September 8, 1948 – April 26, 2023
In loving memory ~
It is with deep sorrow that we announce the unexpected passing of Robert Neil (Grouse) of Cranbrook, B.C.
Rob was born in Quesnel, B.C., on September 8, 1948, the first child of parents Dick and Helen Jean Neil.
Rob’s public education began in Kamloops in 1953, then onto Calgary, Alberta; he finished high school in Cranbrook, B.C., where he graduated from MBSS. He furthered his education at BCIT in Vancouver; he later attended Washington State University where he obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology.
Rob started to work in 1972 in the habitat protection section as a conservation Biologist in the Ministry of Environment’s Fish and Wildlife Branch in both East and West Kootenay’s. Rob worked for over four decades dedicating his life work to working with fish, wildlife and habitat-related issues. Rob then worked for 14 years as the Kootenay Conservation Land’s Manager for the Nature Trust of B.C. Rob has focused his work efforts on such topics as ungulate winter range, conservation land management, monitoring and restoration projects, and land securement. Rob has worked diligently to protect land areas in the Bull River, Cherry Creek, Hoodoos, Columbia River Wetlands, Bummers Flats, Wigwam Flats, Meadow Creek, and Duncan River to name a few.
Once Rob retired he continued to work on the Board of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Program as a public representative for the Columbia Region Board. Rob was a lifelong learner and he dedicated his life work to being engaged within the conservation community.
In 2017 Rob was awarded the Conservation Leadership Award from the Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) for the work he has done over the past 40 years as a leader in conservation in the Kootenay Region. Rob was recognized for balancing the critical needs of all the stakeholders with his expertise in conserving landscapes, habitat protection, and wildlife management has been his legacy.
Rob had many passions that mostly revolved around his love for the outdoors such as fishing, hunting, travelling, camping, painting landscape pictures and riding his horses into the backcountry with his good friends. Rob also loved sitting around a campfire with his wife Corinne sharing stories, and drinking a rum and coke. Rob’s grandchildren were a source of pride and joy for him. He enjoyed sharing his passion for the outdoors with each one of them.
Rob is survived by his loving wife Corinne, daughter Jodie (Mike) Coyne, son Justin (Jen) Neil, Stepsons Kevin (Katherine) Larsen and Michael (Christina) Larsen and his wonderful Grandchildren Sage and Jesse Coyne and Brodie and Colton Neil, Clara and Adelyn Larsen and Graeden and Brooklyn Larsen.
He is also survived by his siblings Richard (Heather) Neil, David Neil and Ming Neil (Alex) as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Rob was the ” Consummate Conservationist”
He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
There will be a celebration of life for Rob held at the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort on May 13th from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Casual attire.
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