Robert Alexander Gust arrived in this world April 20, 1943 in Wetaskiwin, AB and departed a short time later from the same location 27,980 days later, 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 became our real world education on Trucker Mouth. He was dedicated. He would get up at 4 am and 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 came along and also partook in the ritual of driving trucks. Their 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 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 to show us this car. Leanne was dragged out there and told of a 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 only owning it for three months. Leanne came in and made hot cakes for breakfast as dad still circled the car, 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 all 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 ever made him 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 of life being taken on by himself, 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 was hoping to go home like his last surgery, which was a quadruple bypass over 7 years prior. Ah 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 what has been going on since Nov. 1, 2017. When his sisters, Faye Badke, Joanne Anderson and Pauline Gust came to visit, he could actually hear again. 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. Nope, Bob was now dealing with Cancer. He was back into Edmonton, where he had doctors come 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, when the cancer came back with a vengeance. We were with Dad when he went into the hospital and 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 we were able to take care of him. Our Dad, a kind heart with a gentle soul.
To keep a promise is my lesson.
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