Robert Earnest Hartley Stinson died peacefully at home on January 15, after a long struggle with pulmonary fibrosis. He was 87 years old. He was predeceased by his mother, Kathleen, his father, Harold, and his brother, Dave. He is survived by his wife, Margaret; his sons Patrick (Stephanie) and Graham (Alana); his grandchildren, Chloe, Siena, Camille and Oliver; and his sister-in-law, Sybil King.
Hartley was born in Wawanesa, Manitoba in October of 1934. Life was difficult for the family in those depression years, especially after his father was diagnosed with TB and admitted to the Ninette Sanatorium. His father recovered after several years of treatment, but with weakened health. To find work, the family moved to Winnipeg. Hartley was a shy boy at 8 years old, and he remembered finding Laura Secord School to be a big, scary place.
After high school at Gordon Bell, Hartley pursued his interest in math by enrolling in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba. After two years of engineering studies, however, he decided that architecture was better aligned with his career interests, and so he transferred to the Faculty of Architecture. There he met his future wife, Margaret, who was pursuing a degree in Interior Design. He graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor of Architecture and found work at Smith Carter Searle.
Hartley and Margaret married in 1961 and immediately moved to London, England, where they worked and enjoyed all the concerts and plays, they could fit into their schedules. After a year, they crammed their little red Austin Mini full of camping gear and set out to explore the continent. They camped from Rome to Copenhagen, and then returned to Winnipeg to find work in architectural offices.
Hartley loved classical music. In his student years, he sang in the choir at Westminster United Church. Later, he became a member of St. Andrew’s River Heights United Church, where he sang in the choir and served on several church committees. He reluctantly resigned from the choir when his voice “retired”, as he put it, but he continued enjoying the music of the church. He also had a talent for drawing. Each year, he produced a drawing for the family’s Christmas card.
Over the years Hartley and Margaret enjoyed many performances of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and the Manitoba Theatre Centre, with occasional visits to the opera and ballet. The Winnipeg Art Gallery was a favorite place to visit on Sunday afternoons.
At the time of his retirement, Hartley was the Contract Architect for the Manitoba Government Services Department and represented the architectural profession on the Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC). He was honoured to be made a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) for his contributions to the profession.
Hartley was a family man above all, and nothing satisfied him more at the end of his life than being a member of a loving family.
The family thanks the WRHA Palliative Care Program for their outstanding service, which made it possible for Hartley to remain at home.
A small, private service will be held at St. Andrew’s River Heights United Church