Capt. R.E.(Bob) Symington – April 1931 – February 2021.
Robert (Bob) Earl Symington passed away Wednesday, February 17th, 2021 at Peterborough Regional Health Centre from complications of COVID-19. He was predeceased by his wife Margaret, daughter Sharon, son John and daughter-in-law Dorothy. He is survived by his four remaining children – Wayne, Bryan (Sandra), Janine (Terry), and Keith (Huong) – by his seven loving grandchildren – Stephanie, Meaghan, Danielle, Sean, Kevin, Catriona, and Samantha – and by his great-grandson Cian.
Born the 11th of 14 children in a working-class Irish-immigrant family in Toronto and growing up during the Great Depression, Robert learned at an early age the virtues of perseverance in the face of difficulties. But while he could keep his head down and just get things done, he had a rebel streak too…one that had teenager Bob jumping a freight train to Western Canada – ultimately working in Banff National Park, cutting trails. Soon thereafter he enlisted into the army with the 48th Highlanders of Canada, stationed in Germany. As fate would have it, Corporal Symington was subsequently selected (“for keeping my nose clean”, he later explained) to represent his unit at the 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London, England…a fateful event during which he met – and soon married – Margaret Higginbotham. Returning to Canada that same year, he settled down and set out to raise a family in Scarborough (including supporting, with wife Margaret, over 20 foster children).
He joined the Toronto Fire Department eventually rising to Senior Captain and assuming a leadership role at two busy fire stations: Front Street and Main Street. He retired in 1989 after a 33-year distinguished career. Bob was also a former member of the Toronto Fire Fighters’ War Veterans Association and will be missed.
No Services will be held, to offer a tribute, and read the rest of the Obit, please follow this link.
Sincerest Condolences from all our Retiree Groups go out to the Family and Friends.
In Solidarity, Retired Toronto Fire Fighters Association I.A.F.F. Local 3888