Robert “Bob” McClarty, a long-time resident of the Peace Country, passed away peacefully with family by his side on Thursday, November 29, 2018, in Dawson Creek, at the age of 70 years after a hard-fought battle with cancer.
Bob was the real deal, a no BS kind of guy who was admired by all and really a cut above the rest. It was said by someone that God must’ve spent just a little more time on Bob.
Bob was born in Dawson Creek, BC in December of 1947 to Fred and Elsie McClarty, he had 13 brothers and sisters. Bob married Patricia Walsh in 1969 and together they raised 3 daughters; Sheila, Corri and Bobbi. The family resided in Taylor, BC and later Fort St. John. In 1999 Bob married Marilyn and together they raised Lisa, as well as Rylen, who became like a son to Bob. Rylen was the only kid you ever knew who could run a backhoe before he could walk…
Bob was many things: he was a logger, equipment operator, mill foreman, a hunter, a horseman, and a business owner. He owned a tire shop and his own trucking company, but for the last 2 decades he worked for Macro industries driving truck. Bob had many titles: friend, co-worker, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather and recently great grandfather. Just some of the many roles of a life that's been well lived.
Bob McClarty was larger than life. Tall, dark & handsome, he made a few gals swoon over him in his lifetime. He had a kind of movie star charisma that few men could rival. He rarely said a bad word about anyone but if he didn’t like you, you’d know it. Bobs integrity was rare, --but his generosity was legendary!
Bob said “ALWAYS GIVE SOMEONE A SECOND CHANCE…BUT……MAKE SURE YOU KEEP AN EYE ON THEM”
Bob was a bit of a Wildman back in the day but it’s all Carl Fellers fault (just kidding) The boys were known to get into a few Donny brooks back in the day. But he appreciated a good scrap whether hockey or MMA. Dallas recalls grandpa saying, “I’ve seen better fights than this at a prayer meeting”. One of his long laundry lists of witty sayings…
Bob engaged the world as a man who would be its master. He lived by a sort of “old west cowboy creed”. He lived by the words of one of his idols John Wayne, who said “courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.”
Brother Wally nicknamed Bob the HAMMER. Bob could fix almost anything -but If the truth be told -Bob wasn’t big on patience-well at least not if a sledge hammer could resolve it. Lance and Les would cringe every time he borrowed a power tool…as Bob was known to make a hole where one didn’t belong and to use whatever force necessary to get ‘er done.
Bob once said hard work doesn’t build character, it reveals it. He took pride in his work, and he worked hard. He told his kids “if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life”, yet ironically work is mostly what Bob did. He had unparalleled work ethic. He was always there to lend a hand to someone who needed it and -well- he came by that honestly as his dad Bruce was no stranger to hard work and helping.
Bob and his cousin Larry worked together and they were legendary for skilled driving prowess. One winter up the infamous OJ road, tractor Jack, as he was known to the drivers, was forced in treacherous conditions to tow up dozens and dozens of trucks to the top. So, when suddenly two iconic macro trucks went blazing up that hill, a baffled tractor Jack got on the CB for all the truckers to hear “JUST WHAT DO THOSE MACRO TRUCKS HAVE IN THEM? …Over the airwaves came Bedell’s matter of fact reply…. “DRIVERS” …and hey If Bob said the roads were bad…we all knew you dare not even start your truck.
Corri at the age of 5 proudly wore a “my daddy is a truck driver” cap & that ratty old hat she kept until this day really says it all.
The only thing Bob may have done better than trucking is telling a story. Bobs brothers and sisters will agree that when it comes to telling a tale, there are artists and there are those who draw stick men~ But Bob was the Rembrandt of storytelling. The only other man that could match stories with him was his best buddy; Don Tourand. Don had the ability to make bob laugh like no other. How can you possibly even define a 70 year friendship?
Bob shared his parents’ passion for horses and he passed it down to his daughters. The girls agree going to the Dawson Creek fall fair rodeo with their dad and betting on chuckwagon races was one if their fondest memories.
The same big, strong, intimidating man was the same gentle giant that carried his little girls off to bed and kissed them good night. His love for family knew no bound.
Bob always said the true measure of a man’s honor was how much he would risk to keep it in tact. His motto was: the best things in life …. aren’t things, and the best sermons in life…aren’t preached..they’re lived.
To summarize Bob in a sentence …he had a titanium spine, nerves of steel and a heart of gold.
Bob came to terms with his death long before the rest of us did. Self-pity was never in his arsenal and even in his last days, as cancer ravaged his body, he was more worried about everyone else than himself.
In the last weeks his family heard from so many of those he impacted, who stood in the warmth and light of his fire. Bobs family’s hopes and dreams will forever be grounded in what Bob taught them. He made us all want to be a better person, even before it was a movie line.
As we gather to honor an incredible man’s legacy, may a piece of Bob’s greatness be woven into all our lives. And although the sorrow is immense, and the agonizing void is big, he would want us all to know that as much as we hate to see him go, he went straight on through to the kingdom of heaven, escorted by angels slipping his earthly bonds, put out his hand, and touched the face of God.
In closing, we can only surmise that Heaven needed a Hammer or a hero..or both. And from all of us …at least for now…we say goodbye Bob, we will see you soon. And ps. give mom & dad and sister, Nora and Norma Nock a big hug for us all…We love you Bob ~always and forever
Bob was predeceased by his mother; Elsie (Fellers) Patterson, his dad; Bruce Patterson, his father; Fred McClarty, and his sister; Nora McClarty Lowes.
IN MEMORY of BOB
If they build Kenworth’s in heaven, you'll drive the biggest and best
If there's a truck stop between here and there I know you'll stop in for a rest
Of course you'll remember the waitress, she'll recall your order by heart
Bacon and eggs over easy, with pancakes stacked high just to start
I bet the coffee ain't bitter, most likely gets better with time,
Hey it's the true nectar of angels, aged to perfection like wine
Now you'll get down to the good stuff, stories few men can tell
I can see the boys gather ‘round you, to listen as if bound by a spell
The man, The myth, The legend,
The Hammer in spirit lives on
In each one of us there's a small piece of him, enough steel to keep us all strong.
Written by Donna (Patterson) Hooper
A celebration of Bob’s life was held on Friday, December 7, 2018 at 1:00 pm at the Dawson Creek Alliance Church, BC. Pastor Robbie Nock officiated. Interment will be held at a later date.
For friends so wishing, donations may be made in memory of Bob to the Rotary Manor Resident Council Fund, 1121-90 Avenue, Dawson Creek, B.C. V1G 5A3.
Very Respectfully Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium