It is with great sadness that the family of Robert Eric (Bob) Kjos announce that he reached the end of the trail on May 18, 2021. He passed away peacefully at home.
Bob was born December 5, 1935 in Olds, AB and was pre-deceased by parents Eric and Vera. He is survived by his wife of 65 years Maxine, son Marty (Miriam) and daughter Jackie. The light of his life were his grandchildren Bobbi-Lee (Brian), Delano (Megan) and Saige and great grandchildren Abi, Weston and Roland. He is also survived by sisters Bea and Belle and numerous nieces and nephews.
Bob was first, last and always a cowboy. His early years at the Bearberry were spent chasing wild horses and building up a packstring that he used to take geologists out on the eastern slopes in the early years of oil and gas exploration in Alberta. The packstring supported his move to guide outfitting, first in Alberta then later at Toad River on the Alaska Highway in BC. Although he became a good bush pilot, he never failed to remind the crew that his business success was built on the back of that packstring and they need to be looked after.
The move to Toad River in 1966 was a magical time for the family. After a few stressful years with the hunting territory along with the lodge, motel and garage, the family homesteaded on a glorious piece of property across the river and focused on becoming one of the most successful stone sheep hunting operations in the province.
Bob was an accomplished bronc rider and calf roper, but when he discovered team toping in California in the mid 1970’s, he found an event that he would pursue for the next 40 years. He was very instrumental in the growth of the sport in the Fort St. John area and hosted hundreds of roping’s and dozens of clinics at the ranch in Montney. Bob and Maxine spent three winters in Chandler AZ with Alan and Peggy Bach before buying their own acreage in Maricopa in 1990. Some of their happiest years were the winters there roping and exploring the Arizona desert.
When Bob’s shoulder wore out from roping, he amazed the family by taking up painting and spent many hours painting pictures of what he knew best – the mountains. He also learned how to run the computer and created hours of narrated videos from old 16 and 35mm film that he had converted. And after years of encouragement, Bob wrote down the many stories of the adventures he had experienced and published his story Horseshoe in my Hip Pocket. Planned as a family project, the book has sold nearly 10,000 copies and Bob enjoyed travelling around selling the books for a few years.
Bob and Maxine sold the farm in Montney in 2015 and moved into Fort St. John. Bob spent the last years of his life enjoying the ever-growing pro rodeo TV coverage, keeping the grass mowed and the snow cleared and enjoying time with his family. He chose not to have bypass surgery after several mild heart attacks in 2019 as he felt he had led the best possible life.
Due to Covid restrictions, the family is not planning a public celebration at this time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Bob to
Northern BC High School Rodeo
c/o Bonny Mills, Box 89
Pink Mountain BC V0C 2B0.