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Bobby Steele

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STEELE, Robert (4 of 41).jpg


April 16, 1944 - September 29, 2023

Bobby’s ‘Last Hoorah’ as he would call it.

Bobby passed away peacefully at home on September 29, 2023. He left us the same way his Dad did at home in his sleep and coincidently also on his Mom’s birthday.

Left to celebrate and give thanks for being part of his life are his significant other Valerie, son Keith (Laureene), sister in laws Sherry and Karen, brother in laws Randy and Mike, niece Charlene (Todd) and many, many good friends.

Bobby was predeceased by his Grandmother Mae (aka Nana), his parents Eleanor (aka Dolly) and Robert, brother Kevin (aka The Yippa Guy), in laws Eleanor (aka Elly) and Cecil, brother in law Brian, sister in law Corinne (aka Dolly) and niece Stacy.

Albany, New York, USA was Bobby’s birth place. He was proud to be named after his Dad and carry the Junior/Jr. handle. His Dad worked for the US Railroad and came to Canada to work for Canadian Pacific / CP. The family moved first to Montreal, Quebec then Winnipeg, Manitoba. In Montreal they lived on McNicol Crescent with a golf course and a creek just beyond their back yard. Idyllic for a little boy growing up. One of Bobby’s favourite sayings was ‘ You don’t have to go to New York. It is all right here.’

The City of Winnipeg, Parks and Rec department employed Bobby for 29 years. He always boasted he never missed one day of work. He created the Wall Of Shame board at work where he posted photos of his co-workers in action. It was a great morale booster and highlight of conversations. Always a surprise who would be on it. The foremans at the City referred to Bobby as the ‘Hippie Boy’.

Bouncing and doing Security work came naturally to Bobby. He was doorman along with his main man and longtime friend Derek Honke at the local hotspots which were The Plaza (The Zoo), Black Knight, Norlander, Corner Boys and Pyramid. Wherever he bounced a loyal clientele followed. He was always diplomatic and polite until someone got out of line. If a fight ensued Bobby would say ‘Are you ok?’ The trouble maker replied … ‘Yes’. Bobby … ‘I don’t want you to be OK.’ Boom, boom! You could always hear Bobby spontaneously yell out ‘Roxanne’ from the Police band’s song (of the same name) at the top of his lungs in the bar. At the end of the night you knew it was time to leave when you heard Bobby’s loud siren sound. 

Bobby became known as a Security icon throughout the city. The old Arena and Stadium at Polo Park, UNF Hall, Burton Cummings Theatre (formerly The Walker), the Baseball Park for concerts and even the Rock n’ Roll River boat cruises were Bobby’s stomping grounds. The Eagles with the Steve Miller band at Asssiniboine Downs in 1978 was his first big concert.

Bobby’s concert security was always recognizable by their uniform … navy blue shirts with the Snoid logo with ‘Since 78’ and Event Staff on the back. They are collector’s items now. Before their uniform came to be they would wear t-shirts provided by the concert promoters. The crew was the most muscular, tough, good-looking group ever and always with a few ladies in the mix.  History in the making and never to be duplicated! Everyone looked up to Bobby and always did an amazing job. When security spots were being assigned you could always hear Bobby yell out ‘Dummy up and listen!’ Bobby always would say that Slava was his ‘Best Man’. The ‘Tuning Crew’ was his creation which was an intimidating group of 5-6 guys who would zone in on trouble spots at a concert. The disorder would quickly disappear once they arrived on the scene. Bobby had a soft spot and always looked out for true music fans. If someone brought their kid to a concert, he would get them right up front of the stage and make them feel special. Of all the concerts at the Burton Cummings theatre The Allman Brothers Band was one of Bobby’s favourites. He even bought an ‘Eat A Peach for Peace’ (album cover) t-shirt. This was a first because he never bought concert t-shirts. If you ever visited Bobby at home the first thing he pulled out was his box of concert security pictures to show you. He was very proud of that chapter in his life.

The first Tattoo shop in Winnipeg was Flying Dragon located on south Osbourne St. just off Morley Ave.  Bobby opened it in the 1980’s along with Harley Charlie doing the tattooing. Bobby was instrumental in the promotion of the tattoo culture in the city. He collected tattoos all over his body. Everything from wild animals to family member portraits. He was very proud of his Irish roots on his Mom’s side and had a shamrock and Celtic tattoos. Bobby was tattooed by the best … Ed Hardy in San Francisco, the Dutchman in Vancouver and Paul Jeffries in Calgary.

San Francisco was Bobby’s winter trip destination. He loved the hills, awesome scenery, unique restaurants and bars and the tattoo scene there. There was the Cliffhouse right on the ocean for breakfast. Scoma’s or The Clam House (with the slanted floor) for amazing seafood dinners. If really hungry an authentic 4 course meal at one of the many Italian restaurants. At the end of the night a drive to Coit Tower located on Telegraph Hill with a breathtaking view of the city, lights and San Francisco Bay. He loved going for a night cap at Tosca Bar (it was originally opened in 1919 by 3 Italians after World War 1) on Columbus Ave. in North Beach. They are known for their famous White Nun drink (steamed milk from the expresso machine with amaretto and brandy). A highlight of one of his trips was seeing Van Morrisson in concert at a small venue. He got the nickname ‘Noble’ from Penny and Patter good friends he stayed with while there. That was because he always frequented ‘The Noble Frankfurter’ for late night munchies.

Bobby loved his hats!  He was usually seen in one of his many Flatcaps or Baseball hat. He swore he was the first one to start wearing a baseball cap on backwards. He was very into his music and at one time had a collection of 1500 albums. Winter hiking on the Seine River, playing pool, stained glass, leather work, woodworking, building pieces of furniture were his interests. He also collected antiques, signs and comic books. Always coming home with something under his arm. He had a passion for Irish folklore, big cats and Frank Frazetta artwork. He was known for his thumbs up hand sign which is evident in many of his photos. He enjoyed photography like his Dad did. He was the camera paparazzi always taking tons of pictures long before cell phones came to be. He would always give crash courses in pig Latin too.

The Hardtimes boxing matches were a highlight of the 1980’s. Bobby was in like flynn planning those good times. It started off with a few guys boxing in a backyard on a hot summer afternoon. Then it turned into a full fledged boxing event at Pyro’s place in St. Norbert off Pembina Hwy with a boxing ring and a doctor on site in case of mishap. Tons of people showed up.

When Bobby’s Dad passed Bobby was dedicated to his Mom and brother Kevin. Every Sunday was family time with a drive or outing and then hitting a favourite restaurant for dinner. There were always road trips to Kenora, Minaki and Clear Lake in the summer. He called his Mom everyday from work at lunchtime.

Bobby was known for his sayings:

It’s the bee’s knees. (meaning to be excellent)
It’s me is that you.
What do you hear, what do you say?
Never a dull moment.
Did you sell the Buick?
Thank your lucky stars.
Pretty good for grade 10.
R A G G  M O P P … Rag Mop!
Why don’t you take a walk!
What’s the scoop?

Just about everyone had a nickname from Bobby. His friend Cheryl (aka Cheezy) said once you had a nickname from him you were like family.

Here are the nicknames he came up with:
Pyro, Pinhead, Bo Power, Big W, Turmoil, Mayhem, Young Walker, Jan Clam Button, The Button Sisters, Feather, Sweet Su, Cleveland, Diesel, The Aces, The Deuces, Trois, Footlong, Golden Glen, Tbone, Dog Piss, Chopped Liver, G Spot, The Yippa (he called little Aleah that one), Pork Roast/The Roast, Trigger, Washington, Mrs Otto, Mr & Mrs K, Stashko, and Weezy. You know who you are!

Nicknames he gave to friends who have passed:
Pretty Boy, Mogey, Too Tall Steve, Filter, Scurvy Dog, The Pig, Hard Nut, Stormin Norman/The Vort, Flamingo, Indian, Ho, Al Lasalle, and Studski.

Oh yes of course Bobby picked up a few nicknames of his own over the years … Beach Boy, Dirty Neck, Pinhead, Numb Nuts, The Bull, and Loveball.

Forever grateful to all of Bobby’s caregivers - Eddy, Karen, Feather, Sherry, Steph, Jason, Terese, Anysley, Leizl and Corinne. Marcie it was so touching that you released flower petals from your garden into the ocean in honour of Bobby. Bobby’s doctor Dr Sawatsky’s support and house calls were a godsend. Eddy you touched all of our hearts when you took that final walk with Bobby and gave your blessing at the end. 

Bobby you are one of a kind, our gentle giant with a kind heart, everyone’s hero, always smiling, jovial and people were always drawn to you. Good friend Debbie now living in Tasmania said no comedian could match Bobby’s quick, witty, sense of humour. It is never going to be the same without you and you are already missed big time!

Cremation has taken place and there will be a private family service.

Will be loving you always, not for a day, not for a year but always. 

No more earthly concerns … only heavenly freedom.


Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St. Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 -

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