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Robert Colpitts

Robert Colpitts

Robert Trueman Colpitts (Bob) of Saint John passed away with Greg at his side in the Palliative Unit at the Saint John Regional Hospital on June 10, 2015 at the age of 75. Born in Moncton, NB, he was the son of the late Wendell and Margaret (Gander) Colpitts.

Bob is survived by his son Greg Colpitts (Odette Landry) of Rothesay and his two grandchildren Ryan and Alison, his sister Peggy Wightman (Bob) of Ottawa and his brother Bill Colpitts (Lynn Fraser) of Halifax, as well as many nieces and nephews: Chris Wightman (Sherry) and Peter Wightman (Julie) from Ottawa; Adrienne Colpitts (Sinclair) of Toronto and Lesley (Michael) Reeves of Halifax.

Childhood summers were spent at the cottage on the shores of Shediac Bay where Bob developed his passion for sailing. Daily ventures out to Shediac Island were only the beginning. He will be remembered for his many sailing accomplishments. The first of two trans-Atlantic crossings fulfilled his dream of crossing the Atlantic. He accomplished the first on a 30 foot sail boat with his wife and 5 year old son in 1972, navigating with only a compass, radio time signals and a sextant, long before GPS and Satellite phones became the norm.

Other adventures included sailing for Canada in the world’s Half-ton Cup race in Sweden, in the British Fastnet /Admirals Cup, the SORC, the Onion Patch Series, and in both the Newport to Bermuda and Marblehead to Halifax races – numerous times. In these yacht races he was highly valued as a tactician and navigator. He was decidedly successful delivering boats throughout eastern North America and the Caribbean. His proudest and most memorable sailing experience for him was, with Charles McNair from Florenceville-Bristol, to sail a retired Grand Manan lobster boat from Saint John to Haiti so it could serve as a ferry boat for patients who otherwise could not get to the hospital. They managed to deliver the boat just before the earthquake struck in 2010, and allowed the boat to play a major part of the port’s ability to bring supplies from waiting ships to a devastated town.

Somehow through all the sailing he worked for General Motors, Poulenc Pharmaceutical, National Film Board, CTV Advertising, Ian Roberts Communication and The Port of Saint John. A natural entrepreneur, Bob owned and operated businesses and a consulting practice, leveraging his broad range of experience, creative and writing skills.

He was a talented musician, writer, artist and a true “foodie” and, in later years, often was the one in charge of Christmas dinner.

A passionate, voracious reader, he was a student of life right to the end, and was eager to explore any field of knowledge. Having a high degree of tolerance for other’s views, he rarely judged, but enjoyed a good debate.

As per Bob’s wishes there will be no visitation or funeral. A celebration of his life will be held on Sunday, June 14, 2015 from 6 to 8pm at the Royal Kennebeccasis Yacht Club in Saint John.

The family would like to thank all the Doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers at the Saint John Regional Hospital.

In lieu of flowers a donations in Bob’s name to the Canadian Cancer Society or Able Sail/Handi-Voile of Shediac, NB, an organization of which he thought very highly. Arrangements are in the compassionate care of Chipman Funeral Home Ltd. & Crematorium (339-6612). Please share your memories of Bob online at


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