North Delta Senior Secondary
Grad Class of 1983

Robert Deuling -- Memories

I am Robbie's sister Jill Deuling.  For some strange reason I just googled my brothers name, probably because it is the anniversary of his death.  I saw that you had put a request for information about Robbie and am compelled to answer. Thanks for remembering him and taking interest in his life.    

Robbie died 9 years ago today, November 2nd.  Tragically, Rob committed suicide, on a stormy evening, November 2, 1998.  He and I were very close and he phoned me just before killing himself so I could get his dogs and take care of them.  He said he needed my help to look after his dogs because he had to go away and take care of business.  I found him dead with a bullet hole in his head and gun in his hand.   

It was a rainy depressing night and Robbie was suffering from a gambling addiction, related poverty, and a break up with the girl who just had his baby boy a year before.  I suppose that life was too sad and dark at the time for him to bare and he was suffering from severe sadness and loss.   

Our family did not have a burial site, Rob was cremated. Our family just had a small family ceremony on English Bay beach to spread his ashes.  Robbie lived near English Bay. Robbie told me that if and when he died, he would like to have his ashes spread on popular sandy beach so that he could still get into women's pants.  He always had a sense of humour.

He turned out to be a very handsome, full-of-fun man, but he had his demons and none of us were able to save him from his demons.  He was a very good brother to me. 

Rob went to Halifax soon after graduating and joined the navy.  He served in the Navy for quite a few years as a chef and then he left and trained further to be a chef.  He worked at the Empress in Victoria as a chef.  His gambling was always there in the background or sometimes in the forefront.  Rob struggled with his gambling addiction and eventually lost everything and ended up homeless and on the streets. 

Robbie kept his gambling as a secret and he hid it and himself from family and friends for many years until one day we searched for him and found him homeless, living on the streets and in his car. Mom and dad bailed him out and rescued him and got him off the street, and then he found an apartment in the West End. Through all this, he still looked clean-cut, handsome as always, very charming, pulling jokes and making fun, acting happy and you would never have known by looking at him that he was a young man in trouble.  The girls all turned their heads when he walked down the streets.

He then worked in some of the slummy hotels and started selling drugs to feed his gambling addiction.  He worked for some of the most dangerous people in Vancouver.   I thought at first that he may have been murdered, but the police found a suicide note that he left behind. I loved him very much and don't want his memory to completely disappear.  

-- Jill Deuling

My husband Tom Dalling, a good friend of Bob's during his military days, just sent me a link to the page with memories of Bob.  I had only met him just a few times before and shortly after my husband and I were married, but I remember him well.  I am so very sad to learn of his passing, in such a tragic way, and can't even begin to express the sorrow I feel. 

Amongst the funniest memories I have of Bob, and there were a few, was when our first son,Thomas was born in Kingston, and we had him all dressed up for the annual Christmas party at the Junior Ranks.  Bob came over to see the new baby, picked him up and started to play with him and make him laugh by bouncing him around a little.  We warned him that could be dangerous, and before we new it the front of Bob's fancy shirt was covered in baby spit-up.  Although Bob was a good sport about it, the look on his face still makes me laugh today. 

He was just a young, single guy so it was fairly traumatic for him!   I know my husband has many more memories, and we've often spoken of Bob throughout the years, wondering how he was doing and hoping to see him again sometime.  We had no idea until today that Bob was gone, and once again we are so very saddened to know this. 

-- Erin Dalling, July 2019

Rob was a very good friend of mine back in high school.  We competed against each other in soccer, and through this game, became good pals. On Feb 14/83, Rob and I were on an 18 ft sailboat off the Pt.Roberts, USA coast line with my late father and late uncle. Due to the crazy weather at the time, we capsized the boat, and had a life threatening situation. My father and uncle hung onto the boat, while Rob and I swam to shore. It was extremely lucky for us to survive, maybe it was our youthful exuberance that pulled us through. But we thought nothing of it, even though it was front page news at the time.

Rob eventually landed a job at the local ND Keg on Scott Rd. He was a cook, and needless to say, we hung out there all the time. The bar became our hangout. Rob then went on to serve a couple of contracts with the Canadian Armed Forces. Over these years, I lost contact with Rob, and I was very saddened to hear of his passing.

-- Chris Hoeflich

If you have any further thoughts, memories or information about Robert's life or his passing, please .
Page maintained by David Marchak
Last updated September 13, 2020