George Robert (Bob) Muirhead

George Robert (Bob) Muirhead

Beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, grandpa, friend.

Artist, counsellor, lover of life.

Bob passed away unexpectedly at home on Sunday morning. Born in Vancouver, he spent his early years in Salmon Arm where his father, George, was the district agriculturist. The family moved to Cloverdale in 1956 where Bob later graduated from Lord Tweedsmuir High School. Accepted to military college in his grade 12 year, Bob changed his mind and decided to pursue his passion for art. He studied sculpture and painting at UBC and at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

In 1968, Bob returned to Vancouver to work as a freelance artist and illustrator. There he began what he referred to as his “day job”—working with troubled and disenfranchised adolescents. From 1970- 1972, he and his first wife, Patricia, ran a group home for the BC Children’s Aid Society for teenagers.

In 1972, Bob fulfilled his dream of returning to the Shuswap and moved with friends to Mara and then to Salmon Arm. He was one of the founding staff of Greenleaf –Salmon Arm’s first Alternate School program—but soon moved to an itinerant job working with high school students requiring intensive behavioural and emotional support. He touched the lives of many students and colleagues. Bob believed that the single most important thing for all children is to have a sense of place.

In 1987 Bob married the love of his life Diane and soon started a family while they continued their careers in education. The same year, Bob rediscovered the “instant gratification” of editorial cartooning; his cartoons appeared in the Observer and up to fifteen other papers across the province for next 18 years, winning provincial and national awards.

Bob will be remembered for his acute insight and intelligence, his vast knowledge, his advocacy for the underdog, his impatience with bureaucratic sophistry, and his belief in the importance of family. He is survived by his wife, Diane; children, Corrina (Chris Lea), Phaedra (Brad Turner), Peter and Simone; grandchildren, Kathleen, Maddison and Tyler; brother, Peter (Virginia, and their sons, Andrew, Casey and Ian). Bob will also be deeply missed by Diane’s large family, especially the many nieces and nephews who have a special place in their hearts for “Uncle Bob”.

Salmon Arm Observer

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