Benjamin Harold Roberts passed away at home on Tuesday, April 25th, 2023. Age 85 years.
Beloved husband of the late Shirley (Hill) Roberts. Dear father of Andrea Roberts; Jo-Anne Goodwin (Craig) and Janet Lynn Roberts. Loving grandfather of Warren, Melissa, Kyle, and Katelyn. Great grandfather of Luke and George. Predeceased by his sister June, and his brother Reginald. Ben will be lovingly remembered by Chris and Ricki Vasey and their children Keegan, Becky, and Taylor and granddaughter, Lena; and Brent and Donna Vasey and their children Mark and Victoria. Fondly remembered by his nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends, and forever missed by his faithful, loyal companion (his dog) Riley.
Cremation to take place.
Memorial visitation will take place at the Footes Bay Community Centre on Friday, May 5th from 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.
A celebration of Ben’s life will take place at Bass Lake Roadhouse, on Saturday, May 6th, from 12:00 noon.
As expressions of sympathy, donations to Footes Bay Station 1 Fire Department (cheque or e-transfer to [email protected]) would be appreciated.
Ben was one of the first people we met when we moved to Foots Bay to build a home and start our family. He was a very kind and generous man who was always willing to help or offer advice and local knowledge with a warm smile.
Ben’s work towards building the fire service in Foot’s Bay and influence and mentorship of the young men who volunteered is something to be regarded.
My condolences to the family. He was a special man and he will be missed by many.
Extending sincere condolences to the Roberts family and sending strength to you all at this sad time.
Ben’s love of people and respect for the environment have been an inspiration for so many of us over the years. We have lost a valued friend whose memory will live on in the hearts of the many people who were fortunate to know him. Eddy and Susie
Jo-Anne, Craig, Warren, Melissa and Andrea;
Although we are truly saddened to see that your Dad and Grandfather has passed away, we find comfort in his reunification with your Mom. Ben is undoubtedly a legend on Bass Lake and has been a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, humour, and support to our family for the 32 years we have shared the lake with him. A father’s guiding hand always rests on the shoulders of his children. We were blessed to have had amazing father’s and may their wonderful memories always be our guiding lights. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Rest well Ben, you have have earned it!
Lynne and Bill Falcioni and family
My deepest sympathy to all Ben’s family. He certainly was an important figure in all of your lives. What great memories you have of him, a hero to many.-Dianne Butler
Our most sincere condolences on the loss of your father and grandfather.
Ben was a wonderful and positive force, supporting everyone who had homes and cottages in the Bass Lake area.
All of us grew up, visiting the family store, on almost a daily basis. Ben supported everyone no matter how large or small their need was. Always with a cheerful smile, and an infectious laugh, Ben will never be forgotten.
The Hopper’s will all remember you and Ben in our thoughts and prayers.-The Hopper s
Sorry to hear of BEN's passing. We have many memories of the store, corn roasts and the many odd jobs he did for us. Always helpful. Our warm and caring thoughts are with
Norma & Ray Anderson
Remembering Ben as a beloved fixture of the Still's Bay - MacTier area. His Grandfather W.O. Roberts gave us great service in our early years at Christie Point. He would fill both our icehouse and woodshed over the winter. In the Spring he would deliver milk and produce to the dock. Thank You The Roberts Family for so much.-Huntington Christie
Ben was a friend and inspiration for over 50 years as we visited the cottage. When we arrived, we looked forward to seeing him, with Riley, coming down the road. It was great to hear him talk of his youth and growing up in Muskoka. He had tremendous knowledge of the area and was always there to help. He will be truly missed by all who knew him, and for us, it marks the end of an era.-Robert and Frances Clawson
A wonderful kind merry person! I always heard the name Ben Robert’s when I was a kid from my Grandfather and great uncl(John and Bob Christie) and knew that he was a beloved and respected friend. When I met him in more recent years I felt the same. When my son came up to Muskoka in the winter wanting to ice fish but having no idea how, Ben took him under his wing and we were able to have a delicious trout!! And a very energetic old person, something we all aspire to!-Harriet Dann/ Christie
Words can't describe how we are feeling about Ben's passing. So many great memories of Ben and Shirley over the years that we have been on Bass Lake. Will be missed and was such a legend to our community. R.I.P. Ben and sending heartfelt thoughts and sympathy to the family and friends.-Joan & Bud Wice
Our family first met Shirley and Ben when they ran the convenience store at Bass Lake. At that time, our cottage was being built. Over the years, Ben became good friends with our Dad, Chris, who would call on Ben whenever he needed help or advice. Ben was always willing to give a helping hand. Ben was like the Mayor of Bass Lake and he will always be remembered for his big heart and his warm smile. Our condolences to the Roberts family.-Martin Family (Linda, Marilyn, Pauline)
For more than a century a friendship has existed between four generations of Robert's and Christie's. Ben was a wonderful neighbor and individual. Like his father and grandfather before him he helped us in innumerable ways. We will miss him!-John Christie Dann
Condolences to Bens family.
We go back so many years. I think of the great times we had together as young teenagers. Whenever I went home and ran into Ben, that smile was always there.
RIP Ben. 🙏🏻
Ben was my 'second' dad. Always there. Years ago, when my kids were little, we had no water on Christmas day. Little Jackie was sick. After fixing the pump (and falling through the ice during a blizzard while doing so), the water was running again. Ben came into our house and said, 'Jeannie, get me a drink and it better not be water!' I will miss him as will my kids. Best Christmas gift ever!-Jeannie Haller
Ben was a wonderful man and a legend on Robert’s Bay Road.
He will be sorely missed and we extend our sympathies to his family.
The communities of Foots Bay- Bass Lake - Glenn Orchard and Port Carling have benefitted from the contributions of Ben Roberts - may Ben’s legacy live on- RIP - prayers for all-Al Moran
What a lovely photo you have chosen as a remembrance of Ben. That is how I will always remember him with a big smile riding in his pickup truck with his dog by his side. I first met Ben when we bought our cottage on Roberts Bay in 1980. My children loved being able to walk to the corner store for treats and I loved learning about the history of the bay from Ben. Ben was my ‘go to’ person whenever I needed help with repairs around the cottage no matter how big or how small. I can see him yet lying in the mud trying to fix the pump in my sceptic tank on a holiday long weekend when I had a cottage full of guests, and, even when the tank was fixed, he still had time for a beer and a chat. He was one of the kindest and friendliest people I have every met. My condolences to the Roberts Family. I will miss him.-Marilyn Braaten
Ben was one of the first to welcome us to Hamill's Point back in 2005 and became a close friend. He was a constant and welcome presence in the community and will be greatly missed.
Our condolences to Andrea, Jo-Anne and the entire family. Sincerely
Words of sympathy
April 29, 2023
John Peter Hall wrote a sympathy message
“I met the Roberts family on ‘72 when Janet and I had a job of riding two horses. Six years later, at 19 years old, I worked for Ben outside . He was always in high spirits, and always creative in getting any job done to its completion.. Certain people are never forgotten, and are used for guidance, and strength.”-John Peter Hall
Ben's legacy reflects the man. His determination to build his businesses and the fire department. But it was his friendship, his smile, his stories, and his help and advice that will carry on. The driving trips with Riley to patrol and chat with neighbors were widely enjoyed. Even the "Big Bennie" at the Bass pays tribute to his long connection to his neighborhood . He will be sadly missed, but not forgotten. Our condolences to all the family
The Brackleys-BARRY A BRACKLEY
Best wishes to the entire Robert's family. RIP chief...one of a kind.
Ann and Norm
Sorry to hear about Uncle Ben. He was always my favourite - driving the boat, playing with us in the pool in Florida or taking us out in one of his trucks or other equipment. I always loved being in Foots Bay and hanging out with the Roberts clan. With my sincere condolences.-Heather Sheardown
We were so sorry to hear of Ben's passing. Our sincere condolences to Jo-Anne, Andrea, Janet and the rest of the family. We have known Ben since 1987 when we first purchased our cottage. He always had a smile and was friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. Residents and cottagers on Bass Lake were very fortunate to have Ben keeping an eye on things and looking out for the health of the lake. He will be sorely missed by all and Martie will need to find another corn buddy.-Martie and Evie Simon
I am forever grateful for the friendship of Ben, Shirley, Andrea, Jo-Anne and Jenny. Ben, you were wise, fun, protective, caring, hard working, reliable, generous, and kind. I loved, in recent years, how you and Riley would make the rounds on Hamill’s Point Road and Christie Point Road just to make sure all was right in our corner of the world. I will miss you.-Dana Dyment
An incredible loss to the spirit and heartbeat of much of Muskoka. We were particularly fortunate to have him as our ‘mayor ‘ of Bass Lake/Foote’s Bay (with an ‘e’ ) for so many years. I knew Ben for 80 of his 85 years and am proud to call him a friend. He was one of the remaining graduates of our one room school house at Foote’s, located on the site of today’s community center. We will miss you Benny , and may the good Lord take a liking to you. Rest in peace.
Martha Hall lit a candle. “In loving memory of Ben Roberts, may your heart and soul find peace and comfort."
With love, Martha Hall”
I have read all 26 tributes to Ben & his wonderful family that have been received up to my point in paying tribute. It must be said that I can't add much to all the kind words that have come in so far, with many more to arrive. My family & I will miss a dear friend that never had a bad word to say about anyone. His smile & words of wisdom will never be forgotten. We all love & will greatly miss you.
Bob Sillcox & Family.
Ben instantly became our friend when we moved into our place on Hamill’s Point Road, in 2000. With a twinkle in his eye and contagious warm laughter, we learned so much about the land all about us. It was an easy, relaxed friendship and as the years passed by, we would look out for his truck slowly passing by, with Riley faithfully seated beside him in the passenger seat. Ben always made time to stop and talk; his own joy flooded us with good feelings always. It was an honour when Ben joined us for a cottage party, the sharing of warm friendship, some drinks, and dancing. He will be dearly missed. Our deepest sympathy goes out to all of his greatly loved and treasured family. Hans & Mary-Anne van der Walle-Hans & Mary-Anne van der Walle
My condolences to Chris, Brent and family. Ben was a big part of your lives and when Chris spoke of him it was from the heart.-Steve Bush
From the time we bought our cottage on Bass Lake in 1985, we relied on Ben for his knowledge, skill and caring. He helped us out in so many, many ways always with good humour and kindness. Early on, he was able to carve out and move rocks to build up a flat area that we fondly refer to as Ben's Hill. He was truly a Muskoka Legend!-Ed and Teirrah Webster
Sending our condolences to Chris and Brent and your families. We are sorry for your loss. Chris and Jane Sykes.-Chris Sykes
Extending my sincere and deepest condolences to the Roberts, Vasey family and all of Ben's friends . Benjamin will be sadly missed by all who knew him. He was a very kind and wise sole. Everyone knew if they needed work done or they needed work, they could just stop by and Benny would fix them up to the best of his ability. Even when his days didn't seem to be going too well for him...(especially Mondays) he would still entertain us and put up with us firefighters. I learned a lot from him and he would give me confidence to take on jobs that I may have normally turned down. I will never forget his casual charm and his cunning ways to try and please everyone. I will always admire, respect and thank him for the rest of my days. I miss him dearly and Muskoka will never be the same without him.
Our Deepest Condolences to the Roberts and Vasey Family. Ben was a very dear friend, always willing to help or give good advice. It was his advice and encouragement that inspired our son to join the Foots Bay Fire Department 16 years ago. Ben was a pillar of the Muskoka community and will be sadly missed by all.
Ken & Kathy Hobin
Dave & I have many, many fond memories of Ben & his late wife Shirley and his girls, Andrea, Jo-Anne & Jenny. Our friendship goes back a long ways from when we were teenagers to now in our early 80’s. We always looked up to Ben and went to him for advice many times. He was always there with good advice and a helping hand. Had many fun times too, like fishing treks to Cassidy Lake, snowmobiling trips across Lake Joe, fish fries, corn roasts and I could go on & on. Ben was an Icon in the area and especially on Bass Lake. He will be missed by many and will never be forgotten. Our deepest condolences go out to Ben’s girls & families and also to Chris & Brent Vasey who Ben also thought of as family. Love & hugs to all of you.-Dave & Liz Sanders
Our sincere condolences to all members of the Roberts family on Ben's passing. Ben welcomed our families to Bass Lake in 1964 and graciously and patiently taught us "the ways of Muskoka". Ben and his family symbolized all that was good in Muskoka and blessed our early years with treats at the store, saving "the loon" with the broken wing, surveying the lake levels at the culvert, and helping us numerous times by keeping an eye on our cottages. We will miss waving at him on his nightly boat cruises up and down Bass Lake. "Benny" as we called him as children was the heart and soul of Bass Lake and he will be truly missed.
Dana, Jackie, Robert, Jim and the whole Strain clan(s).
Dear Ben…Mr. Fixit, resourceful, reliable, kind-hearted, mischievous, sweet tempered, polite, fun….Invincible.
So sad to say goodbye to such a wonderful friend. You had a long and storied life.
We will miss you. Thank you for being so many things to so many people.
Our deepest condolences to his family and friends.
We are all going to miss Ben dearly. He was our friend, our caretaker, and sometimes our saviour! He gave Pete and cousin John their first jobs. He made everything run smoothly down Christie Point Rd for many many years including the road itself! Who’s going to pull us out of the ditch? Lol He was a dear soul and a laugh riot, and a brave firefighter who dealt with a lot of tragedy. I remember going down to the lunch counter and buying comics and popsicles from Ben and Shirl. He was just always there. Can’t quite picture the end of the road without him. The twinkle and the laugh. Always there for you. God speed Ben.-The Dickie/Kiely/Reeves
We will always remember Ben for his kindness, laughter, mischievous smile, spirit of adventure, and his helpful nature.
He has always been a great friend of the family, neighbour, and best buddy to Wilson .
He will be greatly missed but we are so honored to have had him in our lives.
Love Jeff and Val Mercer
Dear Andrea, Joanne and Janet Lynn and families:
Your Father/Grandfather “Benny” was a gem of a man. Our young family arrived at our little lot on Roberts Bay Road in 1973. We bought our lot from the Roberts family. We had a tent and not much more. A wonderful man man named Ben wandered in to meet us. From there on he took over and cleared our lot, put driveways in, did the septic system, foundation and just about everything else. Now 50 years later, I often meet Ben in his truck on the road while I am walking our dog Freddie. We are always delighted to chat, have a few laughs and catch up on the news of the day. We will miss you Ben! Our sincere condolences to all the family.
Love, Nick and Ann Kristoffy
of the day.
Ben was a very special community member and will be greatly missed. He truly cared about others and it showed in so many ways. He always had time to stop for a chat as he drove around, beloved Riley always at his side. Our sincere condolences to the Roberts family and to Ben’s many friends.-Maureen and Jerry Kappus
My condolences to Ben’s family and friends, he will be missed around Muskoka!-Candace Wiese
Dear Andrea, Jo-Anne, & Janet
A personal note to say how sad I was to learn of your Dad’s demise.
He will be greatly missed by your family, plus all of his Muskoka friends
who have watched him become the LEGEND OF MUSKOKA, caring for us all.
Your parents, Ben & Shirley were Murray & Di’s first friends in 1967 when we took possession of
1201 Hamills Point. They introduced us to many couples & in the winter took us snowmobiling on Bass Lake,
Their hospitality was open to all with picnics on Lake Joe.
Birthday parties were highlighted when you brought ponies to ride on. Such great memories!
For the Hogarth family, the Muskoka destination was always enhanced by the presence of the Robert’s family.
I hope to see you in Muskoka this summer.
My Deepest Condolences to all of the Family including his family by heart. I am so very sorry I could not be there this weekend!
There is so many memories of Ben and his family at Bass Lake going back to when I was a kid, too many to recount 💙. He was like part of the family and always made you feel that way! My daughter, Kayla remembers his wonderful friendly soul as he welcomed her and her friends to jump if the Boathouse roof diving board whatever they wanted, a summer tradition, well he sit and have a good laugh with my dad. He will definitely be missed.
Thinking of your all
Laurie (Sanders), Steve
Kayla and Dylan