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Dr. Robert Walter Fassold

June 10, 1933 - July 2, 2018


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Maj. Gen (ret) Robert W. Fassold CStJ, CD, BSc, MDDPHABAvMABOcM 

(10 June 1933 – 2 July 2018) died at the Ottawa Civic Hospital after a 12 day fight in ICU with pneumonia and a previously unknown heart condition.  He is survived by his wife & treasure Sherri Watson, loving sister Ruth Townsend, daughter Kim Knudsen (husband Scott), son Mark Bertram, their mother Marilyn Bertram, grandson Jared Knudsen (husband Ian Taylor), sister-in-law Gayle Watson, nephews Paul (wife Natalie) & Shawn Townsend, great nephew & nieces Jessica, Mollie, Colton & Abby, & hosts of friends.   

General/Robert/Bob/Doc was born in London, Ontario to Walter and Ann (Terry) Fassold.  He received a BSc in 1955 at the University of Western Ontario, before joining the RCAF in 1956 and serving with 2 Air Observer School in Winnipeg, and 412 (VIP) Transport in Ottawa with his beloved Comet. He earned his Medical Degree in 1968, the first to graduate under the Military Medical Training Plan (MMTP), which he helped create.  Following a tour as Base Surgeon CFB Trenton, he completed graduate studies at the University of Toronto in Public Health 1971, and in Aerospace Medicine in1972 in San Antonio, Texas.  His career continued as Acting Director Preventive Medicine in Ottawa, Staff Officer Medical Ops Air Command Winnipeg, Commanding Officer Defence & Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine Toronto, Deputy Surgeon General & finally Surgeon General in Ottawa, resigning in 1988. He maintained his operational pilot flying qualifications throughout his medical training and CFMS career, including conversion to rotary wing on the Twin Huey helicopter. He then worked with the Canadian Space Agency & Canada Post Corporation, & remained the Occupational Medicine Consultant on Transport Canada’s Aviation Medical Review Board (AMRB) until his death.   

His love of music as a chorister, organist and appreciative listener was central to his life but flying was his passion.  In 1995, he bought an ex-RCAF de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk, CF-RRI, providing pilot training and passenger rides, including those at Canada’s National Aviation Museum in Ottawa.   He continued to enjoy and promote aviation until his last flight during a brief but brilliant thunderstorm 2 July 2018. 

note: Cremation & dispersal by Chipmunk.

A celebration of life will be held 23 August 1500 hrs at the Rockcliffe Flying Club.  Memorial donations may be made to: Royal Canadian Air Cadets, Doctors Without Borders, International Humane Society, or the charity of your choice. 

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