Friends of Bob Rosen

ROSEN, Robert (Bob) Louis
June 26th, 1947-November 22nd 2011


View the January 21 Memorial for Bob: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (Thanks to Julius Fisher/WorkingTV for filming, editing, and posting these)
It is with deep sorrow that we share the loss of our husband, father, brother,
and friend. Bob passed away peacefully at home, leaving his loving wife
Eva Sharell, beloved son Michael Gabriel Rosen (Tracey), brother Stanley
(Rita),  nephew Daniel (Jess and Evan), Janine and Brianna.


Born in Los Angeles, California, Bob came to Canada as a war resister in
1968. For over 30 years, he was a community school coordinator and
teacher in Surrey. He served as president of the Surrey Teachers’ Association
and was active provincially in the BC Teachers Federation.


Throughout his life Bob brought his passion, eloquence and keen mind to
the struggle for social justice – locally and globally. He was a dedicated
organizer and lent his time and wisdom to many community organizations.
Most recently, Bob sat on the board of Co-Development Canada and the
steering committee of Independent Jewish Voices.


Along with his activism, Bob will be remembered as a musician and
accomplished singer. After retirement Bob brought together a band, the
Gram Partisans, with whom he recently recorded a full-length album. He
was an active member of the Solidarity Notes Labour Choir and sang at
numerous picket lines, benefits and rallies. His time with the Puget Sound
Guitar Workshop community was incredibly joyful and meaningful.


Many will recall with fondness BCTF AGMs and countless other gatherings
where Bob pulled out his guitar and led us all in songs of struggle, songs of love,
and songs of peace.


Bob lived life passionately and well, appreciating travel, good food and wine. He
deeply valued his community of friends both young and old. His warmth, open
heart, generosity  and big personality will be greatly missed. He will be
remembered with love by David, Ruthie, Anna, Benjamin,  and other family and
close friends.


Donations in honour of Bob’s memory can be made to Co-Development
Canada ( or Independent Jewish Voices
Audio clip about Bob from Coop-Radio’ Redeye Show
Audio clip of Bob singing Ripple
Audio clip of Sue Malcolm and Highrise Lonesome’s song Got to Carry On (For Bob Rosen). Lyrics here

(Click for more video clips from Bob’s last concert…)

Add your memories of Bob or other comments by clicking “Leave a reply” below. (Note that it may take a day or so before your memory appears online).

98 thoughts on “Friends of Bob Rosen

    • Our friend Bob is gone: a big man who lived life in a big way, who will leave a big hole in his family, friendships, causes and music. I will remember him as a man who learned that if you live your life fully in the moment you can’t be depressed. I will remember him as a dear friend who was at his best when communicating with others through thoughtful and lively conversation, insightful writing, strong debating and joyous music.

    • I have just learned of Bob’s passing. I can hear his great husky voice as I write. I first met Big Bob at a GSGW Retreat over 10 years ago. We jammed together many times over many years of GSGW events, Bob playing his big Larrivee. I regularly chatted with him at WinterGrass in Seattle. Music was a large and important feature of his life.

      Usually his music was made for pleasure and entertainment. However, I vividly recall Bob playing at Centennial Square in Victoria about 6 years ago during a Province-wide Teachers Strike Demonstration. It was raining and there was only partial coverage for the players on a makeshift stage. I recall his band playing a Woody Guthrie protest song. A little rain would not dampen Bob’s spirit — he played and sang out strong!

      I am saddened to hear that Bob is no longer with us; however, I am glad to have known him well. Fond memories of his music will stay with me always.

      I am saddened to hear of his passing.

    • It was always a pleasure to get Bob’s musical participation and advocacy on the air with Melodies in Mind. I love having the Gram Partisans on and Bob will most definately be missed. It comes to me as a total surprise that this has happened and I celebrate my memories of Bob with gratitude,

      Ryan Fletcher,

      Melodies in Mind

  1. Thank you for putting this together. The loss of Bob is a loss for all of us, but I can’t imagine what this loss means for Eva and Mike. On the day of Bob’s passing a very good friend of mine had a healthy baby boy that she delivered alone before her midwife could reach her. I heard about both Bob’s death and baby Jonah’s birth at almost the same time. It reminds me that life is full of joy and heartbreak. Bob was a kind man who will be missed by many.

  2. Thank you for this page. It is heartening and awe-inspiring to read everyone’s thoughts and tributes to Bob in the various places online. Everything said resonates with my experiences of Bob and that in itself is phenomenal. That a person has that kind of impact on so many people – made each one feel as though he was completely present in that moment… I have no words. Bob was a mentor for me. I strongly believe that our greatest gift to one another is to model the behavior that we want to see in each other. I think Bob did that and I will carry him with me always.

  3. Bob was a wonderful person. A real Renaissance man. An activist. A musician. A lover of people. A lover of life. His contribution was always positive and constructive, offered up in a loving way. We will all miss him terribly.

  4. What to say about a friend of nearly 40 years? People may not know that decades ago, Bob had the fastest typesetting fingers on the radical community newspaper, the Western Voice, loved to share greasy Chinese as we put the paper to bed, to argue and discuss with his big opinions and confident voice. An eloquent speechifier, gifted writer in all movements that received his prodigious energy and commitment, a patient musical companion who stubbornly encouraged timid singers, the leader of ad-hoc sing-alongs, elevating the Everley Bros. along with Joe Hill and his beloved blue-grass. Vast smile that took in the room, the most sincere hugs and particular affection for our 20 and 30-something children: “So tell me all about what you’re up to!” Appetites of all sorts: food, culture, conversation. Kind and occasionally gossipy, gently so. Now, “…at a good party, the wish that he could be here, gathering and centring our laughter, throwing it out again like confetti into the corners.” (thanks Maureen Hynes). Fiercely loved and loving.

  5. Michael and I will really miss Bob. He was a fine human being and great musician. We loved his hugs, talking politics with him and hearing him sing and play in our living room and at the GSGW. Much love to Eva and their son, Michael.

  6. Bob’s beautiful, gentle spirit is already being missed @ Crossroads Hospice. His rich, heartfelt music was such a blessing as he filled the hospice with warmth. We gathered as a team, lit a candle and shared our memories of his visits. Bob-you have left your mark in the hearts of your hospice family forever!

  7. Dear Eva and Brother’s Bob Rosen’s family and larger family within IJV,
    Salam and Shalom.
    Please accept my sincere condolences with his passing away and leaving us to a better place.
    I didn’t have the honour to meet Bob in person, but we connected via cyberspace through advocacy of Justice, End of occupation and Peace.
    Bob was a man of great and noble values, His special courage to speak up for the oppressed and under privileged will be guiding many of us to continue the struggle for justice and peace.

    Ali Mallah

  8. Dear Eva,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I didn’t know Bob very well but I was at the GSGW jam camp and thought “I really should go up and introduce myself and get to know him”. He looked so thoughtful and reflective that weekend. I’ve learned more about Bob by reading about him since his death than by getting to know him when he was alive and that is a considerable shame and my loss because he was so obviously a very special man. I wish comfort for you and your loved ones.
    Lyndsay Ferguson

  9. Bob was a special person who left an indelible mark on the sphere he occupied. I was privileged to know and work with him. Bob espoused strength, joy and justice. He will be missed. My deepest sympathies to Eva, Michael and all of his dear friends. What a loss!

  10. Our dear Bob – will miss the sin
    ging, the sharing of politics in BC when we first moved here. The incredible committment and willingness to help in what ever way he could with the War Resisters Campaign. Will miss the huge smile in his eyes – his absolute love of food, friends, music, politics and love of travelling. Brother you will be missed,n

  11. My first memories of Bob were seeing him and David handing out “In Struggle” in front of the schools where we were having STA meetings. He lived life the way he wanted, rather than how society dictated, and he left the world a better place for being there and caring.

  12. I never thought I wouldn’t get a chance to see Bob again. I sat beside him at my first AGM and considered him a friend and mentor from that moment. My condolences to the Rosen family. Bob will truly be missed.

  13. I first met Bob when he joined our small team of community educators in Surrey and BC at Holly Community School. His passion, warmth, and inquisitive mind was immediately apparent to everyone who met him. Bob, I always enjoyed our dialogue and I remember the time we “bumped” into each other years later at the foot of Whistler Mtn. during the ski season at Creekside, & we sat down at Dusty’s for a brew or two to share our memories of days long ago-it was a special moment I won’t forget. I left that day not knowing I would never see you again with a smile on my face. Thanks Bob for the memories!

    Brian Luckock

  14. The hole in our lives left by Bob’s departure is enormous. He did not so much touch our lives as infused himself in them. While the hole can never be filled, we can continue to build community with some of the love, courage, strength, song and wisdom that he shared with us all. His voice drew me in at my first AGM in 1985 and I was so fortunate to be able to sign along for these many years. We miss you deeply and our love goes out to Eva and Michael,

  15. A big teddy bear he was. Bob had a way of making me (and likely all others) feel special, just in the way he greeted me. A wave, a smile, or a big hug. What warmth and joy he shared and spread.
    My last interaction with Bob was at a Solidarity Notes workshop Nov. 20. I went up to him at the end. He was talking with 2 (considerably-younger-than-us) men, there for the first time, welcoming them, encouraging them, urging them to come back. How Bob.
    I slipped my arm around his and said hello and goodbye. So glad I did.

  16. Eva,
    I am shocked and sad. My love to you and your family. I thought about the idea of “taking him for granted”. A beautiful face and gentle way. Warms greetings. Little nods on the street. A comforting face in the crowd that always seemed to be there. For years. Reliable and kind.
    How wonderful he was such a lovely man! And that we all had him in our community.
    My heart goes out to you.
    Patricia Chauncey

  17. I am very sad to hear of Bob’s passing. He was always a passionate and caring advocate for his beliefs. He was principled and committed in working for a progressive future. And he was a fine musician. He was always a strong voice for social justice and that voice will be missed. My thoughts go out to Bob’s family and friends.

    Shane Simpson

  18. I dig Bob lots! I figure we first met not long after he came to Vancouver, in wild & woolish surroundings no doubt, and over time since would typically reconnect in the raucous squawk of a kitchen party or the pinball bump & shuffle of a gig, rock ‘n roll, rhythm & blues, folk singing, all real soulful music or even better yet out on the dance floor where he could move that big fine frame. His simpatico self filled rooms and it’s always been my delight to share time with him, to swap current history and see him happy & bright. Dear Eva, Michael, Stanley, Popo, Lynn’s & my hearts are with you and our tears mingle with yours. I really dig Bob Rosen, the most conscientious of objectors, and I’m going to miss him lots! abrazos y besos, JIm C

  19. Eva and Michael,
    I was shocked to discover Bob’s passing. I remember him in Solidarity Notes, his wonderful voice it resonated throughtout the room. I did not know Bob well, but felt a warm connection with him. I have missed Solidarity Notes since I moved from Vancouver but had always thought I could reconnect with all the very special individuals in the choir and Bob was certainly one of the people that I always thought I would see again…. I am so very sorry for your deep loss. My thoughts are very much with you at this difficult time.

  20. I first met Bob 43 years ago when he sat beside me in lst year composition at City College and introduced himself by passing me a rather cheeky note. Although I saw him recently at the film festival and on the tennis court in our neighbourhood, when I heard the news my mind went back to 1968 — the first time I saw him with a guitar, playing Dylan songs with Catherine; the occupation of the admin building at SFU, our first political action together; the time he took me to see Big Mama Thornton live on 4th Avenue; the first time I ever ate a raw oyster at his urging. He was so full of gusto for life from the first moment we met until the last emails he sent out the night he died. It is difficult to believe such a life force can be extinquished in an instant.

  21. It is hard to believe this life force is gone. He is one of the best people I have ever known.
    The tributes already posted describe this incredible, wonderful human being in the most beautiful way possible. I will miss my cousin always. We had a special connection even though we didn’t see each other often. I always knew we shared a deep love for each other. My love to Eva, Michael, Stanley. Popo, Daniel and all other family and friends He will be missed by all.
    Cousin Ann

  22. Cindy and I remember Bob and Eva’s visits fondly. His wonderful energy and varied interests made him a joy to have around. He was a sponge for local customs, languages, songs, art and architecture. He was also a fine travel photographer who passionately pictured his travels, his times and his meals. I have saved his numerous travelog e-mails and can make them available to those who’d like to read them.

    Our sympathy goes out to Eva, Michael, Stanley, Popo and the grandchildren.

    Burt, Cindy, Lindsay and Ellis Plotkin

  23. Vancouver is a small place, Bob a large soul. No place in the city will be unaffected by his death, but I’ll never stop looking for him everywhere I go, every gig, every festival and folk performance and political rally or demo. Without Bob, no event was complete nor will any event ever be without his spirit, at least as long as I’m alive.

  24. We’re very sad to hear about Bob’s death. He was a kind man, a careful listener, and very supportive. At Solidarity Notes meetings his contributions were always valuable, and singing at picket lines and concerts with him was fun. His work supporting justice for Palestinians was very important to us

  25. I was so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. I have not seen him since I left Vancouver in 1980 to move to the Yukon. But I remember him with great fondness.

  26. Eva and Michael,

    I was shocked but not surprised (Bob had told me of his medical condition recently) when I heard the news of Bob’s passing. I have cried real tears on multiple occasions since, as the memory of him and the sadness of the news intrudes. He truly represented Che’s insight view that a revolutionary is motivated above all by genuine feelings of love. As so many others have commented, you could not help but feel the love that radiated from this big bear of a man. Bob energized every room he walked into and every group of activists or singers or just people he was involved with. His warmth and genuineness and capacity to engender a group feeling and an enthusiasm for the work we shared was so visible and strong that it is easy to forget his other fine qualities. I was always struck by his intelligence – one that managed to combine the theoretical and the practical so effortlessly so that you didn’t feel like he was some smartypants intellectual talking down to you or (if you were a smartypants intellectual like myself) competing with you for space. Another great quality was his teaching ability, his ability to synthesize and summarize what had been discussed by a group in a way that everyone recognized what they shared. Bob knew how to unite people across their differences and his contributions to so many different groups always included bringing them together closer than they would otherwise have been. The world is a better place because of the many, many contributions Bob made in so many different settings to make it so. All of us who were touched by his special grace will miss him terribly.

    John Cleveland

  27. At my first AGM in 1979, I sat, listening to what sounded like a lot of blah, blah, blah. And then a voice at the microphone, words ringing with passion, conviction, and meaning, broke the lull. Eyes opened, heads turned, people applauded. As my young nephew would say, “Bob Rosen, in the house.”

  28. Bob Rosen, one of the finest men I have ever known, died this week. He was a tireless fighter for justice, a gifted teacher, musician and song writer and a loving father, husband and friend to many. In one of the Latin American revolutionary traditions, at roll call, when the name of a fallen fighter is called out, the living chorus that she or he is still among them, still present. In that spirit, and in grief and memory, I call out today- “Bob Rosen…..Presente’!!” He is still present in many hearts today, and our best solace for grief and best ways of honoring his memory will be to keep on working on his life projects of peace and justice, keep on singing and dancing, and love each other just a bit more tenderly in his memory. That is our duty. Bob did his in so many ways during his too short life. He will be deeply missed.

  29. I wish I had known Bob longer and will miss him and his wonderful voice at Solidarity Notes. Bob, as a progressive and peace activist, was truly the embodiment of Solidarity.

  30. A very strange feeling – Bob is just supposed to be there. Along with other family and friends of Bob’s generation, he represented a distinctive set of values and had an influence on my life that can’t be replaced. On the other hand, his life shows that someone can just show up in your city one day and end up having such a positive impact on so many people and communities. If he had not had the courage to be a war resister and head north from L.A. to Vancouver, my dad would never have met my mom.

    Along with most of Mike’s friends, I spent a significant part of my youth at their house and it is reflective of all the other comments here that Bob and Eva seemed genuinely happy to have us around. One winter during university when I was in a bad headspace, Bob and I got a regular game of racquetball going at Hastings Community Centre – you couldn’t find two more different playing styles but we were pretty evenly matched and I think the exercise and chatter was good for both of us – I know it was for me.

    Way too soon to go but I am really happy that Jess and Evan got to meet you. I feel very lucky to literally be able to say ‘Bob’s my uncle’ – I miss you my man.


  31. We were shocked and deeply saddened to hear of Bob’s passing. We’ll always remember him for his generosity, his music, his smarts and his fun. Thinking back to the early days at ‘636’, he was a great guy to live with. Through all the years since then, he’s been an inspiration for the way he’s gone about working to make a positive difference in the workplace and the broader community. Our heartfelt condolences to Eva, Michael, and all of Bob’s family.

  32. Pingback: Robert "Bob" Louis Rosen (June 26th, 1947 |

  33. I was saddened to read of Bob’s passing. I remember him with warmth from our community school days. He card for students, staff, and had a deep sense of community. He was kind to all, even those who did not share his poltical comitment. His sense of humour and caring nature will be missed.
    My deepest condolences to Eva and the Rosen family

  34. For a few years, Bob was my East Van pal on the Surrey Teachers’s Association Executive. He expressed his beliefs with eloquence and passion and his commitment to social justice was unfailing. I, like others, also really appreciated the respectful way he listened to and engaged with other people’s ideas. He was an example of what real leadership can be. I’ll miss his singing and his warm smile so many places. It feels like a light went out, but it is some comfort realizing how many other people share the same feelings of loss and share the values that Bob was committed to.

    To Eva, Michael and other family, I would like to express my deepest sympathy.

  35. People have expressed my thought so eloquently, I have nothing really to add, other than that I too will miss Bob. Thanks Bob, for everything you gave to make the world a better place. Deepest sympathy to Eva, Michael and all Bob’s family and friends.

  36. A few years ago, I house-sat for Bob and Eva while they were away in Vietnam. Though we had only just met, I got to know Bob through his brilliantly written, evocative emails describing every adventure, taste and sound of their trip. When I moved to Vancouver last summer, Bob – who had hundreds of much older friends – welcomed me with his warm hug and sincere curiosity. His music, humour and energy filled our lives. As someone said, he simply should be here.

  37. I will never forget Bob Rosen. I first met him at Holly Community where he was Home School Coordinator and I was a member or the Parent Advisory Council in the mid seventies. He was a great and gentle leader and advisor in this group. I later enjoyed the sing-alongs at the BCTF conferences where he played guitar and led the singing. The memories from those times is utterly joyful. Bob will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

  38. Eva and Family,
    We were shocked to see Bob’s notice in the newspaper this morning. We want to send you our love and deepest sympathy for this sudden lose. I (Shirley) saw you two at Ronnie Burkett’s show just last week, both of you with big smiles and warm greetings. Bob was such a solid member of our community. We will miss his singing, great warmth, integrity, and big smile. It’s a sad day for us all.
    Shirley & Mark Brunke

  39. I was inside scrutineering for COPE/Vision at Queen Victoria Elementary School Annex last Saturday wondering if the old tradition of we volunteers getting fed was still in vogue in our ever changing world. Well, you can imagine my happiness when in the door marched Bob about 4:00 pm with box lunches for Kevin and me. It makes me sad to think that maybe he worked too hard on E-day. Nevertheless, he warmed my heart every time we met, usually at some musical event. We must raise our voices with renewed gusto so as to rock the heavens where surely he is taking his place among the greats so widely loved and sorely missed.

  40. I was not a close friend. Just another teacher, I met him on and off , going to Vicotria, on the ferry, marching or demonstrating for better learning and teaching conditions. Yet, he always made me feel important and would say something funny or encouraging. At one AGM in Victoria he invited me for lunch with David Chudnovsky and a few other people and talked to my daughter who was with me about music. She immediately like him and told all her friends. He was the cool man she met at her mom’s AGM. Music at our AGMs lives on, Surrey always has sing-alongs. He was real, he cared, he just knew how to warm up a person’s heart.

    • Bob Rosen. Some 35 years ago Bob’s voice and the force of his words filled the hall at my first AGM – the force of a thousand flowers. We hear them still.

    • Dear Friends of Bob, I am preparing a short slide show for the celebration of Bob’s life on January 21, 2012. The comments left on this site have been so inspiring and thoughtful. I would like to include a few short (under one minute) recorded audio memories in the slide show. If you would like to record a comment or memory to include in the show, please send it to Andrew Stevenson at

  41. Bob may not be with us in body but he will always be here in spirit. He had a huge impact on every person he met and in turn they impacted someone else, like the rings that are created when you drop a pebble in water. Bob has been in my thoughts lately for no reason I could figure out and was devastated to hear about his passing. Thank you Eva and Michael for sharing your Bob with us. My thoughts are with you. Hugs.


  42. That voice and especially that gargantuan smile…it said it all…What an example of a life worth living. And to Eva: Valerie and I embrace you with all the care and love we can muster….

  43. Eva and Michael,
    My thoughts are with you at this time. Although I haven’t seen Bob for a number of years, I have thought of him often. He was a gift. I will always remember fondly of renewing our friendship annually for many years at the AGM’s. No one gave hugs like Bob. And there will be some songs I will remember as only his. He will be missed.

  44. Bob would gladly pick a tune with you – bring forth that booming voice to sweeten a quiet room. There is a way to hail a person’s dignity and admit mutual respect in a glance – Bob Rosen had that ability.

  45. Eva and Michael,
    My thoughts are with you at this difficult time. I hadn’t seen Bob for a number of years, but I have thought of him often. For twenty four years or so, I loved renewing my friendship with him annually at AGM’s. No one gave hugs like Bob! And in my mind ther will be some songs that only Bob could sing. He will be greatly missed.

  46. Thanks for setting this up and for letting us hear Bob’s great voice one more time – he was a wonderful guy and will be deeply missed. My condolences to Eva, Michael and all his many family and friends.

  47. it is with fond memories that i truly remember a special human being.Big bob was a person of many magnificent virtures.He was so giving of all his knowledge and time .I will always treasure my visits to Vancouver and time spent with bob and family .My heartfelt thoughts are with Eva, Michael,Stanley and all the family.Cousin and cohort Phil Rosen

  48. Dear Eva and family,

    I’ve read through the many postings regarding the passing of Bob, and every one of them show the love and respect that we all felt when it came to Bob. He was part of our musicians at Crossroads Inlet Centre Hospice for many years, and we all looked forward to hearing him sing. When we had a death in the hospice, there was a simple ritual of lighting a candle and putting the name in our book. I can recall a family asking Bob to sing a special song after their young daughter had passed away. Bob performed with such grace and compassion for that family.

    Bob was bigger than life and we were all befriended when we were in his presence. He cared for everyone and supported many causes. He will be missed.

    Regards, Linda and Mark Kozina

  49. We met Bob and Eva shortly after we moved to Vancouver 6 years ago, through Solidarity Notes. In a short time we became close friends, and we feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to know this amazing person. Our son Daniel loved him too. He certainly had a special ability to engage with young people.

    When our son was young we read him a wonderful kid’s book, Miss Rumphius, about a woman who was told that for her life to be complete she had to accomplish 3 things: 1) see the world; 2) live by the sea; and 3) make the world a more beautiful place. We loved that book and made those goals our own. Although he left us far too soon, Bob clearly got to achieve all three: he did a heck of a lot of travelling, he got to live here in Vancouver, and he certainly made the world a more beautiful place — via his music, his love for his fellow humans, and his commitment to the politics of change. We miss him so much already.

  50. I first met Bob and Eva when I hosted them in Seattle for a Folklife weekend some years ago. Thereafter I ran into them a number of time in Seattle, Vancouver, and San Francisco in connection with labor music. I’m sure I speak for all in the Seattle Labor Chorus who met Bob, by saying that it was a privilege to meet him. I am greatly saddened by losing him, and offer condolences to the whole family.

  51. It was with much sadness I heard the news about Bob. He was always such a straight shooter, so genuine and fair. I remember working with him on Western Voice, playing ping-pong at numerous strawberry socials and leading many folk songs, most recently in memory of Jack Scott. Always warm, kindhearted and with a delightful sense of humor.

  52. I was very sad to hear the news about Bob. As so many eloquent and loving friends have said, he wad a very special person, who had a huge impact on everyone who knew him. Lots of love to Eva, Michael and all the family at this sad time.

  53. Eva and Michael,
    My thoughts are with you and the family at this difficult time.  I hadn’t seen Bob for a few years now, but I have thought of him often. For more than 23 years,  I always looked forward to renewing our friendship annually at the AGM’s.  His warmth drew you in and it was like a homecoming.  No one gave hugs like Bob.  And for me, there will always be some songs that only Bob could sing.  He was a gift.  He will be missed.

  54. Hi ! I knew Bob from being involved in canpalnet. He was a tireless organizer and had lots of passion for life and justice. He will be missed greatly by all those who knew him, my thoughts are with his family.

  55. Judith and I wanted to know Bob better and better….

    I loved his presence at meetings of Independent Jewish Voices.

    Judith and I send our deepest sympathy to his family and friends…and, of course, we’ll “keep on truckin'”!

  56. I met Bob many years ago at a BCTF AGM. I was impressed with his elquent speeches for teacher and student rights. But the highlight of those days was always the sing-along in the hospitality suite in the evenings. As a member of Solidarity Notes I got to hear that wonderful voice every Sunday. I will miss Bob – his kindness,his caring, his commitment, his passion for social justice and his great big personality. My deepest sympathies to Eva and Michael.

  57. Bob made a lasting impressions on me. I was a UBC Education Prof and had student teachers with Bob. I remember the day Michael was born – Bob was over the moon! This time was always interesting for all of us! I also did Community Education at UBC and was with the BC CE Assoc and the Can CE Association, and so was often at the same events and sharing the same passion for what we wanted our schools to look like. I did a stint at a Surrey school (Brankin) in the 90’s, to do community related curriculum, and he was a teacher there. He was so supportive of what I did – coming to an elementary school as a university prof, and he told my Dean about it! Bless him! I got to enjoy his passion for his students and what he believed in first hand. It was great. He will be missed. Not many of us live in the moment so passionately for what we believe. I am sad that I can not attend the Celebration of Life for Bob as I will be out of town. I will be there in spirit.

  58. Dear Eva – you are in my thoughts a lot these days and I send you deepest condolences. I didn’t know Bob well, but he always greeted me with such warmth. He often made a joke that we both still wore our bright yellow 2006 World Peace Forum T-shirts – a little thing we had in common, and I enjoyed it. I feel very sad for your (and Michael’s) loss – which is indeed a loss for all of us. But I’m grateful for all that Bob did on this planet – we need a lot more like him.

  59. I met Mr Rosen when I was in Grade 5. He was my music teacher at David Brankin Elem. As crazy as it sounds I happened to be thinking about him just weeks before his passing. I had just watched the ‘Buddy Holly’ play at the Surrey Art Center. A gentleman said to me, “you are too young to remember these songs”. Ironically, I remembered Mr Rosen, his size, his deep voice, singing some of the songs on his guitar. He taught us La Bamba, the Hand Jive…and of course many other wonderful songs (which I still catch myself humming). Now in my mid-30s, I understand his teachings, and he taught me to love all types of music. I was truly sadden to read about his passing, because I was really hoping that my karma would have allowed me to run into him somewhere in Surrey and just say Thank you! When I played the video provided, and heard his voice, I remember being a 10 year old girl, sitting in his class and listening to his voice. I am fortune, to by fluke, have bought the weekend paper, saw his picture, and was able to read such wonderful things about him. My condolences to his family, and many friends. He touched the lives of numerous people and I admire him for that.

  60. Dear Eva and Family

    Please accept my most sincere sympathy at this most difficult time. Bob was a wonderful gem of a guy. I first met him in the late 1960s at SFU and last spoke with him, at length, at the COPE party on November 19th. We talked about teaching, union office life over classroom life, who we had voted for (and not!) that day, and the upcoming trip to Mexico. He was, as always, lively and animated. He will be remembered for his tireless work in the BCTF, as an advocate for social justice and as a bringer of verve and good feelings. When Bob picked up his guitar and sang, whether leading the old standbys or new pieces he had written, it was impossible not to join in. That, in every way, seems to be what Bob was all about: encouraging every to join in.

    Marcy Toms

  61. I remember being in his class for grade six (1997) at Martha Currie … He always had his guitar and we learned so much about music. He always told us stories about his trips too …. will always think fondly of his class and the memories shared. Even though I have not seen him for years I have never forgotten that year of school =)

    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

  62. Just a short anad inadequate note to express my most sincere sympaathy to Eva and Bob’sfamily. I first met Bob in the late 1960s at SFU and we continued to be friends in the fertile environment of the BCTF. No matter the time or the weather, Bob was one of those totally reliable activists who was always at the rally, the demonstration or the meeting. With guitar, songbook and voice, he picked up spirits at BCTF late night confabs and spoke out, usually with humour and humility, on more serious subjects during the day. I am glad I had a long talk with him on November19th, at the COPE party. As usual, he was animated and attentive as we chatted about union office versus classroom, and shared who we had (and had not) voted for. Bob’s voice and belief in the power of song to mend rifts and move mountains will be part of his legacy, one that will be, as he was, writ large.

    Marcy Toms

  63. I first met Mr Rosen at Martha Currie Elementary, I was in grade 6 and he started the grade 6 and 7 choir. At first I was mortified to sing in front of not only my peers, but the entire school. But Mr Rosen had a way to make everyone feel included, and that we were all equal. No matter how many times my voice went up so high from nerves, he would laugh and give me that smile. Mr Rosen made grade 6 and 7 wonderful years for me. I looked forward to going to school on the days that we had choir. Each assembly he would be up there with his guitar singing away and the entire school knew his songs. One of my favourites that he sang was “the answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind.” You will be deeply missed Mr Rosen. My sincere sympathy goes out to the Rosen Family.

  64. Eva – you have been in my thought so much these days. I didn’t know Bob well but he always greeted me with such warmth. He often joked that we both still wore our bright yellow 2006 World Peace Forum T-shirts – a connection with him I enjoyed. The world would be a better place if there were more Bob Rosens in it. He will be much missed. My deepest condolences to you (and to Michael).

  65. Eva – you have been in my thoughts so much these days. I didn’t know Bob well but he always greeted me so warmly. He usually commented that we both still wore our bright yellow 2006 World Peace Forum T-shirts – a connection with him that I enjoyed. The world would be a better place if there were more Bob Rosens in it. He will be sorely missed. My deepest condolences to you and to Michael.

  66. I met Bob and Eva several times in singing settings in Vancouver, Seattle, and San Francisco. We also hosted each other on a few occasions. I’m sure I speak for those in the Seattle Labor Chorus who met Bob, when I say that we all feel the loss, and wish Eva and Michael the best in these sad circumstances.

  67. Bob and David brought me and many others into the Surrey Teachers Association when I first began teaching ESL in the late 1980s. I was teaching alone in a church basement and did not feel very “professional” or very acknowledged for the work I did. It was immensely important that Bob came out to these church basements, community centers, and other out-of-the-way sites to recruit us, support us and bring pride to the teaching work we were doing. He was a big, warm guy who had a lot of great energy for his community and for work that raised many of us up. We have lost a lovely man. My thoughts are with Eva and Michael.

  68. I think of Bob as such a broad thinking and inclusive person, a very good friend to have. He was also a great teacher, as Michael has said in his Moving and Healing salsa newsletter, and an excellent photographer. Bob taught me everything I know about using a digital camera – he was my photography mentor. Dave and I were fortunate to travel with Bob and Eva on several trips, including this year’s amazing journey to New Zealand and Australia. On the way, Bob would find those teachable moments to improve my shots and increase my use of the camera.
    My thoughts are with you, Eva and Michael, and your wonderful extended family – we miss Bob.
    with love,

  69. We’ve got a bunch of photos of Bob on our mantle-piece. Bob with Eva, Bob with Michael, playing guitar, singing, eating, laughing, bird watching, bike-riding, telling stories. Then there are all the pictures in my head. They span over many years, both in Vancouver and Wellington, a wonderful host, a great guest, always excellent company, a true friend and most of all a loving and caring partner to my best friend Eva, and a great dad to Michael. Arohanui – La

  70. It’s all been said about what an impact Bob had on so many of us and on so many movements. So will just share any anecdote. This past summer Bob and Eva came over for a visit on Galiano. The four of us went for a long walk interrupted numerous times by Bob and Eva spotting various birds and other fauna and Bob taking numerous photos. Afterward, Eva was happy to join Virginia in a work party at the community hall making a large batch of soup for the Island seniors. Seeing Bob roll his eyes at the thought of spending his get away time slaving in front of a hot stove, Dave suggested an alternative. Bob was delighted to spend the afternoon sitting at a restaurant terrace gazing out at the passing boats, eating large quantities of gourmet pizza washed down with a couple of ciders.
    We’ll miss Bob’s political work but also his love of life. Our best to Eva, Michael and everyone touched by this special person.

  71. It has been wonderful to read about peoples’ memories of Bob and to realise that he touched so many lives. Thanks you all so much for your support and love. See you on January 21, 2012.

  72. Like many of you I knew Bob from PSGW. My first year there, I didn’t know a soul, and Bob went out of his way to make me sure I felt I belonged. And every year since then we made sure we played at least a few songs together just about everyday we were at camp together. Being a teacher myself…Bob and I would solve the worlds education problems every year. Seems like most of our solutions involved sending teenage boys into the wild…until they were about 25 and ready to face the world. This last summer I didn’t get into week one, but decided to crash camp for a night to see Les, Bob, Roger,Herky, Heroshi and the gang. I’m so glad I did. I got to jam with Bob about and hour that night. That is a pretty good last memory to have of a friend.

  73. Like so many of you I knew Bob from PSGW. My first year at camp, I did not know a soul, and Bob went out of his way to get me involved. Over the years that I don”t think a day of camp went by where Bob and I did not play at least 3 or 4 songs together. Being that we both taught for a living we would often end up solving the worlds education problems. Seems like one of our regular solutions involved sending all boys between the age of 12 – 17 into the wilds, until they were ready to be educated. This last year Dena and I did not get into week one of camp, so we crashed it for 1 night to see everyone the night of the Oyster party. I’ll be forever grateful hat I did, because I go to jam with Bob for about and hour. That will always be my last memory of Bob….and that’s a pretty good one to have. Bob with a big smile on is face belting out a song.

  74. To Eva, Michael and the wonderful community of family and friends that Bob made and nurtured throughout his life. I received the sad news of Bob´s recent sudden passing last night on a call with my Mom and Dad while staying up on the hills of Kigali City, Rwanda looking out over a sea of lights in the valleys below and musing at the daily struggles that it beholds. Although I have been away from the Vancouver area for so many years except for brief visits now and again, my memories of Bob are a no less indelible fusion from both child and adulthood… and whether it is gazing up at his burly presence in my early years at street rallies/demonstrations and smoky meeting halls or on par with him in later years on the sidewalk outside the hall at my father´s 70th birthday party where Bob and Bill Hood added their musical joie de vive of struggle and humanity or at smaller social gatherings with friends of my parents, Bob was forever just such a genuinely kind, good natured and caring person who was always a pleasure to run into… his unforgettable booming voice like a warm blanket against the cold. The suddeness of his departure will no doubt be difficult for his family and closest friends to comprehend. I know it is a huge loss for my Mom and Dad and the larger community who treasured his friendship and were lucky enough that he resisted the war and had to settle in Vancouver though never forgetting his roots in Los Angeles and the social fabric – particularly elements of the Chicano culture – he left behind. It is of course an unavoidable truth that we all have to depart sooner or later and unless we are given the chance to say goodbye as we suffer terminal illness or are fortunate to survive a century or more to border on the reasonably expected limits of human longevity, our departure will always be a shock but will leave no less of an empty space in the hearts and minds of those who continue on. This space can only be filled by fond memories of the good times shared and in the case of Bob, the friendship, solidarity, good nature, laughter and musical accompaniment committed to the struggle for human justice. I am sorry I won´t be able to attend the celebration of Bob´s life in January but as is the cry for the heroes of revolutions and struggles of days past who are forever present in our lives giving us strength and motivation to carry on for peace and justice and love … Que Viva Bob!

  75. Eric and I were deeply saddened by news of Bob’s passing. Our hearts go out to Eva, Michael, Stanley, Popo and the rest of the family as you adjust to such a great loss. Bob supervised me as a junior counselor at the JCC when we first met in ’68 and I was awestruck by this giant of a man with charisma to burn leading a ragtag chorus of knee high campers in a rousing rendition of Get Outa My Life Woman (complete w backbeat) as bewildered parents looked on. That was our time and it didn’t get any better than that! He obviously continued to live life out loud and the many wonderful tributes reflect the values, causes, principles and relationships that guided his life. He will be sorely missed. May his indomitable spirit continue to soar!

  76. For so many years, it has been a true pleasure knowing Bob, meeting him at rallies, hearing his beautiful voice singing the songs that meant something to all of us, reading his incredibly descriptive travelogues and being at each other’s parties, with lots of teachers and librarians in attendance! Bob had a genuine warmth and humanity that comforted and supported others, and he was generous with those gifts. Our last meeting with him was at the Gram Partisans concert with the Restorative Justice group where he played and sang from his heart and it reached us immensely. Thank you, Bob, for all you have done for so many people. We send Eva, Michael and his extended family our love and sympathy.
    Aphrodite, Mason and Family

  77. Bob will always be my hero for introducing me to Bob Dylan. On a double date with his brother Stan, Bob was singing along to Dylan, knew every word, and I was a shy, mezmorized 13 year old. Sounds like Bob had a similar impact on many. My deepest sympathy for a bright light taken too early, to Eva, Michael, Stanley, Rita and all Bob’s family and friends.
    Rita Joiner Soza

  78. I didn’t know Bob long but long enought to know he was one of the finest men I ever knew. His many attributes have been already been said and were immediately apparent upon meeting him. His hug smiles, welcoming hugs made me and so many others feel valued in his world. Most impressive to me was his ability to see all sides of a position and respect them. He had the courage to address and try to solve differences with integrity and respect. He was truly a man who lived his values in a way that most of us just don’t know how to do. I am so sorry that I will not be able to attend the January 21 tribute to him. Bob is someone I will never forget. I am grateful to have known him however briefly, with deep admiration and appreciation. A very unique and special person.
    Marion Smith

  79. Many people have spoken about Bob’s love of music. It was his passion for music that inspired Bob to work with the Redeye collective as one of our regular music producers. Every month Bob gathered together a selection of tunes for us to play during our show. Both we and our listeners appreciated the music he shared so generously with us.
    Bob’s involvement with the Solidarity Notes choir brought him into our studios as a guest in November 2010 on the occasion of the choir’s 10th anniversary. Earle Peach and Bob sat down with Mordecai Briemberg and talked about how and when Solidarity Notes started and why it was important to them.
    When Bob died, all of us on Redeye were all deeply shocked and saddened. Mordecai prepared this tribute to Bob on behalf of the whole collective. It includes some segments from the interview we recorded with Bob in our studios. We wanted to share it with everyone through this website.
    Jane Williams

  80. Bob was one of my closest and dearest friends at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop. We were roommates the first year that I went –– that was back in 1999 –– and we played and sang and ate and talked together every day at camp, almost every year for the past thirteen. That included the last night of week one, 2011, out on the front porch of the lodge, a magical song circle that would forever remain a special memory for me, even if it hadn’t also turned out to be my last jam with Bob.

    There is so much that I miss about Bob. He connected with everyone at camp in a very special way. He was a gifted singer and performer, but most of all, he was honest and open with his music, just as, in his inimitable way, he was honest and open with everyone he met. As big as his voice was, he was always listening for what everyone else had to say or sing or play. He always inspired me to be a better musician, seeming to know at all times what I needed most –– whether it was heartfelt encouragement, or deft critique, or perhaps most often, simply showing by example what music is –– nothing more but nothing less than a special way of connecting and being with people. He was the absolute best, and I miss him so.

    Hiroshi Motomura
    Los Angeles

  81. I had the privilege of producing and recording Bob & the Gram Partisans over the past year. Bob brought the same passionate good nature to this project as to everything else in his life. For a big man with a big voice, he was a surprisingly good listener and keen to try different ideas.
    Although I didn’t know him well, it was incredibly poignant working on the songs after he was gone.
    Many times he had said ‘dammit, we deserve to have a CD of our music!’
    I’m immensely glad that he got his wish, and equally sad that he’s no longer here to enjoy it.

    Along with his warmth, enthusiasm, dedication & compassion – his voice will live on with us all.

  82. Dear Bob,

    I can’t believe I won’t ever be able to talk with you again about what matters to me and what matters to you. I was thinking back to when we met, spring 1969, at a seminar at Camp Miriam on Gabriola Island. In those exciting and scary days when possibilities were infinite and boundaries few. You had quite a presence, a huge amount of charisma, the picture of cool. Draft dodger, long hair, beard, smart, strong political opinions put forward so articulately. I was swept away by it all.

    Nobody would have called you a Big Bear Of A Guy in those days, too many rough edges. In the years we lived together we were all trying to figure out the world and ourselves. I saw you finding your way in a time of strident politics, making decisions about your political involvement, your career path, all the time deepening your friendships with more and more people.

    You were a gifted communicator. I know what people mean when they talk about your potent oratories at BCTF AGMs. You were amazing! Some of those debating skills were honed as you engaged in intense imaginary arguments with countless people while you were walking down the street or looking in the mirror getting ready for your day or even while you were in conversation with an actual person. Your mind would be racing.

    In later years you mellowed, softened. I loved your passion about so many things. You seemed to be interested in everything. Once you learned about whatever it was, you could get very excited about it. And it was always entertaining hearing about your latest discovery.

    But what most endeared me to you was your openness, your willingness to wear your heart on your sleeve, cry if you were that moved, show your vulnerability. You weren’t afraid to show how much you loved and cared about your family and your friends and how important it was for you to have those close connections. You took the time to let me and so many of us feel that you were genuinely happy to see us and spend time with us.

    You packed a lot into your too short, but very rich life. Thankyou for everything you have given us.
    I really miss you.

  83. I came to know Bob at PSGW. I was always happy to hear we would be attending the same week and that I would have the chance again to share his gentle company, his stories, his wonderful music. I went to sleep more than one night listening to his great big voice ringing through the starlit night. We ended up taking a lot of the same classes, and becoming better friends. One of my best camp memories is taking a harmony singing class with Bob. After class Bob, myself, and our dear friend Rachel sat on the porch of our cabin and sang “I still miss someone” for about three hours, switching parts around. I remember the wonderful joy that Bob radiated as he realized that he could, indeed, sing a beautiful harmony. That was a moment that was very special for all of us. He had one of the best hearts of anyone I have ever met and the world is a poorer place for his loss. My deepest condolences to Eva and Michael.

  84. I am stunned to hear of Bob’s passing. I was with him at PSGW, and I never imagined that this would be my last opportunity to enjoy his wonderful presence. What a joy it was to share the PSGW experience with him, with his superb generosity and warmth of spirit, his nourishing hugs, his beautiful voice, intelligence, and life wisdom. Bob, I will miss you so much–I always looked forward to seeing you. EVen when I didn’t get to spend much time with you, I was always so grateful to be there with you. Thank you for your beautiful being.

  85. I did not know Bob well, we only met at a few music camps. But there was such an innate friendliness and caring about him that I felt a connection. At PSGW a few years ago, I was in my cabin late at night, and Bob’s singing voice came through the trees, maybe it was Great Divide, a Paxton song, but no matter. It was just so right.

    He is greatly missed.

    Mary P-K, Bellingham

  86. I was shocked and saddened to hear that Bob Rosen has passed away. I will miss running into him on Commercial Drive and be welcomed by his big, beautiful smile. I am feeling the loss of his political work, in particular that of a principled, humanist Jew speaking for justice for Palestinians. He was too young to go. The world feels a little colder and, although I was not close to Bob, I feel a little lonlier.

    Once in the early 80s, Bob, who knew my son liked skiing, took him on a ski trip to Mount Baker. I will always remember that.

    My thoughts go out to Eva and Michael.

  87. Thank you all for a rememorable tribute to Bob.
    His voice in the songs will endure. It is comforting to hear.
    Let us carry his spirit and energy to the future generations.
    Thank you, Bob!
    In solidarity,
    Juri Oja

  88. Bill and I regret that we were unable to share in the tribute to Bob last night. We didn’t know him well but, realize through our limited exposure to his humaness what a true inspiration and generous person he was to everyone! And I thank him and Eva for always being open to my family.

  89. Our sincere condolences to Eva and Michael. Bob was a great guy. We shared some music together, too few times though. We shared some activism at the BCTF and elsewhere. He was always such a warm and engaging person, one who always had time to share. He is truly missed.
    From Marion and John Malcolmson

  90. While basically in shock, I had originally written something in the Georgia Straight but I’d like to leave a message here too. Dan and I first met Eva and Bob in Brackendale in 1998 where we were taking an eagle viewing tour. We had just moved here from Miami and basically knew no one. While getting in our cars and saying goodbye, Bob asked if we knew what pho was. We didn’t. So they said they’d take us to a pho restaurant and we’d never go hungry in Vancouver.
    Turns out we loved their company and had lots in common – kids, travel, enthusiasm, love of Vancouver, politics, wine, books, music, photography, etc. We got together when we could mostly to laugh and eat and trade travel stories. It was years before we came to realize how many friends they really had and how committed to the community they were. Awesome and inspiring. We feel very fortunate to have been included.
    I knew on the 21st standing in that warm and loving crowd that Eva would be supported as she deserved. It will be quieter though. I always took for granted that there would be endless more get togethers. How silly of me.
    His hug and voice were like no other. It was too soon. I will always miss him, but take joy in the memories and in future years of Eva’s friendship.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s