, he liked to bring out a bottle of sambuca, also known on Chestnut Street as “truth serum”, and the stories would commence. Bob’s wife of sixty years, Margaret (Graham) died in 2012. She and Bob are survived by their children: Cheryl (David) of London; Annie of Petrolia; Janice (Moy) of Port Alberni, BC and Tom (Mary) of Corunna. He is the cherished grandpa of Alayna, Kelan, Jessica, Geoffrey, Moy Jr., Powa, Kaitlyn and Robyn as well as the loving great grandfather of Taten, Liam, Roan, Aidan, Johnson (late Sharon), Adam, Mianna and Elias. As well, he is the great, great grandfather of Alexus and Cataleya. Bob is also survived by many loving nephews and nieces and their families. He was predeceased by his sister Margaret (William) Donald, his brother John (Mabel) Green, his sister Doris (Richard) Percifield. He was also predeceased by Marg’s brothers and their wives: Donald Graham; Blake (Barbara) Graham DVM; Bill (Mary) Graham. Cremation has taken place and interment will be a private family service. A public celebration of Bob’s life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations to the C.E.E. Hospital Foundation or the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be appreciated. Thanks to the staff of the C.E.E. Hospital for their care and to Dr. Danny Li for his years of T.L.C. Special thanks to Annie for all her years of care giving that made the last decade of being “as frisky as a fox” possible. Godspeed “Cowboy Bob” on your journey home.
Dr. Robert (Bob) Allen Green, DVM “I do not take credit for any of the many things that have produced my good fortune. I must say that I am fortunate beyond belief. My parents, grandparents and many generations before them contributed... View Obituary & Service Information
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Dr. Robert (Bob) Allen Green, DVM
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