Struan Robertson

Remembrance Gathering

1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Saturday, June 1, 2024
St. Eugene Mission Pavilion
7777 Mission Road
Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada

Obituary of Struan Robertson

Please share a memory of Struan to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.


Struan was born on the Isle of Jersey on November 10, 1934 to Scottish parents James and Elizabeth (Mitchell) Robertson. He was the third oldest of seven siblings. The family’s idyllic rural life in Jersey came to an abrupt end in June 1940 when Struan was five years old. At this point in the second world war enemy troops had swept through France and were closing in to occupy Jersey. The family was able to escape to England in the hold of a potato transport boat. Upon landing they moved onward by train to his mother’s hometown near Huntly in northeast Scotland, where he remained throughout his youth.


Struan attended school in Huntly. He excelled at music, art and activities in the gymnasium; interests which remained prominent throughout his life. One memorable highlight at age 10 was having school dismissed early one spring day and riding his bike toward home shouting to the cows in the fields and anyone who could hear that “the War is over!” He had a cheery and outgoing disposition taking great joy in sharing a story and seeing others laugh. At age seventeen Struan worked at local farms prior to going on to take courses at the agricultural college in Aberdeen.


In 1953, Struan met his wife Myrra, who was also a runner at the Aberdeen Athletic Club. He completed his mandatory two-year army service with the Scots Guards as a Sergeant assigned to physical training instruction. Struan and Myrra married in 1958 then they jumped on a boat for Canada. Disembarking in Montreal, they made their way west by train. Struan worked farm, ranch and construction jobs in Alberta and then Fairmont, B.C.  before they settled more permanently in Kimberley. Struan was hired by the City of Kimberley and employed as Recreation Director for twelve years. He nurtured, and thrived on the rapport he developed with his staff and youth of all ages. He brought in a variety of sport programming and activities to the parks, pools, gyms, halls and fields. In this position Struan had a lasting impact on many of Kimberley’s young people. His leadership, enthusiasm and love for his work was greatly valued and respected by colleagues across the region as well as within town. On his own time Struan and friends worked year-round to develop the successful cross-country ski area and club, featuring racing opportunities and family focused socializing. His trademark yodels and whistles will be fondly remembered by Centennial trail users.


In 1972 he won the competition for the Supervisor position at Fort Steele Provincial Heritage Park. For fifteen years he supervised a diverse team of curatorial, administrative, maintenance, restoration, security and livestock staff, over one hundred volunteers, as well as five special-attraction contractors. He was persuaded to leave that position in 1987 and transferred to Victoria as Manager, Visitor Services for all BC Provincial Parks. He ended his career in Prince George as BC Parks Regional Director for the Northern BC Region. Each position along the way was a huge challenge but immensely rewarding for him, as he enjoyed building, directing, leading and motivating a team of supportive staff.


Struan retired in 1994, relocating with Myrra back to Kimberley. Together they thrived on supporting and entertaining their grandchildren and introducing them to a ‘smorgasbord’ of activities. Struan’s involvement and contributions in the community ramped up again, helping to progress projects which will have a long-lasting impact in the region. Sadly, Myrra died in 2005. Together from humble bunkhouse and log cabin beginnings they had a brilliant adventure and built wonderful memories together. They were immensely proud of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This was their legacy. They believed that to enjoy life and to contribute, one had to stay physically active, spend lots of time in the outdoors, stay engaged with friends, neighbours and the community and keep faith in the younger generation. These values have continued impact on their children and grandchildren.


In later years Struan met Alison who brought delightful and rewarding companionship. They married in 2021. They knew they were fortunate to share so many values and beliefs, and a common philosophy of keeping physically active and outdoors in all seasons. They shared an appreciation for the natural world and how the human species should fit-in. Together they enjoyed making friends and engaging in local activities and trying to keep aware of current events. This brought happiness and contentment to them as they aged together. They loved each other and this part of the world, especially their immediate community. They appreciated how fortunate they were to live in the East Kootenay valley.


Struan treasured the East Kootenay valley and the opportunities it gave for family growth and access to the natural world. Never content with the status quo, he positively welcomed changes, fresh challenges, and new starts, knowing that each crisis brought a fresh opportunity. He participated in the formation of the Lost Dog Singers, The Kimberley Nordic Trails and Club, South Star Recreation Trails, Central Interior Stock Dog Club, Prince George Celtic Society, the Old Spice singing group, Kimberley Nature Park Society and Horse Barn Valley Interpretive Forest. Most recently he was raising awareness of the Pika population in the area. He was satisfied with his contributions.


Struan attributed any successes he had to the common sense, no-nonsense and frugal upbringing in northern Scotland, the superb challenges and training he received in Boy Scouts when he was young, as well as the love and support that Myrra, and then Alison, shared with him as they journeyed together. He valued all that Canada had to offer in building a healthy family lifestyle and he appreciated the close family, outdoors, musical and community friendships he developed. Struan knew that he had a ‘very fortunate life’. He was satisfied and content.


Struan died April 5 from an aggressive brain tumor (Butterfly Glioblastoma) that could not be medically treated. He chose the MAiD provision, dying peacefully and with dignity in his home with Alison and family by his side. At his request there will be no funeral.


He is survived by his wife Alison, his children Bonnie (Dave), Kirsty (Mark), Rhona (Les), Heather, Nancy (Brian) and Rob (Kerri); grandchildren (Craig, Jarrett, Amy, Tara, Caroline (in Brisbane AUS), Kemp, Jamie, Morgan, Rachel, Lochlan, Mitchell and Jake) and three great-grandchildren (Lucy, Grizzly, Hollis).  Struan was pre-deceased in 2005 by Myrra, his wife of 47 years, and in 2019 by his grandson Jordie Lunn. Struan is also survived by his brother Ian Robertson (Jackie), and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and their families around the world.


Heartfelt thanks are extended from Struan and the family to Dr. Van Zyl, Dr. Massel, Dr. Buddo and Nigel Kitto for their guidance, gentle care and support.


You are invited to meet with his family and friends for an Remembrance Gathering on Saturday June 1, 2024 at the St. Eugene Mission Resort Pavilion tent, commencing at 1:30 pm Mountain Time.


Struan firmly believed in the need to educate others to care for the natural world and the condition of this planet, he left bequests to the David Suzuki Foundation and to Wildsight. If you wish to remember Struan, donations to any of these causes would be received with appreciation.

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