In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


Robert Cook Detwiler


Prob. Sub-Lieutenant, RCNVR


Lieutenant (Engineer Branch), O-19354, RCN


Died: 20 Sep 2021, Dundas, Ontario


DETWILER, Robert Cook (Bob) - died on September 20th, 2021, in his 97th year, at his home in Dundas, Ontario. Family were supporting him through the final months; his wife of 67 years, Seija (nee Wahlberg), would sing to him with tenderness in the weeks as he declined.


Bob was born in London Ontario to Eldon and Bernice Detwiler, and was younger brother to Mary (Johnson) and Ruth (Smith).


Bob and Seija raised four daughters: Linda (Bill Marck), Susan, Tara (Phil) and Lisa. Bob will be dearly missed by his grandchildren: Zarry, Bob, Cliff, Rachael, Alyssa, Annie, Emmi, and Ella. He is great-grand-father to: Sienna, June, Ashton, Logan, Lola, and Malcolm.


A born adventurer, from 1943 to 1945 he served in the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve out of Halifax. The months of sea-sickness didn't dissuade him from developing a love of sailing, which led to racing dinghies at the Hamilton Yacht Club, in Bermuda, and sailing on the west coast.


A graduate of Western University Medical School (class of 1950), his inquiring mind led him to undertake numerous residencies, including in Montreal, where he met Seija, Boston, Augusta Georgia and London UK. In 1959 he launched an orthopaedic surgery practice in Hamilton. Appreciated by his patients and respected by his colleagues in the hospitals where he served, in 1994 he retired from orthopaedics, then, always learning, pivoted to assist in heart surgery.


As a young man, he enjoyed car rallies in Montreal, racing at Mosport, and rode his Triumph bike to California. Later, he would painstakingly dismantle and reassemble a vintage car engine.


He shared with his family and friends his love of the outdoors, golf, skiing, sailing and ice-boating. He took up flying, once even piloting his Cessna to California with his young family in tow.


He was humble in his many talents, quietly empathetic and kind and accepting of others.


The family would like to thank Dr. James Williams, the PSW's and palliative nurses who provided excellent care.


As Bob wished, there will be no funeral service and his ashes will go to the sea.

(The Hamilton Spectator, 02 Oct 2021)


Ships served in:

HMCS CORNWALLIS - Appointed to CORNWALLIS 06 Jan 1945 as a Prob. SLt, RCNVR (Navy List Jan 1945)

HMCS ATHABASKAN - Appointed to ATHABASKAN 03 Jun 1955 as an A/SLt (E), RCN (Navy List Jul 1955)

HMCS NIOBE - Appointed to NIOBE for M/E Specialization Course at the Imperial Defence College as a Lt (E), RCN (Navy List Jul 1958)



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