In the comfort of his loving wife Judith (nee Kauffeldt), Robert (Bob) Maika passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus in his 76th year. He will be fondly remembered by his brothers Bud (Beryl deceased), Jim (June), Basil (Lorraine), Desmond (Helen), Arthur (Patricia), Arnold (Silvana), sisters Margaret, Shirley (Wayne), Judy, brothers-in-law Herman, Wally, sisters-in-law Barb, Joan Hartwick and his many nieces, nephews and friends. Bob is predeceased by his parents Joseph and Evelyn, sisters Gladys and Joyce and brother Mickey. Bob was the proudest of fathers to Bobbi-Jo (Albert), Steven (Tammy), Sean (Caryn) and Shane, and loving Poppa to Connor, Owen, Kierra, Nicholas, Allie and Jackson. Bob will also be missed by the cat that he didn’t want, but was sure to pet when he thought nobody was looking.
Bob spent almost the entirety of his nearly 76 years in Combermere. After graduating from St. Mary's Convent School in Combermere, Bob moved to Toronto to work for Northern Electric. However, city living was not for him and he soon returned to Combermere. Shortly after resettling in Combermere, Bob began his excavation business which quickly became one of his many passions. Through his work, and his wife's business (Inn Towne Restaurant), there were few people who passed through Combermere that did not get to know Bob.
One of Bob's most endearing qualities was his honesty. It was this honesty that was so well respected by his many customers and led to his special work schedule in Halfway with the Polish community. A morning job in Halfway was always a full day as his customer would always have a "friend" or two who had a little job they needed done. While Bob tried to retire many times, he would always have people stopping by to ask him to do a small job because of the trust they had in him.
Although Bob lacked the post-secondary education that his children were so fortunate to pursue, he was a student of life and experience. He was always learning and there were few problems that Bob could not solve or things he could not fix. While some may call it stubborn, or as Bob would say heedless, his persistence always paid off. He was his wife's Mr. Fix-it. He would beam with pride when he would return home with each repair that should have been unsalvageable. Bob was also a master cryptographer and created a system of organization that the greatest minds at CSIS would be unable to decipher. This was surely in part to prevent his children from wandering off with one of his many treasures. And treasures he has. Anyone in town knew that if they needed something, they could ask Bob and he would have two of them, and happily lend one.
While Bob's heart was always in Combermere, he loved to explore. Prior to the advent of Google Maps was the Bob Map with shortcuts and a "hole-in-the-wall" restaurant in just about every township and county from Combermere to Ohio. His children have heard the stories of his many antics on his trips, like when he traveled to Venezuela to visit family friends who told the hotel staff that he and his brother were Canadian dignitaries. Canada has never been so boldly represented on the international stage.
In his later years, Bob enjoyed hosting people at the cottage in the summer, where he would be seen in his chair on the porch with one of his many summer hats, and his cookhouse in the winter. His friends knew that they could always stop by Bob's for a drink, which would be served with an hors d'oeuvres platter of bullsh*t. Bob had a genuine gift of the gab and playfully wove truth and bullsh*t together. Those who knew Bob best were treated to his special dialect which was truly a language in its own. From his wide range of colloquialisms to the many nicknames he had for people, it was difficult to get through one of Bob's stories without having to seek clarification. That was when you would see the twinkle in his eye and his familiar, playful grin. Bob was a walking history book of the Combermere area and loved to share stories with families about their loved ones. This knowledge was gained over a lifetime of living in Combermere, aided by his regular drives when he had a "nose problem". During his semi-retirement, one would regularly see Bob driving his "bug" around the area, at a frustratingly slow pace, for his regular town inspections. But Bob was most proud when telling stories about his children. He never tired of sharing their accomplishments and how proud he was of each of them.
Bob was truly an inspiration to his family for everything that he accomplished in life and will be lovingly remembered for so many things, especially his jokes and quick wit. His "suitcase", which was just a toiletry bag, dinner time stories of how what he was eating would affect his digestive tract, and his iron stomach, which allowed him to consume food that was not fit for human consumption. Expiry dates on food were often an indication of when something started to get good and things that would pass the Bob sniff test would curl your toes. Socrates himself would have trouble explaining "Bob logic", like the time he took a big drink of buttermilk that he did not realize had gone bad and rather than spit it out, he swallowed it because "it was already in my mouth". But Bob truly was a shining example for his children and grandchildren who have the greatest of admiration for him. While Bob will be greatly missed, his family takes comfort in knowing that he is able to play hockey again with his two new legs and have a drink with his friends and siblings who left him too early.
There will be a service for Bob at Holy Canadian Martyrs Parish at 11am on Friday, July 14th. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made in Bob’s name to The University of Ottawa Heart Institute. The family of Bob asks for privacy at this difficult time. If you would like to visit Bob’s home in person to offer your condolences, please call in advance. The family thanks you for your understanding. There will be a celebration of life for Bob at a later date.
Ottawa Heart Institute
40 Ruskin Street, Room H-2408, Ottawa ON K1Y 4W7