Robert Wayne Backer was a loving father, husband, brother, son, friend and colleague. He is sadly missed by his family and friends. It warms their heart to remember that though Rob was taken at a young age of only 48, he lived a good life full of love and laughter.
He was born in Abbotsford, BC on September 7th, 1960. At a young age Rob moved with his parents, Rudy and Edith Backer and his large family to the Quesnel area where he spent the rest of his years. He was the big brother to his younger sister, Sharon Backer, but he was the baby brother to his nine older siblings, Caroline Mitchell (Mike), Dennis Backer (Lorraine), Doug Backer (Sandra), Judy Brown (Gordy), Liz Watkins (Don), Kenny Backer (Lauretta), Donny Backer, and Ed Backer (Maureen). Robbie is remembered for always defying the rules, stirring up a fuss and earning himself the nickname “Butch”.
In the fall of 1981, Rob married his high school sweetheart Sandra Penner. In 1984, Rob and Sandra gave birth to Tyler, Rob’s pride and joy. A few years later, Rob’s little princess, Samantha, came along. He was a generous and loving father to his two children as they were the joy of his life. Though Rob and Sandra later divorced they raised their children together as one large family. Rob remained close friends with Sandra and her husband, Mike Lepetich until his death.
Rob worked within the logging community for over 30 years starting at the age of 18. He involved himself in various companies throughout his career, including R. Backer Contracting, E&K Backer Logging, Eastwood Logging, and Virgo Logging. Most recently, Rob and his brother Ed logged together and opened up Quesnel Sand and Gravel. He will be remembered as a fair, honest and hard working man. It has been said often that he had an abilty to make work fun. Through his drive, business sense and work ethic Rob established himself as a prominent member within the Quesnel community.
He branched off into other industries in the late 80’s when he bought The Alamo Diner with Shelley Lee and her children, Spencer and Joey. It was busy times as they were raising a large family and the Alamo was becoming a bustling little business. Rob owned and operated the Alamo Diner for 18 years. He deepened his roots in the Kersley community when he expanded the Alamo creating an RV Park and Motel. In addition, he began a small company called Kersley Backhoe Service.
Rob was able to return to the logging industry when he met and later married Karen Pickard in 1999. While Karen managed the Alamo, he was able to return to the work he loved and knew best. And though the Alamo for many years was bursting at the seems it was a home full of unforgettable memories, including annual Risk tournaments, Boxing Day snowmobiling, and numerous tubing trips. He will be remembered as the centre of his family and the root of their lives. He was full of life and brought smiles to every room he walked in. Rob raised Karen’s children, Randi and Ryan as if they were his own. He was happy and proud to see all four of the kids graduate high school, especially Ryan who graduated most recently in June. He was an extremely supportive father who encouraged Tyler, Samantha, Randi and Ryan to follow their own paths in life. Rob was proud to see Randi following her passion of becoming an electrician. In May, Rob was able to see his little girl, Samantha, grow up and graduate from university. Though he was sad to see her moving away he supported her dreams. As well, Rob was very proud to see his son following in his footsteps as Tyler married his high school sweetheart, Julie Harkness and joined the logging industry. He was happy to have Tyler working with his company as they worked together everyday and Rob watched Tyler grow into a fine young man.
Rob often said if you work hard, you can play hard. He knew how to play hard. Rob was able to travel the world, seeing the sights of Cuba, Mexico, Costa Rica, Hawaii, the USA, and Greece with his wife Karen. It was a family tradition to go camping and boating each year. Throughout his years, he was an avid snowmobiler, water skier, boater and fisherman. He always took the opportunity to teach his children, family and friends to ski, snowmobile, and get knocked off a tube. He took pride in his toys and used them often, especially his river boat. He still had his first motorcycle and he fired it up each summer. Most recently, Rob took a passion for his Harley Davidson motorcycle. Though he lost his life in a tragic motorcycle accident, his family takes joy in the fact that he was doing something that he loved.
The family would like to thank everyone for their kind words and gestures throughout this difficult time. It is wonderful for the family to hear of good times and fun memories. In addition, the family would like to thank the Northstar Alliance Church and Clayton’s Funeral Chapel for their thoughtful service.
Rob is predeceased by his beloved parents, Edith and Rudy Backer, as well as step father Grant Mitchell. He now joins them in heaven to watch over his family and beloved friends. Rob was a proud father, loving husband, a generous brother and son, and a kind friend. Rob will always be remembered for his zest for life and his big heart. He is dearly missed by his family and friends and they will cherish their memories with him forever. Rob may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.