His Honour Judge Robert Stanley Dinkel, beloved husband of Betty Dinkel of Calgary, passed away on Sunday, December 2, 2007 at the age of 75 years.
Bob was born in Calgary and extremely proud of his heritage as a second generation Calgarian. While growing up he attended Rideau Park Junior High and Central High School. He went on to attend the University of Alberta where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1953 and his Bachelor of Laws in 1954 at the age of only twenty-one. During his days as a student Bob was active in all aspects of student life including joining the International Fraternity of Phi Delta Theta. He was a top student receiving the Carswell prize in Law and the Gold “A” Activities Award. Following university, Bob continued his lifelong commitment to his Fraternity serving as a member of the General Council of Phi Delta Theta for eight years before becoming only the second Canadian President in the Fraternity’s history in 1984. In 1954 Bob was admitted to the Alberta Bar beginning a career that was to span more than fifty years of service to his profession and the community. As a lawyer, Bob unselfishly gave of himself and his time in becoming President of the Calgary Bar Association and a Bencher of the Law Society of Alberta. During his twenty-six years of private practice, primarily with the law firm of McLaws and Company, Bob became known as one of the top litigators in town. It was often said that his booming voice and powerful courtroom presence could persuade any Judge that his was the winning argument. He appeared in every level of Court in Alberta and numerous times in the Supreme Court of Canada. He often recalled his courtroom battles with many of Calgary’s top Counsel. Bob was known as a “lawyer’s lawyer” who would fight the good fight in Court and then take the time to share a drink and laugh when all was said and done. Ultimately, Bob received the prestigious distinction of being appointed Queen’s Counsel and in 1981 he was appointed to serve as a Judge of the Provincial Court of Alberta. He sat as Judge until 2007 when he was disabled by a stroke. As a Judge he was known for his common sense, good humour and brevity. Seldom did he reserve his decision or reduce it to writing. He was fair and polite and a gentleman to all that came before him. Bob was greatly admired by his fellow Judges who were always kind enough to keep a comfy chair, a newspaper and a warm cup of coffee waiting for him each morning in the Judge’s Lounge. His Judicial Secretary of twenty-six years, Joyce Sudsbury, was unfailingly kind and dedicated. He was also very fond of the Court Clerks and Security Officers who pointed him in the right direction each day and often helped him sneak a cigarette behind the courtroom. In addition to his legal career, Bob served his community as President of the Canadian Club of Calgary, Director of the Canadian Citizenship Council, the Calgary Fish and Game Association, the Calgary Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Young Progressive Conservatives of Calgary. He recently recalled how as a young man a meeting with Prime Minister John Diefenbaker inspired him to embark on what was to become a remarkable political career. Bob worked behind the scenes acting as Campaign Director for the Progressive Conservative Party on four successive elections from 1967 to 1979. He watched with great pride as the Party rose from obscurity to dominate the political landscape of the province for many years.
Besides his loving wife Betty, Robert is survived by his daughter Debbie (Grant Chollak) and his son Michael (Patty Spencer) all of Calgary. He will also be lovingly remembered by his brother Jon, his granddaughter Kristi Lindberg (John), his sister-in-law Crys Harse and her daughter Katie, as well as his nieces Pam Herbert and Janet Loschuk. Robert was predeceased by his daughter Karen Forestell (Paul) in July 2007.
Funeral Services will be held at Christ Church Elbow Park (3602 – 8th Street S.W.) on Monday, December 10, 2007 at 3:00 p.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Alberta Cancer Foundation, c/o Tom Baker Cancer Centre, 1331 – 29 Street N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 4N2 Telephone: (403) 521-3433. The family would like to thank the staff at Wentworth Court Nursing Home and Doctors Kathryn Dundas and Helen Messier for their medical care and kind assistance.
In living memory of Robert Dinkel, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403) 243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences