April 20, 1943 – November 27, 2019
Robert Alexander Gust arrived in the world April 20, 1943 in Wetaskiwin, AB and departed a short time later from the same location 27,980 days later, on November 27, 2019. Gerry Lee and the Showdown Band played the Rodeo song which should have been called the “Bob Gust Song”. Dad worked in the forty below too many times and that’s what became our real-world education on Trucker Mouth. He was dedicated. He would get up at 4 am and was out the door, thermos of coffee and a carton of smokes in hand, stopping only long enough to be loaded and off again until the end of the day.
He has two sons, Sean and Leif, who also partook in the ritual of driving trucks. Our time behind the wheel, even added together, still did not match his 16k plus days of driving. After the arrival of new Gust’s into the the family, dad decided it was time for retirement.
Soon after, dad came for a visit to Lac La Biche to see his first grand daughter, Dayle. He was up at the crack of dawn, as usual, having a cup of coffee when he spotted his first love, a 1955 Monarch, out on the street. He flew out the door in his slippers to see it sitting a couple doors down and he circled it for over an hour. Dad came into the house a few times to see if anyone else was up in order to show us this car. Leanne was dragged out and told of the crazy story when dad bought his first car. It was a 1955 Monarch but a different color than the blue one sitting in front of them. He said one day he was driving down a dirt road having fun, flying over the cattle gates and one big bottom-out punctured the fuel tank. It burned to the ground after having owned it for three months. Leanne came in and made hot cakes for breakfast as dad still circling, waiting to see who would come out and give him hell for drooling over their car all morning. It was Sunday and no one was coming out of their house early. We finished breakfast and dad dragged us out again, to see the car and tell us why it was so special. We listened as he circled and Dayle asked her Grandpa if he liked his new car. He was not listening, so she put a set of keys in his hand. Dad looked at the keys…then the car…then Dayle…back to the car, and said, “what’s this?”. Holding the keys in the air, he was speechless. There wasn’t too many times that dad had been speechless, except the birth of the first Grandson, Gunnar.
Gunnar has the energy of Leif and Sean and the listening skills of Fred Gust, (Bob’s late father), who was by choice, deaf!. If Gunnar has any bad habits, it will be due to Bob’s babysitting, so Erma will have her hands full dealing with a double product of Bob.
These last few years, Bob had to once again learn to cook and clean after the sudden passing of his common law partner, Shirley Hill. With the added stress being taken on, the one thing he forgot to do was take care of himself. He had a stint at the Grey Nuns for a triple A surgery and had hoped to go home like he had, after his last surgery, a quadruple bypass over 7 years prior. Sadly no. We made all arrangements for him to be close to family, at Season Retirement Home in Wetaskiwin, where his two brothers, Stan and Ron Gust, live with their families. Dad finally realized that he might need hearing aids after not being able to hear properly since Nov. 1, 2017. When his sisters, Faye Badke, Joanne Anderson and Pauline Gust came to visit, he could actually hear them. We’re not sure how he made out that long without hearing aids.
Summer was slowly approaching and dad wanted to head back to Slave Lake for the summer, he had the garden, the apple trees, and Shirley’s plants to tend to. He was having issues with nose bleeds and we figured it was the medication for his heart, but no, Bob was now dealing with Cancer. He was back in Edmonton, where his doctors came up with a Battle Plan. Dad fought hard. We could see right to the end he was a Fighter. It was a few months after the last of the radiation treatment, that the cancer came back with a vengeance. We were with Dad when he went into the hospital and we sat by his side until the end. Uncle Ron was our saviour. Everyday dragging us out and making sure we were fed. It may have been tough to see and deal with, but for that brief moment in time we were the ones able to take care of him. Our Dad, a kind heart with a gentle soul.
To keep a promise is my lesson.
Thank you, Sean Gust
Baker Funeral Chapel, Wetaskiwin
780-352-2501 or 888-752-2501