Robert Martin was born on March 31, 1945 to Anton and Fanny (Fleck) Wetzstein in Provost, Alberta. He grew up on the family homestead south of Bodo and was the second youngest of eight children.
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Bob attended Zerring school from grades 1 - 8 and moved to Bodo school to complete grade 9. After deciding to leave school behind, he helped out on the family farm, as well as helping out at Uncle Martin's for a few years before venturing off to try some new experiences.
Bob decided to join Gabe Fleck and they headed out to the Icefields in 1961 where Bob spent a season working out there. He decided the cold was enough and headed to Edmonton in 1962, where Bob, his brother Albert and Joe Klein lived in an apartment together while working numerous years for a moving company called MacCosham Van Lines.
Bob spent a few years working on the rigs, spending time in Fort McMurray and Michelle, British Columbia. It was in late 1969, while working back and forth in Michelle, British Columbia, where on a trip back to Edmonton for the weekend, that he met the love of his life, Lorraine Baert.
On July 31, 1971, Bob and Lorraine wed in North Battleford, Saskatchewan and continued to live in Edmonton until March of 1972. It was then that they moved to the family farm in Bodo, where they would spend the next 35 years raising cattle and grain farming.
On the early morning hours of May 25, 1980, Bob and Lorraine received a special phone call that there was a baby girl waiting to meet them in Edmonton and they welcomed their daughter, Carrie Ann to the family. Two years later, on April 11, 1982 they received a second special phone call that there was a baby boy waiting for them in Edmonton and they welcomed their son, Kevin Robert, to complete their family.
Bob enjoyed spending time watching his children grow and guiding them through the ways of the world. His kids were his pride and joy and also gained two hired hands on the farm, which we are sure, gave him his fair share of grey hair with all their antics and shenanigans.
Bob was always active within the community and enjoyed visiting with many neighbors and friends. Both Bob and Lorraine spent many a weekend at the disking hall for bonspiels or heading out to community dances….and Bob sure loved to dance. During the winter months you could usually grab a coffee and sit in for a b.s. session at the auction market while he was buying cattle (with his co-pilot right beside him) or catch him for the early morning coffee stops if he was out and about. He was always faithful for those early morning phone calls to see how much it rained, how the crops were doing or just simply shoot the breeze.
Through the years of farming, Bob also worked casually at Bodo Oilfield, Leachman's and the M.D. of Provost. In 2005, he started a full time position with the M.D. driving grader and gravel truck, which he thoroughly enjoyed!
After much thought and consideration, Bob and Lorraine decided to sell the farm and move into Provost in October of 2006.
Soon, with the arrival of his grandchildren, Cayden and Kiera, whom he adored and filled his heart. Papa always a big grin when he'd see them and enjoyed spending time with them, going for walks, playing ball in the back yard, camping trips, playing games and cards, attending their sporting events, he was always beaming with pride.
More than just being a hard worker and caring for his family, Bob will be remembered as a kind, generous and giving soul. He was always willing to give a helping, neighbourly hand when needed. Bob’s smile and chuckle could brighten the room and his personality was unforgettable, genuine and one of a kind. We all know those favorite sayings and phrases he'd use for which we'll remember him for. Not to mention being infamous for his one liner comebacks. I'm sure there are many stories that everyone can sit back and recall.
On January 25, 2019, surrounded by his family, Bob passed away peacefully at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta at the age of 73 years.
Bob will be lovingly remembered and dearly missed by his wife of almost 50 years, Lorraine, daughter, Carrie (Russel) Downing and their children, Jordan and Amber; son, Kevin (Justine) and their children, Cayden and Kiera; brothers and sisters, Leona (Wendelin) Walz, Dorothy (Phil) Klein, Albert (Linda) Wetzstein, Donna (Lyle) Campbell, sister-in-law, Hilda Wetzstein; in-laws, Al (Caren) Baert, Flo (Bill) Wandler, Leona Bauer, Bernie Spivak, Robert Baert, Diane (Kenton) Hart and sister-in-law, Irene Baert; as well as numerous nieces and nephews, extended relatives, neighbors and many friends.
Bob was predeceased by his parents, Anton and Fanny; brothers, Ted and Edward; infant sister, Victoria; brothers-in-law, Roger Baert and Bruce Spivak; parents-in-law, Marcel and Carol Baert and granddaughter, Kennedy Downing.
Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear......Forever be our guardian angel.