Robert James Eaton, long-serving member of Boating Ontario has passed away. Eaton's family announced his unexpected death at Toronto General Hospital on Friday, September 6. He is survived by his wife and soul-mate Sandy, children Karen (Carl), Bradley (Sandy), Sarah (Jeff) and Susan (Jordan). Eaton was also grandfather of Laura, Greg, Emma, Sam, Lizzie and Julia. Brother to Doug (Pat), Wayne (Miriam), and Cheryll (Rob).
Eaton most recently served as Environmental Director for Boat Ontario's Clean Marine program. His tireless efforts managing the program and other numerous contributions to the industry eventually led the association to naming the Robert Eaton Environmental Award after him, which recognizes marinas and marine businesses to this day for excellence in environmental practices.
Boating Ontario released the following statement regarding Eaton's years with the organization:
“One of the most well-liked and best-known people in the recreational boating industry, Bob will long be remembered for his many years as a teacher at Georgian College and his volunteer work for the Ontario Marine Operators Association (now Boating Ontario).
“Bob had an amazing way of meeting people who instantly liked him and became another friend. Both young and old greeted Bob with the same enthusiasm and all had the same comment 'Bob Eaton is a great guy.' Always low key and unassuming, Bob never bragged about all of his accomplishments he just quietly got them done.
“Boating Ontario Association is sad to lose a great ambassador for our business. The staff will all miss Bob's guidance and positive encouragement.“
Boating Ontario has announced that there will be a celebration of Eaton's life on Friday, September 13 at Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club, 1151 Hurlwood Lane in Orillia, Ontario from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. A sharing of memories will take place at 3 p.m. Donations may be made to Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital Foundation or Bladder Cancer Canada.