Edwards – Walter Robert (Bob), in his eighty-eighth year, suddenly, at his residence in Comox, B.C., on Saturday, December 21st, 2002.
Beloved husband of the late Mary Madeline (Molly) Edwards (nee: Bowater). Dear father of son Robert Allan, and daughter Anne Elizabeth Mountifield nee: Edwards and her husband Howard. Loved grandfather of Todd, Laila, Dana and Brock Edwards and Julia and Alanah Mountifield, and equally loved great-grandfather of Alexander Sommer and Cassandra Edenshaw. Brother of the late Herbert and George Edwards.
During his lifetime, Bob served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, retiring as a Warrant Officer 1. Bob was also an avid and dedicated ham operator (VE7 BRX, now silent key). He enjoyed travelling, fly fishing, and his coffee klatches. He was a fine role model for his children and grandchildren.
In 1931 he served in 110 squadron of the RCAF auxiliary. During this time he built one of the first “Walkmans”, consisting of a one tube regenerative crystal set powered by batteries strapped to a belt which he wore while riding his bike.
In 1939 he transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force regular branch where he served on Canada’s east coast with coastal reconnaissance as a wireless operator/mechanic and airgunner. In June 1942 Bob was transferred to the National Research Council, Ottawa, where while working on gun laying radar for the navy, he was promoted to Flight Sergeant.
During 1945 he obtained his first ham call VE3BEG while in Ottawa; using home brew equipment including a narrow band FM transmitter and a war surplus receiver.
1946 saw Bob being presented with the prestigious British Empire Medal by the Governor General for his outstanding work in compacting and miniaturizing airborne instrument landing systems.
As with all other still serving military members after the war, Bob reverted to the rank of Sergeant in 1947. His expertise was used at the military Radar and Communications School in Clinton, Ontario where he instructed until 1953 and regained his former rank of Flight Sergeant.
In 1955 Bob was promoted to Warrant Officer and in 1956 transferred to Tofino as NCO in charge of Ground Communications Installations. After the closure of this station in 1958, he was transferred back to Air Material Command Headquarters in Ottawa where his new call was VE3CKY.
1962 brought another promotion to Warrant Officer First Class and in 1963, Bob took his release from the Canadian military. He moved to the west coast where he obtained the call VE7BRX which he’s had ever since.
During 1964 he worked one year for Aviation Electric Pacific and then for Lenkurt Electric in Burnaby for 14 years, retiring in 1979, shortly before his wife passed away.
1982 was the year Bob bought a lot on Hornby Island where he built his tudor-style log home. Because of health reasons in 1988, Bob sold his house on Hornby and moved in with his son in Royston for the next six years.
On doctors advice, in 1995 Bob moved closer to medical facilities in Courtenay and then to Comox.