Curtis Frederick Robarts

The first thing that struck me about him was his height - or the lack of it.

Curtis Frederick Robarts was born on February 7, 1894 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He spent most of his life in Windsor, N. S. where he met and married Edith Mae Carmichael in 1921. They had nine children.

I first met my Father-in-law, Curt, in Halifax at an impromptu family gathering around 1966. The first thing that struck me about him was his height - or the lack of it. My short frame of five-foot four inches could easily surpass him; he was all of five-foot three. But what he lacked in height he made up for in strong will and determination. He was a powerful force in the family and his children respected him.

Curt enrolled in the army in 1917 as a private, at the age of 23, and served in World War I in France until 1918. His brother, Frederick, was also enrolled and served in WWI. Curt told us of an evening spent in France somewhere in 1918 during a respite in the fighting, when he encountered his brother, Fred, and they had a rare opportunity to sit and share a cup of coffee and chat. Each shared news of the family and told of their experiences and spent a comfortable evening by the fire. But it was later learned that the family had already been notified that Fred had been killed in action prior to the date of this special meeting.

After the war, Curt worked for an oil company and was very skilled in repairing the intricate workings of the old glass pumps at the service stations. He would get called out to fix these pumps all around the Halifax area and his skills were in demand, particularly since he was the only one who knew how to fix them. He was a wily one; he never trained anyone else on these pumps, figuring that if he did, he might be replaced. And indeed he kept his job for many decades. He was fond of spending evenings with his cronies at the Legion Hall in Halifax.

Curtis and Edith had nine children: William, Reginald, Myrtle, Marguerite, Donald, Stuart, Karl, Dale, Collin. Two of his sons performed military service: William joined a Commando Unit during World War II, Donald served briefly in the Air Force in Alberta. The two daughters had large families and remained in the Halifax area, whereas the sons scattered across Eastern Canada.

Curt's health was on the decline and his sister Vera, always devoted to her brother, had him hospitalized at Camp Hill, the veterans' hospital; he passed away March 27, 1973 in Halifax, Nova Scotia and was buried at Maplewood Cemetery in Windsor, N.S.

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