Robert Burkholder
Robert Burkholder

Obituary of Robert George Burkholder

BURKHOLDER, Robert George (Bob),  in his 90th year, on October 1 2020, peacefully at Belleville General Hospital.

Son of the late Russell O. Burkholder and Muriel O. Thomson. Born in Markham Ontario, where he attended school and from an early age helped out in the family business, Markham Bakery. Family lore has it that when Muriel was pregnant with Bob her doctor cautioned her to stop driving so much or her baby would be born with a steering wheel in his hands.  She may have ignored that advice.  Bob learned to drive and obtained a driver’s licence at the age of fourteen as he was needed to drive the bakery's delivery truck. His age was recorded as sixteen, with a 'blind eye' turned by the man who administered his driving test.  The age discrepancy between his driver's licence and his birth certificate caused some difficulty years later when Bob was applying to join the Ontario Provincial Police.  

Bob and his wife Mollie settled in Belleville in 1953 to help Muriel and Russell with the family business, Burkholder’s Bakery, where he worked until 1963.  Then Bob realized a lifelong ambition to join the Ontario Provincial Police. Bob enjoyed the work and the friendship of many fellow officers and their families.  He was a detective for many years and rounded out the end of his OPP career working as a Court Officer.

After 'retirement' Bob worked with the Commissionaires.  He continued to enjoy driving, shuttling cars among various car dealerships in Ontario and Quebec as well as dropping off and picking up travellers at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Bob loved cars and driving and most things motorized including motorcycles, tractors, boats and chain saws. He delighted in working on single-piston engines as a hobby for many years. Bob always had a project.  Whether it was home renovations, planting trees, pouring concrete, helping friends with farming or blowing snow out of the neighbours driveways, he was a busy guy.  He enjoyed yearly fishing trips to Biscotasing with a group of very good friends and trips to the coffee shops in the afternoons.

Survived by his wife of 68 years, Mollie (Bacon), a dark haired beauty with snapping black eyes, who stole his heart after a chance encounter at a baseball game. Bob enjoyed Mollie’s busy family of ten siblings and many happy gatherings with the extended Bacon family brought joy to family life. 

Survived by children, Rena (Cam Portt), Jayne, James (Ann), Bradley (Jodi) and Elizabeth (Rob Micallef) as well as nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren Michael Portt (Laura), Andrea Portt (and her son Lawrence), Russell Drenth (Jessica and their children Max and Elena), Jesse Drenth, Jessica Smith (Jack Smith and their children Mason and Kellan), Kyle Burkholder, Ashley Burkholder, Dylan Micallef, Hayley Micallef.

Bob's family would like to acknowledge with great appreciation the excellent and compassionate care provided by the staff of Quinte Gardens, Belleville General Hospital in particular Dr Hart and Sills Level 4 staff and Dr Lisowski and his office staff.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic there will be no service.  It is hoped that a Celebration of Life can be held in the future.  Private burial will be at Claremont Union Cemetery.  Donations to a charity of your choice.   Arrangements entrusted to Steele Funeral Home, Moira Street Chapel, Belleville (613-968-2273)

“See you in the movies Dad”



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