Born in Vancouver on April 26, 1926, son of Morice and Mary Farr (née Marlatt), Robin is survived by his adoring wife of 57 years, Margaret (Peggy) Farr (née Fullerton), BA’48; children Peter (Anna), J. Brian (Susan), and Wendy McLeod (Bryan); grandchildren Sean, Stephen and Alexander; and older brother David of Ottawa.
Robin’s career began as a schoolteacher in Lake Cowichan, where he did everything from teaching English to driving the school bus. In 1950 he moved to Toronto to break into the growing field of Canadian book publishing. He worked for Copp Clark Publishing, eventually returning to Vancouver to open the Western Canada region. In 1960, appointed founding director of McGill University Press in Montreal, Robin spent the next seven years building the company into a respected institution with an excellent booklist. In 1967 he returned to Toronto, joining McClelland and Stewart Ltd. He moved to Ryerson Press as director of publishing and editor-in-chief, tasked with reshaping the company. Next, Robin moved to the Canada Council to design programs supporting fledgling Canadian publishing companies, and then to Toronto to implement the Ontario Halfback Program.
After retirement Robin continued to use his business skills, devoting much of his time to new authors. He spent many years researching and writing about Canada’s history, particularly its discovery and early settlement on both coasts. He continued to support Canadian literacy through active participation in charities and teaching adult literacy. He donated his publishing papers to McMaster University.
Robin was a wonderful man with a sharp intellect and a wide range of interests, always at work on new projects. He had deep beliefs and thoughts on the world. He was kind and caring and truly loved and respected by friends and family. We will always miss him.