Robert Laurence ‘Bob’ Drew-Brook

May 11, 1929 – January 29, 2022
Dad died peacefully, with his three sons at his side, in Qualicum Beach, BC.
He was the son of Laurence and Ruth (McAllister) and brother of Raye (Wylie). He attended John Ross Robertson Junior Public School and Lawrence Park Collegiate. He was a nature lover his whole life. As a boy, he had a pet crow that he taught to talk, and a (descented) pet skunk. He became an expert amateur bird watcher and an accomplished wood carver.
He met Betty Heaslip at a football game. Neither having much interest in football, they talked, and by the end of the game, he knew that he would marry her; and he did, in 1953.
He learned dentistry at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1956. His adventurous spirit led him to his first job on the “Dental Car” — a railway car, outfitted as a dental office and residence. It was stationed on sidings to serve people in remote communities in a wide area north of Lake Superior.
Alan was born in Sioux Lookout. The family moved to Terrace Bay, then Toronto, where Neil and Paul were born.
Dad practiced at Yonge and Bloor. We spent summers on canoe trips in Algonquin and Killarney Parks. In 1972 that adventurous spirit arose again and took the family to Fort Churchill, where he served the eastern arctic, and to Williams Lake, BC in 1974, covering the Chilcotin, then to Prince Rupert in 1985, serving northwestern BC.
Bob and Betty retired to Qualicum Beach in 1989. They were among the founders of the QB Streamkeepers Society. Dad played hockey with the Parksville Panters hockey club, and climbed Mount Arrowsmith with his PGOSA and Arrowsmith Naturalists friends. Their front and back yards on Dogwood Road were gardening masterpieces.
They moved to The Gardens retirement home in 2011. We lost Mum to Parkinson’s in 2013.
Despite not reading music, and with no musical training, Dad wrote songs for, and performed with, The Gardens choir; two of his compositions won “Sing Me a Song” awards from the Lieutenant-Governor.
Dad leaves his sons Alan (Holly) in Calgary, Neil in Victoria, and Paul (Theresa Varalta) in Calgary; grandchildren Marshall (Yolanda Dorrington), Brendan (Amy), Connie (Justin Hall), Leah Battle (Jeff), and Fiona (Tom Richards); nieces, nephews, and cousins Gail Wylie, Ian Wylie, Ann Wylie-Toal, Chris Wylie, Hazel Wylie, Andrew Ellis, Elizabeth Delbreil, Debra Palin, Lee Thorpe, Bob Morris, Bill Morris, Shari Smyth, Brad Morris, Brenda Radford, and Bruce Radford; sister-in-law Nona Macdonald Heaslip, first cousin Hugh Drew-Brook, Merrily Walker, Robin Walker, Heidi Walker, and many once-removed (etc.) cousins. Avery met her great-grandfather on his 90th birthday; her new sister Alana will remember him through the stories and pictures we will share with her.
Lynn Tomlinson, and Gisela and Peter Neumann, were steadfast friends, unwavering in their kindness and support.
We thank the wonderful staff who cared for Dad at The Gardens; you provided compassionate service, especially in his final days.
Family and friends are invited to honour Bob and share memories at an online gathering. Send an e-mail message to and we will send you the date and time, and a link.
If you’d like, instead of flowers, make a donation to the organization of your choice, perhaps one of Dad’s favourites — The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, The Land Conservancy, BC Nature, or Alexandra Morton.

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