Robert Allen Corr of Birtle passed away on October 30, 2021 at the age of 84 years old.
Robert (Bobby) Corr was born December 26, 1936 to his parents Robert Sr. and Mabel (McDonald) Corr. Robert had two younger sisters, Myrna and Linda. He grew up in the Wattsview District and attended Oxford School.
In 1948, the family moved to Birtle so their children could further their education. Robert was a typical male Corr student, and left school early to find his fortune. After a few jobs, he returned to the farm to work alongside his dad and Uncle Andy. Andy was a positive influence to a young Robert (although maybe less so as Bobby became a young man). With Andy as a mentor, Bobby learned to hunt, trap, fish, and later to curl. Robert was an avid curler, and was a member of the School Boys’ curling team that won runner-up in the Manitoba Curling Association High School bonspiel in 1953.
On a trip to Birtle to get cigarettes in his prized 1953 Mercury truck, Robert met Elizabeth (Bunny) Meadows who was visiting her aunt and uncle. That trip led to their marriage on June 11, 1960, and so began their journey together of 61 years. Bobby and Bunny enjoyed life on the farm at Wattsview for 55 years, raising three children, Allen, Kathy, and Jayme.
Bobby was the definition of a true farmer. It was his life - he worked hard, never complaining about the work. His true joy was the black angus cattle, generations deep and roaming the original homestead. On one of the last visits in the hospital, he perked up when talking about the cattle coming home to be fed. Although, he was probably thinking Jayme has too many cows. He had a way with cattle. He would always say, “slow and easy.” He had the patience to get a calf to suck and not get frustrated, although patience for people was another story, a trait most Corrs have acquired.
Years ago, the farm was pretty much self-sufficient. Dad, my Uncle Andy and Grandpa did a lot of hunting. Deer and ducks, and of course beef, would fill the freezer for winter. There were also fish. Dad loved to fish. We spent many Sundays fishing for Goldeye and pickerel. The occasional Jack and catfish were thrown back. When I was a bit older, we would have a wiener roast on the shore. Finding the perfect willow branch to hold your wiener over the fire was a fun challenge…time dedicated to that challenge depended on how hungry we were. I believed Goldeye were dad’s favourite, fresh, and pickerel was frozen for winter. Dredged in flour and fried in butter. There was always a huge garden. Most of that was left to my mom and any help she was able to convince us kids to give her. But dad was the potato guy. If there was nothing else in the garden, there had to be potatoes. We didn’t get to go to Birtle for the 1st of July celebrations till the potatoes were all hilled. Rarely was there a meal without potatoes.
For extra income, Dad also hunted for fur. Was quite common to see beaver or wolf muskrat or mink skinned and stretched in preparation to sell. In later years, Dad still appreciated wild life, maybe not so much the beaver and their commitment to building dams, but he loved feeding the deer behind the house over the winter. And share stories about all the different ones that came to eat.
Dad loved music, good old-fashioned country music, not the junk you hear on the radio now…His words. He had an ear for music and could figure out how to play a song just by listening to it. He played piano, guitar, fiddle, and banjo. Every now and then I hear a song and think… my dad plays that song.
I love winter and I think it is because in the winter, the cows came home. If the cows were home, they had to be fed – to do that the horses were also brought home. I would wait hoping for snow to fall, and when there was enough snow, dad would say “Time to get the horses.” Every morning, the horses were harnessed and hitched to the rack which had been switched from wheels to runners. Dad would load hay bales from the hay stack which we as a family worked on all summer. I’m sure there are some here that remember what they looked like. Not many put up hay and straw like we did. There were the occasional wrecks with those teams, then dad would have harness or rack repairs to do. Those were good times, the times dad enjoyed the best when we were kids and all worked together as a family…dad would do it all again despite the hard work.
Bobby was predeceased by his parents, Robert Sr. and Mabel.
Bobby is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, his sons Allen (Beatrice) and Jayme (Dana); and his daughter, Kathy. He also leaves behind his pride of grandchildren, Tyson (Alisha) Birmingham, Patrick (Felicity) Corr, Brian Corr, Shawn (Teresa) Birmingham, Nathan (Lindsay) Birmingham, Brittany Corr, Kyle Birmingham, Alyssa Corr, and Eyan Corr; and twelve great-grandchildren. His also survived by his sisters, Myrna (Ed) and Linda (Keith), and nephews Scott, Derek, Wade, Darren, and their families.
A graveside service was held November 5, 2021 at Birtle Cemetery with Elaine Dixon officiating.
Pallbearers were grandsons Tyson Birmingham, Patrick Corr, Brian Corr, Shawn Birmingham, Nathan Birmingham, and Eyan Corr.
Honorary Pallbearers were granddaughters Brittany Corr, Kylie Birmingham and Alyssa Corr.
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