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Robert Delmer Donnelly


Robert Delmer Donnelly
Robert Delmer Donnelly (Bob)
P.Eng. Fellow of Engineers Canada,
Honorary Life Member of Engineers PEI

Passed on to a new and greater life, Feb. 28, 2019 at the Provincial Palliative Care Center in Charlottetown in his 92nd, year. Born in Osage, Saskatchewan, July 7, 1926, he served in WWII as a member of Royal Canadian Navy. After the war, Bob studied engineering and graduated in Saskatchewan. He went on to complete a Masters Degree at University of Toronto in public health engineering. In his student years Bob was a member of a pioneering team of surveyors in 1948 involved in upgrading the
Alaska highway preparing the crude military road to be opened for civilian use. The road had been created in 1941 as a military infrastructure in World War II. In planning his career, Bob was preparing to enter the Christian Missionary field in his desire to serve God and humanity. He was introduced to the Bahá'í Faith by his future wife, Shirley Pethick, who was attending study meetings at the time. After a period of serious study Bob and Shirley both became members of the Bahá'í Faith, recognizing it’s teaching of world unity to be the fulfillment of the promise of Christ. Bob married Shirley, love of his life, on April 16th 1952. The newly married couple travelled across Canada to Moncton New Brunswick, where Bob was an elected delegate representing Saskatchewan to the National Convention of the Bahá'í Community of Canada. Following the Convention Bob and Shirley made an exploratory trip to nearby Prince Edward Island. They had been requested to go to the Island to see if they could find employment and settle there to help establish the community in the province. On their second day in Charlottetown Bob was hired as a Public Health engineer by the PEI government. Shirley was hired at the same time as a laboratory technician in the PEI Department of Health. Later Bob worked as an engineer with the federal department of public works. In this position, he worked on wharves and other federal infrastructure across the province. Bob was later hired as an engineer at the newly created Department of Regional Economic Expansion (DREE) to represent the federal government in the PEI Comprehensive Economic Development Plan. Bob represented the government of Canada overseeing design and development of infrastructure in the plan. Among many notable projects, Bob was most pleased to have assisted in advocating and building the bridge to Lennox Island, building new schools across the province and planning for the first electrical transmission cable across the Northumberland Strait. After retirement from the public service of Canada, Bob did volunteer service as an engineer for one year 1986-87 at the Bahá'í world center in Haifa Israel in construction of expanded administration facilities. Bob took a great interest in education and youth throughout his life and career. For several years he taught a course in Engineering at the University of P.E.I. on Saturday mornings. He took a special interest in the foreign students at the university organizing social events to help make them feel more at home at UPEI. In recent years Bob and Shirley have hosted events for young people in their home as part of the Junior Youth Empowerment Program. Bob’s favorite pastime was building furniture. He built many beds, bookshelves, study tables, and other furniture for family members and friends. He loved the simplicity of the Scandinavian style, and light colored finishes. Bob baked amazing bread, and carrot cake, and did much of the cooking in recent years. He could problem solve many issues in the home, in vehicles, and in appliances. His family and friends often thought of him as “Mr. Wizard”. Many times just a phone call to Bob, with a description of the difficulty, could result in a quicker solution than consulting a mechanic or “expert” repair person. Bob was a devoted husband, and father. He was predeceased by son Lee, and grandsons Dana and Colin. He is survived by wife Shirley; daughters, Linda, Lana, Louise(Lua); grandchildren, Denise, Danielle, Glenn, Delmar, Jasmine, Nakisa, Ithandi, Olinga, Robin, and great grandchildren, Mia, Taye, Sawyer, Aria, Oliver, Amelia and Zach. Please join family and friends in a celebration of Bob’s life at the Belvedere Funeral Home on Tuesday Mar. 5, at 5:00 p.m. Reception to follow in the Belvedere Reception Centre. The family thanks the staff and volunteers at the Provincial Palliative Care Center for their excellent care of Bob.
Service Date
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Service Time
5:00 p.m.
Service Location
Belvedere Funeral Home Chapel

No visitation

Burial Date
Burial Location
Sherwood Cemetery