Captain Robert Littlejohn
November 5, 1924 ~ September 22, 2013
Bob’s two great passions in life were boating and photography. By the age of 12 he had built a darkroom in his mother’s cellar in a sleepy little town in southern Illinois. Eight years later Bob was chosen from 450 applicants to decipher wartime aerial photos for the US Marine Corps. After studying cinematography at U.S.C. in Los Angeles, he chose a career as a professional geologist but remained a lifelong amateur photographer. His love of the water began even earlier, during family holidays in Sault Ste. Marie where he fished and rowed boats in the bays and channels of Lake Superior. Outboards followed and when he moved his family to Nanaimo in 1968, one of his first purchases was an old cabin cruiser. Six years and three boats later Bob commissioned Matsumoto Shipyards to build the 66 foot Survey Vessel Bastion City, a ship that would become legendary on the West Coast. During the next 20 years he piloted the Bastion City from Friday Harbour to Anyox and all points in between. She made eight trips around Vancouver Island and 18 crossings of the Hecate Strait with teams of scientists, academics, and naturalists on board. At the age of 70, Bob opened Living Forest Oceanside Campground on property he had purchased 23 years previously. It has developed to become Nanaimo’s largest tourist accommodation by far. Bob only retired from the front desk in 2009, at age 85.
Bob led a rich and varied life. He will be greatly missed by his sons, daughter-in-law, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Bob’s mobility decreased greatly in the last months of his life and consequently he moved into Dufferin Place. His family would like to thank both Dufferin’s staff and Dr. Cancade for their exceptional care.