Honorable J. Robert Howie PC QC
It is with deep sadness that the family of the beloved Honorable J. Robert Howie PC QC announces his unexpected passing on November 25, 2017 at the DECH surrounded by his dear family. Born in Fredericton, he was the son of the late Mary L. and James R. Howie. Bob was the fourth generation of his family living in Canada to carry the name James Robert, a tradition maintained by his son and grandson.
Bob is survived by his loving wife of 63 years Nancy M. Howie; much loved children Cindy, Marlene, Jamie (Joy), and Mary Jane (Vergil); grandchildren Josh (Sam), Wesley, Kristine, Robert (Trish), Adam, Jacqueline, Riley; great grandchildren Jaxon and Jayde and his beloved cat Billy. In addition to his parents Bob was predeceased by his beloved sister Helen (Howie) Johnson.
Bob was a practicing lawyer who entered UNB at the age of 16 years and graduated with his BA and LLB degrees. He played hockey and basketball.
A former Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Solicitor for the Town of Oromocto, Legal Advisor and Corporate Secretary to NB Power, he entered public life as a Member of Parliament in 1972, was elected five times, winning the biggest majority ever in York Sunbury, and retired undefeated in 1988, resuming his law practice. He made history while in opposition with the passing, by unanimous consent, of a private member's bill with respect to battered children, which resulted in legislative amendments. He also championed a bill concerning battered wife syndrome.
Bob was appointed to the Privy Council as Minister of State for Marine Transport in 1979 and appointed Queen's Council in 1981.
He attended St Andrew's Presbyterian Church his entire life. He served over two decades as Elder and Clerk of Session. His grandfather and Aunt Margaret were founding members of the church.
Very active in the community, Bob was President of the YMCA, Home and School, Kinsman and Jaycees, and Fredericton Society of St. Andrew, active in Senior Citizen's Housing, former Cub and Scout leader, member of the Fredericton Curling Club and served meals at the Fredericton Community Kitchen.
Bob had great respect for the veterans and championed their cause, serving on the Veterans Appeal Board. Bob swam every day in the family pool where he challenged his grandchildren to swimming races, a favorite place for the family. He enjoyed travelling with his wife and spending family time at Grand Lake. Bob always shared a joke and in his quiet unassuming way, tried to brighten the path of everyone he met including socializing with friends at Read’s Coffee Shop.
Above and beyond all of his accomplishments both federally and internationally was the love and devotion he shared for his family. The family wishes to thank Dr. Robert Martin, Dr. Anthony Sarkisian, the nurses at the DECH and longtime family doctor and friend Dr. Bob Prosser.
Visitation will be held Tuesday November 28, 2017 at McAdam’s funeral home from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 pm. A funeral service will be held Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 2:00 at Saint Andrew's Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Douglas Blaikie officiating, assisted by longtime family friend Fr. Jack Dolan. Donations may be made to the SPCA or Saint Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 512 Charlotte Street, Fredericton.