Robert Joseph Bechard

Robert (Bob, Bobby) Joseph Bechard

Retired RCMP Police Officer

Morrisburg & District –  Lions Club Member

May 28, 1954 – February 4, 2015

Robert “Bobby” Bechard was born in St. Thomas, Ontario, to his loving parents, Hazel and Harvey, completing their family, with two older brothers, Bill and Jim, to look up to.

Bobby and his brothers had an uncommon bond of friendship that was stronger than the geographical distance that would stand in their way, in later years. 

Bobby grew up in Wallaceburg, Ontario, where he enjoyed his childhood years, playing alongside his countless cousins, who were more like friends. 

A special bond existed between Bobby and his cousin Chris, who lived next door. On more than one occasion, these two were found getting into mischief. Three years older, Bobby acted as Chris’ personal body guard on the playgrounds of D.A. Gordon P.S. 

Summers were spent at the family cottage on the Snye River, where his love for water, boating and fishing were born.

Bobby spent his teenage years in the rink and on sporting fields. Playing goalie, for the Wallaceburg Junior Lakers, he saved the day countless times with his quick reflexes and “cool under pressure” attitude. Equally skilled when he picked up a lacrosse stick or baseball bat, Bobby was an all-star athlete. 

At age of 19, Bobby packed his bags for Regina, Saskatchewan, to pursue what would become a 37-year career with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. After six months of intense physical and mental training, he earned his badge. 

A young man, from a small south-western Ontario town, in search of adventure and opportunities, Bobby was transferred to his first posting in British Columbia. 

During Bobby’s time in BC, his “nephew-but-more-like-a-brother”, Randy stayed with him. Together, they navigated life. More than once, Randy rode “shot-gun”, with Bobby in the patrol car, during midnight shifts. 

Bobby didn’t know it at the time, but he gave Randy memories that he would remember forever. 

By the late 1970’s, having dropped the extra “b” and “y”, Bob was transferred to RCMP headquarters, Ottawa. There he spent the remainder of his policing career at the Canadian Police Information Center (CPIC), using his analytical expertise to solve numerous crimes across the country. 

Bob became known as the Force’s expert in this area, according to numerous colleagues, from coast to coast. At CPIC more lifelong friendships were formed, with Leroy, Dawn, Chuck, Jean-Marc and of course, his group of golfing buddies, known as “The Dawgs”. They included Charlie, Doug, Bruce, Marc, Denis, Milt, Steve, Hank and Alfie. 

Bob met his love, Carol Thompson, in the early 1980’s, and together, they raised their children, Jennifer and Robert. Summer vacations were spent at Canada’s Wonderland, where Bob braved his fear of heights to ride alongside his daughter on the roller coasters. They enjoyed Long Island Camp in Manotick, fishing in Mitchell’s Bay and waterskiing at the Keech’s cottage. 

Bob dutifully attended the kids’ sporting events. Always on the sidelines at Jennifer’s soccer games, he was well-liked among her teammates and known for his friendliness, quiet advice and chauffeuring capabilities. 

For more than 15 years he coached Robert’s hockey. Like father, like son, Robert spent his hockey career minding the nets. 

It was at the hockey rink that Bob met Al and Marlene. At backyard barbecues, pool parties, birthday celebrations and one too many Jello shooters, the Bechard’s and the Bradley’s created memories that will forever be cherished between them. 

Bob wanted to spend his retirement years with Carol, enjoying life on the water, and in 2007, they found their forever home in Mariatown. Not long after move-in day, their new neighbours, Glenn and Iris welcomed them. 

Glenn took Bob under his wing and introduced him to several people, including the local Lions’ Club members. And, it was with this simple introduction that Bob’s final life purpose began. 

Bob was a Lions’ club member for five years, acting as President for three. Amazing friendships with Mae, Judy, Earl, Wayne, Jane, Tracey, Jaime, Randy, Jim, Vivian, Keith, Linda, Paul, Fred and Les, developed in no time. 

However, more important than his popularity was the footprint he left on his new community. He was actively involved in all club matters, but closest to his heart were the Seniors’ Christmas Party, the Dundas County Hospice, the newly installed finger docks at the dock in Morrisburg and what will no doubt be thought of as Bob’s legacy; providing free hearing tests, in collaboration with the Canadian Hearing Society, to the entire community. 

In Bob’s short seven years as a resident of the Morrisburg area, he improved the lives of many people who needed assistance. So many people who needed to know that someone cared about them. 

Bob believed that everyone deserved to be treated with respect, and this is how his family hopes he will be remembered. 

Bob was so many things to so many people. Devoted spouse to Carol Ann Thompson. Father to Jennifer Thompson-Daigle (Ryan) and Robert Bechard (Emily). Proud grandfather to Savannah, Carter and Colton. Brother to Bill and Jim. Brother-in-law to Michele, Cathy, Emily, Bob, Gary, Inez, Elaine, Bill, Dawn and Bobby. Uncle to Randy, Kellie, Kari, Aaryn, Corrina, Colleen, Dwight, Will, Kim, Rachel, Josh, Brianna, Lucas, Levi, Lindsay, Chad, Tyler, Mackenzie, Max, Ethyn and Austyn.  He even acquired the title of great-great uncle in recent years. 

He was a friend, a leader and role model.

In his final days, Bob received care, support and vital equipment from the Dundas County Hospice, which he previously supported in his community work, as well as numerous blood transfusions in his fight against cancer. 

To honour Bob’s giving spirit and memory, the family would be grateful for financial donations to the Dundas County Hospice and consider becoming a blood donor.  

Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home, Williamsburg, Tuesday February 10th from 1- 3 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. 

Funeral service was held at St. James Anglican Church, Morrisburg, on Wednesday February 11th at 11 a.m. with Rev. Sue McCullough officiating. Pallbearers were Randy Bechard, Aaryn Bechard, Allan Bradley and Charles Strang.

Please share your stories and memories of Bob with the family at: dadhasastory@yahoo.ca

 

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