Bob Nesbitt, Friend and Founder of Grassroots Festival

Bob Nesbitt
born April 26, 1939 
passed away February 27, 2021

Bob Nesbitt had an honourable heart. And he kept it well through the doing of good deeds and service to his community. He was a man who understood fully, what it is to be a human being never allowing the fact that his skin was white to interfere in how he lived his life. Bob Nesbitt’s eyes searched only for what was good in the hearts of all people he met. There was no mountain he couldn’t climb, such was his energy, such was his spirit. A friend called on Sunday afternoon to let me know that Bob had died. But people like Bob Nesbitt do not die. They live on and on, led into eternity by the hand of all the world’s tomorrows to become a legend and as the old saying goes, “A legend never dies.”

I met with Bob several times at North River Road Park for egg salad sandwiches and homemade cookies, in the months before cancer gained on him to the point where he said to me, “I’m in a lot of pain. The thought of not being in pain anymore brings a smile to my face. Do you know what I mean, Albert?” I replied that yes, I did know what he meant. Bob didn’t fear death. A good man with an unburdened conscience never does!

As an Algonquin man and as a human being I can say that the day I crossed paths with Bob was a blessed one in my life. He was the type of man who truly wanted to leave this world better, not just for his family and friends but for everyone. In Bob’s eyes the citizens of Ontario and all of Canada were deserving of being treated with respect and dignity.

Bob was a former carpenter and forester. His love of trees, their beauty and grandeur, their wisdom, were things always by his side. Bob understood the forest. To him, there was no better place to be. The waterways, the trails, the canoe, a campfire, time with his adoring wife Susan, wit, humour, conversation, a hearty laugh, these things meant so much to Bob. I see him now, in my mind’s eye. He is there again in a forest, far, far away from cancer. He is pain free, he is smiling.

Bob Nesbitt founded the ‘Ottawa Grassroots Festival’. It was important to Bob that an Algonquin open the Fest with welcoming words and a prayer. A friendship began. The Festival will carry on. Bob will always be there in spirit. He was an earth shaker, a rare one indeed. Ottawa has lost a community builder. Who will fill Bob Nesbitt’s boots? It won’t be easy. Whoever takes up the challenge, my advice, call Bob by your side and you’ll be fine. Bob Nesbitt won’t let you down.

Keep the Circle strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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One Response to Bob Nesbitt, Friend and Founder of Grassroots Festival

  1. Cecile Dumont says:

    Albert, I enjoyed reading this heartfelt eulogy for your friend, Bob Nesbitt. Its a moving, fitting tribute to an honourable man. RIP Bob Nesbitt Sir

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