Bob was born in Provost, Alberta November 2, 1959. Bob was the oldest child of Ches and Joan Spornitz of Czar, Alberta. Bob’s arrival was followed by four more siblings. During their earlier years, it was discovered that the children could sing and they were called upon to perform at many showers and Christmas concerts.
When Bob was 3 years old the family moved to a half section south of Czar where Bob helped his dad with chores and learned to ride horses. Bob used to accompany his dad to get the cows in. The cows had to cross a small slough to get down the laneway and every night his Shetland pony named Patches would dump him in the water. As Bob grew, he learned to drive the tractor to help with the haying.
Bob was also involved in many sporting activities including basketball and baseball which he became proficient in. With his dad as coach he earned the title of top scorer in basketball and played baseball with the Czar Royals while he was still in school. Another activity he excelled in was curling, another sport he enjoyed for the rest of his life. Bob also enjoyed hunting with his father.
As Bob matured, he enjoyed socializing with his friends including shows, parties and dances. It was at a wedding dance in Hughenden, that he met the love of his life, Jeanette Fontaine. It was love at first sight and the two of them were rarely apart since. They married on January 14, 1984 and began their life in Wainwright where they had much more love than money.
They welcomed their daughter Adrienne Marie on June 13, 1985. During this time Bob was working at a job he loved – riding horse in a feedlot. This work took them to central Alberta and then to Saskatchewan where they welcomed their son Jeffrey Ernest Robert on October 8, 1987.
Bob had worked on drilling rigs right after high school and in 1989 they moved back to Hughenden and the oil patch. He started working on service rigs with CenAlta, where he took an opportunity to work in Russia from 1993-1994. In 1994 his contract was up so he started working at Ranchman’s (later Crestar) where he met his closest friend, Malcolm Torpe. After Crestar closed, he spent some time with his family and working on home renovations. November 2000, Bob started working for Weatherford as a tool hand. In 2003 he was offered his dream job as a downhole fisherman which saw the family relocated to High Level, Alberta. While in High Level, Bob welcomed his three grandchildren, Alicia in 2008, Derek in 2011 and Luke in 2014. They truly lit up his life and he was the best Papa a child could ask for.
While in High Level, Bob began to pursue another passion of his, collecting and trading knives. This led him to becoming an integral member of several knife communities and some of the kindred spirits he met through knife collecting became like family. In 2015, Bob and Jeanette relocated to Grande Prairie where Bob worked as manager for Weatherford’s fishing and recovery division. With the downturn in the oil, in 2017, Bob decided to become semi retired. Bob and Jeanette also downsized their home to a small mobile home in Clairmont. Bob always said he felt the most at home in that little trailer.
April 2019 brought a devastating diagnosis of metastatic esophageal cancer. This began the hardest journey of their lives with Jeanette caring for him while he was in constant pain and unable to eat properly. Even though he was so sick, Bob spent as much time as he could in his final months reconnecting with friends and making memories with his family, including several camping trips and even a trip to Ontario. Bob died in the home he loved with his wife, children and grandchildren by his side.
Bob will be remembered by those who knew him best as a humble, thoughtful and generous man. with a quick wit and a phenomenal sense of humour. He was a franchise-long fan of the Toronto Blue Jays, and a lover of music and literature.
Bob was always jotting things down and we found this shortly after his death:
In A Second, By Bob Spornitz
In a second you can see a pretty girl and fall in love. That leads to marriage and children and grandchildren and one of them will change the world. That is what can happen in a second.
Bob will be lovingly remembered by his wife Jeanette, daughter Adrienne Pretzer (Travis), son Jeff Spornitz (fiancé Alyson Kuss), grandchildren Alicia, Derek and Luke Pretzer, parents Ches and Joan Spornitz, sisters Wendy Hoff (Grant), Myrna Southoff (Bob), Corinne Johnston (Don), brother Dean Spornitz (Michelle) and numerous nieces and nephews, in-laws and friends.
Bob was predeceased by his Grandparents Boob and Jen Spornitz, and Archie and Peggy Fleming.
Bob’s wish was for a small family gathering of remembrance to take place in Jasper next July, his favorite spot in the world.