Robert Andrew McClean Hetherington, 83, chose to suddenly leave this earth early in the morning of Thursday, September 24, 2020. Predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Iris Louise Hetherington (nee Taylor), he is survived by his daughters Barbara Diane Hetherington (Don McConnell) of Kamloops, BC and Joanne Leslie Hetherington of Vancouver, BC as well as his brothers Gary (Deidre) and Tom (Ingrid), both of Vancouver, BC and his brother Brian (Alma) of Maple Ridge, BC, and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
Born in New Westminster on April 5, 1937 to Robert and Pauline Hetherington (nee Krawchuk), Rob often reminisced about his times wreaking havoc on the banks of Burnett Creek and his later experiences as an RCN(R) cadet.
After marrying the love of his life Iris, on June 28, 1957 in New Westminster and lured by the landscape, hunting, fly fishing and a job at Weyerhaeuser, Rob left his job at Lenkurt Electric and moved the family to Kamloops in 1963.
In the 1970’s Rob decided to make a change and became one of the first graduates of the Recreation program at Cariboo College (now TRU). His final presentation in this program was notable for being instrumental in helping persuade City Council to save a struggling “zoo” which is now known as the BC Wildlife Park. Serving on the Board of Directors of the Park for many years, Rob was very proud of his part in its ongoing success and his amazing friendship with the resident Cougar, Camper.
Rob then accepted the position as Facilities Manager for Parks & Recreation in Kamloops and oversaw the operations of all the City’s Arenas. He was always proud of his achievements with the City including increasing support and ice time for the Figure Skating Club and fitting Memorial Arena with a dry floor to lure bigger concert acts to town. He was also one of the driving forces behind the attempted creation of the Management Association at the City of Kamloops. After early retirement in the mid 1980’s, he then turned his energy towards his other passion. As a long-time member of Kamloops Target Sports Association, Rob was tireless in advocating to uphold the right to responsible firearms ownership. As an active advocate & long-time board member of Kamloops Target Sports Association, he and a group of other members began a small fundraising show to raise money to purchase land for a range. He was always very proud of his part in the establishment of this “little gun and antique show” which has now grown to be one of the largest of its kind in Western Canada. Also known as “Rusty Hinges”, Rob was a proud member of SASS, the Single Action Shooting Society (Home of Cowboy Action Shooting) which he loved for the role playing, sense of history, and attending various events in his character for the “Love of the Game”. If you’ve been to the gun show and heard stories from the man in the antique British Army officer’s uniform, well, you’ve met Rob. He was an accomplished raconteur and had a story for any occasion.
Throughout his life, his sense of fairness and doing the right thing was what led him to the decisions he made and the actions he took, sometimes regardless of personal cost. He was a firm believer in Women’s, Worker’s and First Nations’ Rights. Rob’s love of Hunting, Salmon and Fly Fishing also drove his belief in the need to protect our natural environment.
Rob would often say that he was born in the “Right Country – Wrong Time” and he may have been right for many reasons.
After his Lovely Lady Iris passed, last year, Rob wasn’t the same. He wanted to be with her together forever and now he is. Barbara and Joanne would like to thank the Staff at Royal Inland Hospital on 7 North for their care and company during his stay earlier this year and the Kamloops Funeral Home for their assistance. We would also like to thank Loyd Anderson for his ongoing help, support and friendship.
A Celebration of Life will be arranged and announced at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, donation to the Alzheimer’s Society of BC would be appreciated.