KELOWNA – A paddle-boarding activist who inspired countless Kelowna residents has died.
Bob Purdy is best known for successfully challenging himself to paddle board every day for more than five years in an effort to raise awareness for environmental issues.
Since he died of cancer on Monday, Jan. 29, friends and fans have been posting tributes to his Facebook page.
Kelowna mayor Colin Basran describes the former Kelowna resident as “a gentle and caring man who touched many lives. He will be missed.”
Chantelle Froats remembers him as a man on a journey to inspire change.
“You were a leader, a mentor, an advocate for our environment, a community ambassador, SUP enthusiast, friend, husband and cheerleader for all who came first, last and anywhere in between. May your legacy and efforts to change the way we live on our planet continue. See you on the water! RIP.”
Cynthia Trone says she had the “dubious” pleasure of paddling with him during a 24-hour paddle on Lake Powell in 2013.
“I made it about 18 hours...but he persevered, dropping to his knees in exhaustion and pain, but never for a moment considered stopping. His triumphant glide through our outstretched paddles and smiles after his extra lap at the end of the excruciating night was an unforgettable example of a man who was committed to a mission of pure intention.”
Purdy was paddle boarding in pink tutu when Sara King met him.
"So warm, so friendly, so encouraging and such an ambassador to a sport that I have grown to love. Your appreciation for the great outdoors was remarkable.”
“He’d greet you with a massive hug and smile,” remembers Harry Saini. “You would always leave his presence feeling better…, that was just his aura.”
A group paddle in his honour is planned for Rotary Park in Kelowna this Saturday at 11 a.m.
He was 64 years old.
Tribute to Bob ! from Chris Christie on Vimeo.
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