August 12, 2021
1933-2021 ~ It’s with a mixture of grief and joy that we announce the passing of Bob Purgavie. Bob passed quietly and peacefully surrounded by a great number of people that cared deeply for him. Although Bob’s body failed him the last number of years with mobility challenges, pain and finally a stroke, he accepted these using his last years to develop grace and patience, letting vulnerability guide his growth at the end of life.
Bob is survived by his children Rob (Maura) of Duncan, Bruce (Elaine) of Texada Island and Kate Anderson (John) of Merritt along with his seven grandchildren, 6 (soon to be 7) great grandchildren, and a number of former wives. He leaves this world to join a fine team of ancestors including his parents Alex and Marguerite, his brother Sandy, and his son Craig who was tragically lost in a house fire in 1965.
Bob was born in 1933 in New Westminster the son of immigrants who worked the land and the docks of the Fraser River estuary. He quit school in Grade 9 to support the family, working locally in a butcher shop before heading to Franklin River to work as a blaster’s assistant.
By 1952 he was a cook in the navy and in 1957 began his career in the justice field working in the hospital at Okalla Prison. After transferring to the Chilliwack River Prison camps, Bob returned to school to complete his high school education and do the coursework necessary to become a Probation Officer, moving to the Cowichan Valley in 1968.
Through his many relationships within Cowichan Tribes, Bob worked to integrate traditional restorative measures within the Provincial Justice system. Practices that began locally inspired Bob to become a champion of this style of justice, pushing for change from within and not being afraid to speak truth to power.
Being a bit of a troublemaker himself, Bob had a knack of knowing where to place his professional energies. He was blessed in later years to have people express their gratitude for his role in their life.
Friends and family wish to express their humble gratitude to the staff at Cairnsmore Place. The incredible gift of care he received along with the gift of relationship, helped Dad move from a life based on service to others to one of receiving.
Bob knew that service is based on give and take. It was through quality care and the give and take of daily interactions that Bob built the courage to leave this world. It is through relationships such as this that we leave the world a better place. Thank you.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the House of Friendship (hofduncan.org) or by tipping large during your next meal at his hangout of many years, the Arbutus Cafe.
A private family service will be held. Online condolences can be made at www.hwwallacecbc.com
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