Bob Niven Death, Obituary – On Friday, May 26, 2023, Bob Niven died quietly at home. His wife Margie, children Christina Niven and Jennifer Niven, granddaughter Scocia Owen, sisters Cathy (Rick) Francis and Elizabeth (John Byers) and their families all adored and will miss him. His cousins and close extended family Dave Gammie, Barb Gammie, Joan Gammie, and their children will remember him lovingly. Bob’s parents and daughter, Kirsten, predeceased him.
Bob Niven was born in Maryport, Cumbria, England on August 16, 1942, parents Andrea and WC (DFC) Robert H. Niven. His father, a Canadian RAF pilot, was killed in action three months before Bob was born. Bob and his mother traveled to Canada in 1946 to see his grandparents in Calgary. They arrived in Halifax on a troop ship at Pier 21. Andrea met Dr. Max Cameron on the ship, a military surgeon returning to Canada after serving six years in India. They were married and moved to Calgary.
Bob graduated from Central Collegiate Institute and then the University of Alberta, where he earned a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering in 1964. After working in industry in Vancouver for a brief time, Bob returned to university to earn his M.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, graduating in 1967.
In his heart, he was an entrepreneur. He began his career as a Gas Engineer with Shell Canada and went on to start and lead other firms, including Rohloff Niven Consulting Engineers, Sagebrush Resources, and Esprit Energy, to mention a few. His work experience took him all around the world, including seven years in Russia. He also served on the boards of other firms and organizations.
Bob was a member of the Calgary Booster Club and was instrumental in the success of the Calgary Olympic Winter Games in 1988. He volunteered for the Olympics for twelve years, first as President of the Bid Committee, then for six years as Vice Chairman of OCO ’88, preparing and staging the Games.
As chairman of CODA (now Winsport), he was essential in establishing a sports foundation for future athletes by utilizing the facilities and programs built during the Calgary Games. Canada Olympic Park named its high-performance training facility the “Bob Niven Training Centre” in his honor. In 2012, he was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.
Bob lived by the mantra “The Sea, The Sky, and The Open Road” as a passionate sailor, pilot, and motorbike rider. He was a people person who created numerous long-lasting friendships throughout his life. He was recognized for his honesty, friendliness, and optimism, as well as his “Goon Show” sense of humour.
Bob died as a result of Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD), a rare progressive, degenerative neurological condition affecting largely speech, motor function, and balance.