Robert (Bob) George Thompson, BASc’61

Robert ThompsonBob passed away on October 28, 2018, in San Diego, California. Born in Vancouver in 1938, he spent his childhood in the Bridge River Valley of BC, as an outstanding student, avid curler, track star, and a Queen Scout of Canada. At 16, he worked summers hauling freight in his father’s trucks over the mountains from Shalath to the mining towns of Bralorne and Pioneer.

In 1961, he graduated in Mechanical Engineering from UBC and married Betty Sell (BEd Elem’64). They moved to Montreal, where he began his career working on the PT6 gas turbine engine at Pratt & Whitney Canada. They enjoyed the friendship of many other UBC graduates based in the city, and Bob continued his studies to earn a graduate diploma from McGill University.

In 1969, Bob took an opportunity to work in California and live 1,500 miles closer to his and Betty’s parents in BC. By this time, they had two sons (Ronald and David) and a daughter (Willow).

Bob worked for several engineering firms in California and participated wholeheartedly in his community, becoming a commissioner for the American Youth Soccer Association, a volunteer for the United Way, and a Life Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

After 18 years at Hamilton Sundstrand in San Diego, where he worked on advanced aircraft auxiliary power gas turbine engines, Bob retired in 2003. For the next few years, he enjoyed body surfing, travelling, and being with his family.

When diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2015, he received extra loving care from his wife, son Ron, and the Silverado Community. Predeceased by his parents, sister Florence (BHE’64) and nephew David, Bob is lovingly remembered by Betty, Ron, David and Willow; nephew Christopher (BA’95) (Margaret); grandchildren Fraser (Damaris), Trevor and Mackenzie; great granddaughters Kaylee and Kenadie; grandnieces Sophie and Alexa; and many dear relatives and friends. His ashes will be interred at the Burnaby Heritage Cemetery.