Robert Lockie Yellowlees

Robert Lockie Yellowlees, son of Mary Gene and Wing Commander Louis Alexander Yellowlees, was born in Toronto, Ontario. His family’s military life took them to France, Germany, then back to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1962 where he found his first summer job at 16 years old working on the railroad. The next moves were to Camp Borden, Ontario followed by Victoria in 1964. Robert received his teaching degree at UVIC but it took less than a week in the classroom to realize it was not the right career for him. At that point he decided to start a commercial painting and contracting business, specializing in the renovation and restoration of heritage properties in Victoria. During the course of his extensive career, Robert received awards from The Hallmark Society and his properties were highlighted in local publications. Definitely a character, he was often seen about town with his Macaw, Goldie, perched on his shoulder. The activities he loved included hosting dinner parties, outrageous Halloween events, old British sports cars, trips to Maui, sparkling wine, celebrating his Scottish heritage, and single malt scotch. Robert will always be remembered as a relentless tease and practical joker. He did not suffer fools gladly, preferred laughter over sentiment, and always valued character over pedigree.

Robert passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 13, 2022. He is survived by his loving wife Ronnie, who never left his side through a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s; three sons, Alex, Ryan and Curtis; stepson Daniel; sisters, Ginny and Heather (Robin); niece Leandra (Micah); an African Grey parrot, Arlo; and four cats which constantly kept him company. The family was blessed to have very loving and capable Philippine caregivers who made it possible for Robert to stay at home. While he was not a religious person, if there is a heaven, no doubt Robert is up there renovating it.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Jo-Anne Watt (Yellowlees)

    Robert was a great guy. Over the years he helped a lot of people get on their feet. I will fondly remember the times we used to drive, at high speeds, in the Austin Healy. It is sort of an oxymoron to write high speeds and Austin Healy in the same sentence, but it felt fast at the time. The heat was unbearable, in more ways than one.
    I hope to see one of the boys out in the vintage TR..keeping up the family tradition.
    Thanks Peter for introducing us. Robert was a huge part of my life and a friend for 49 years. Maria sends her love, she said Robert was the closest person she had to a father.

  2. Russell Kennedy

    I was Robert’s brother in law. Robert had a great laugh and used it often. Despite arthritis advancing in his body he never complained and kept working a physical job for many, many years. He loved the company of others, good food and good drink. I remember his 50th birthday party on the boat and how joyful he was to be surrounded by so many family and friends. His hearty laugh is what I remember the most. He brought so much mirth to so many…

  3. Fond memories. Shared laughter.
    I am taken to remembering the time Keeper and Sheila wrecked and ate Amy’s Gingerbread House.
    A man of many endearing attributes.
    Warm thoughts to family, friends and care givers.

  4. Robert was a good friend and Mentor when I visited Canada in the early 1990’s. He was someone whom worked hard, had a profoundly positive attitude, was a generous and kind person.
    Something that always struck me as being unusual, was his level integrity, honesty and to those that earned it, loyalty. I think he was truly one of the very few, genuinely “Good Men” I have known.
    It has been a privilege to have known and to have spent time with him, something I am profoundly grateful for.
    Andy Sykes (NZ)

  5. Robert was my friend in Victoria whom I knew the longest. I could add to the long list of words of praise for Robert, but anyone who knew him will know all the good things about him.
    I first met him in November of 1971. At the time, he was still searching for a direction in life. I remember when he bought his first fire damaged house, moved in, fixed it up, and sold it at a profit. Like most first attempts, his work was less than perfect, but I saw that each time, he learned and his workmanship got better until he was building award winning houses.
    Above all else, Robert was fun to be with, and I will miss him very much.

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