ROBERT FRANK MOXLEY was born September 3, 1938, at the General Hospital, in Calgary, Alberta to Lloyd and Mary Moxley, the second of five children. Betty, 2 years his senior, two younger brothers, Merv and Howard and happy addition of Carol-Lynn a bit later on. Bob describes his childhood as peaceful, with summers that seemed endless. He loved cars and horses and was proud of his parents and his home.
Bob remembered his childhood with a detailed and vivid memory. One story he has shared was in Grade 5, his teacher, Mr. Vandenburg, gave him the strap for teasing a girl with long blonde hair. His friend, Herman “the German”, advised pulling his hand back at the last second to make it hurt less. Bob did this, causing the strap to land on Mr. Vandenburg’s thigh rather than Bob’s deserving hand. Bob then got two straps across each hand with increased force. “I learned a lot that day,” he’d say with a smile. “Take your punishment without complaint, and stay away from the girls.”
Another story Bob liked to tell:
“After cubs one day, some friends and I went past the theatre, and there was a show there that we really wanted to see. It was “Robin Hood Meets Black Bart”. So, instead of going straight home, we paid our way in. It didn’t seem that late when we went in, but it sure seemed late when we got out.
Got home, walked in, and dad said “Where the hell were you? Do you know your mother’s been out walking the streets, looking for you for the last couple hours? You better get your rear end out there and go find her.” It was like sending me into the forest to find a grizzly bear…
Well, I found mom, walking home and crying. I was so ashamed that I sobbed and promised her I’d never disappoint her again. This was a turning point in my life. It made me realize that my actions can really hurt other people. I didn’t get grounded in your terms. I grounded myself. I told myself “I shall not ever, ever do that again.” It was a good movie, but it sure wasn’t worth it.
“I followed the cute girls, but I wasn’t a follower” Dad said. “I had my own standards. I attribute a lot of that to my mother. I had so much love for her, I never wanted to hurt her. That doesn’t say that I was perfect all the time. I was an angel, but not a perfect one, J.”
When asked what his line of work was, Bob would say, “Name me something, I’ve probably done it.” Dad was a worker. As a boy, he always had a paper route and was sought after for babysitting when they lived in town. When they lived on the farm, labors started in the wee hours to feed at water pigs before school. Dad also supplemented his earns by collecting bottles at the dance hall that was at the corner of their farm. The move back to town brought a return to paper delivery and at 17 he began general labor at Model dairy. A couple years after graduating from Western Canada High School, Bob went to a dance in Balzac one summer night and found a set of ankles he couldn’t take his eyes off of. They belonged to Lucille Rudski. The couple dated and danced together for a year and were married on July 4th, 1959. Bob had desires to join the RCMP, having passed the courses and being accepted into the program. However, after learning of the 2 year wait list to go for training, he opted to get his Dairy education in Edmonton. This was a fortuitous decision, for it is here is that he met GlenRoy Payne on his first day at school. It was through him that Dad was introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He didn’t accept the invitation to attend at that time, as he was faithful to his Anglican upbringing.
After his school he became Dairy Foreman at Model Dairy and supplemented night watchman at CPR, buying, fixing and selling cars with John Masloff. These years were a busy time with the brith of their five children at 2 and 3 year intervals, Jan in 1960, twins in 1961, Gord in 1962, Rob 1964, Esther 1967 and Angela in 1970. It was after the death of twins in 1961 and a visit from missionaries sent by GlenRoy, with their message of peace and hope and eternal families, that Bob and Lucille decided to join the church. When talking to his mother and grandmother of this decision, they told him that if he was going to join he better work hard to do it right. He appreciated their support. His influence let to many other baptisms in his family.
The dairy was sold and Dad moved onto insurance and then vehicle sales. The decision was made to leave Calgary and move to Prince George to be closer to Lucille’s family, and work with his brother-in-law, John Zagozdzon at pulp mills. Another opportunity came to move to the mill in Castlegar. Here he and Lucy built their first new home for the family, the “White House” on Tamarak Street. Here he enjoyed being a volunteer firefighter as well as serving the Branch President. Lucille’s health had been declining and a back surgery and ulcers caused home life to be challenging.
An offer to begin an asphalt business with his Dad and brothers brought the family back to Calgary. Unfortunately, the relationship with Bob and Lucille struggled greatly during this time and they divorced in 1979. During this time Dad continue his activity in church and missionary work. He began teaching a single mother and her two children, Helen Sisson. They were married and added three more children to the family, Jenn, Mary and Richard. A Honeymoon promise to Helen had the family move to the Okanagan valley. Dad and Helen lived in Westbank for a time before Dad was recommended to manage the Church orchard in Kelowna. Dad and the family spent five busy but glorious years there, pruning and picking and transforming the orchard with his diligent labors. Kids had grown up and graduated, while Dad’s older kids were getting married and having their own children.
When Dad and Helen’s marriage ended, he moved from Kelowna back to Calgary as a single man again with his youngest, Richard. It was during his time in Calgary when he was babysitting Rob and Dawn’s kids while they were on a trip, that Dad had his massive heart attack and subsequent triple bypass surgery. After his recovery, Dad spent this time involved in single’s activities and travelling with his brother, Merv, to Mexico and to Arizona. Dad loved the sun and the heat. The Mexicans would marvel at his ability to work and be productive at 110 degrees celsius wearing his jeans and plaid shirts, and barely work up a sweat. The hotter the better, says Bob!
Back in Canada, Dad met his third wife, Rolande, through his new daughter-in-law, Marie. They were married in Quebec in in the summer of 2006. Sadly, their marriage did not last very long but Dad always was grateful for the travels they took on their honeymoon to New York and Vermont. They visited church and family history sites and met people in the Moxley family line.
Nothing like retirement to prompt a new career. Dad and his brother Merv, bought a trailer together and did some car hauling. Dad really enjoyed life on the road and the freedom it offered. The times he was home was spent enjoying his family and grandchildren. Dad’s health challenges of heart disease, diabetes and kidneys stones were always a constant reminder of his age and limitations.
A move to Cardston in 2015, saw Dad in poor health and another heart attack on New Year’s morning shifted the focus of his life for the next four years on medical and pharmaceutical supports for his diabetes and heart troubles. The help and support received living with Gord and Marie helped to eventually get back out on his own. He also was able strength his relationships with many of his grandchildren in Cardston and participate in many family activities. His move to the Villa in January 2017, brought him great joy and he loved his little corner unit with the view of the deer that would frequent his window. Many trips to the Gimble Eye center maintained his vision and ability to drive and so important to Bob in his ability to maintain independence. He had great hopes of travelling some more, especially down to Washington with his brothers to see his sister, Carol-Lynn.
With all his heart, kidney and diabetic challenges, it was a bout with pneumonia that finally took him to the hospital for the last time. He so appreciated the medical care and support of the staff that he had so frequently needed to call on for help. He always was friendly and will be remembered by staff for his humor and wit. Bob was a cherished friend to many and loved people. Bob once said, “I’ve always thought the word friend was an interesting one. If you’re going to be a friEND, you ought to be one from beginning to END.”
Surrounded by loved ones and friends until the very end, Bob passed away on Sunday, July 12, 2020. We’re all hoping there’s some homemade macaroni and cheese awaiting him, because Bob often said, “If they don’t have macaroni and cheese in Heaven, I don’t want to go!”
A Graveside Service was held on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 11:00 am in the Cardston Cemetery.
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