Robert E. Skelly

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There are people who make an indelible mark on your life and Mr. Robert E. Skelly was just such a man in my life. I am certain that there are many in Windsor and around the world that will mourn his passing and have many fond memories of this real man's man.

Mr. Skelly was a boyhood friend to my father Gordon and Mr. Abe Aidelbaum. As I recall the history went that there were two brothers (Skelly), one in Timmins and one in Kirkland Lake. When the Timmins Skelly's moved to Kirkland Lake the threesome became a lifelong trio. Gordon and Abe lived across the street from one another and the technology of the day was a
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pair of tin cans joined by a stout thread which when pulled tight became a communication lifeline. I am not sure of the location of the Skelly residence but know that skiing was a key to the closeness of the trio. The earliest connection to hardware that I am aware of was the Trussler Bros. Hardware in Kirkland Lake. As far I know (I will confirm this this week) Mr. Skelly's father and uncle were mining engineers. The Aidelbaum's were clothiers (Sauls) who went on to add a full line ski shop to the business in later years. I didn't see much of Mr. Skelly until his time in St. Thomas Ontario. He had quite an impressive store in those days and that continued on to his move to Windsor at what is now Central Mall and on to his Rivard location (near Jefferson) where most of Windsor will remember him from. A bow tie and suspenders were his trademark. He could appear from out of nowhere it seemed and for family it was always a good time to let you know to get busy. "Show me your list and let's get moving here Mr. Trussler", he would say and I would hop to it the way one does when you respect a man as much I did Mr. Skelly.

Turning full circle, Gordon's grandchildren are learning the hardware business at Canadian Tire with the management that Mr. Skelly put in place so many years ago.

We miss you Mr. Skelly as you move on that great hardware store in the sky. I can't speak for many but know that there are many who have missed you since your retirement.


A published obituary follows -


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On Sunday, October 7th, 2012. “Bob”, cherished husband of Berneice “Bunny” (White), his wife of 60 years. Loving father of Thais Turner (Gary) of Vancouver, Karen Lang (Donald) of Toronto, and Grant (Tracie Wilkie) of Prince George. Very fondly-“Grumps”- to his grandchildren, Caitlin, Garrett, Erin, Robyn, Timothy, Trevor, Breanna and Alaina. Brother of Lois Salo
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(Bill) and the late George Skelly. Bob was born November 30th, 1926 in Timmins, Ontario. He moved to Kirkland Lake following highschool, working for the T. Eaton Co. before he left for Sudbury in 1948 to work for Canadian Tire as a sales clerk.

His career with CTC spanned 49 years, 41 of those as an innovator and successful franchisee. His first store was in Aylmer, Ontario, followed by one in St. Thomas and finally in Windsor, where he remained until he retired in 1996. Bob and Bunny met on a ski hill in Levack, Ontario, and skiing, as well as travel, remained their passions. Their travel adventures took them all over the world and they continued to travel despite Bob’s physical limitations in recent years. They made frequent ski trips to Switzerland (their favourite place), and eventually bought a chalet in Big White, Kelowna, B.C. which they generously shared with family and friends. He and Bunny delighted in watching all their grandchildren learn to ski.

Bob will be sadly missed by the many whose lives he touched. The family will receive friends in CHRIST CHURCH DEER PARK (1570 Yonge St., Toronto) from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 10th. A service will follow at 2 o’clock. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the charity of your choice. Condolences and memories may be forwarded through

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