Tribute: Robert Reilly

On March 6, our highly esteemed, greatly loved, and deeply respected brother Mr. Robert (Bert) Dobson Reilly went to be with Christ. He was born in Letterkenny, Northern Ireland, on November 12, 1927, and was saved in gospel tent meetings held by Mr. John Hutchison and his son Jim in June of 1947. He married Louise Lowry in July 1952 and moved to Canada in 1954.

He was a godly, gracious man whose faithfulness and commitment to the things of God were unwavering through 70+ years of Christian living. As a shepherd and teaching elder in the assembly at Pape Avenue, (latterly Victoria Park), he served the Lord and His people with an unselfish and sacrificial spirit. For the last decade, he was in fellowship in the Unionville assembly, where his wisdom, Christian character, and spiritual contributions were deeply appreciated.

For many years, he and his dear wife handled subscriptions for Truth & Tidings magazine, a demanding and burdensome task. He also served as the magazine’s treasurer, and functioned in that capacity for numerous city-wide gospel campaigns held by some of the Toronto assemblies. He handled all these varied responsibilities with grace and integrity.

Whether at home, in the assembly, or at work, he was a true Christian gentleman. Many of the comments made by his fellow-workers expressed this fact; statements like, “He was a true gentleman;” “He was respectful, humorous, kind and sincere;” “He was a true gentleman who was respected by all those of us fortunate enough to have known him;” “He was the epitome of a gentleman and caring individual;” “a very fine man;” and “a gracious man.” With our knowledge of present-day conditions, one statement was particularly revealing. A fellow-worker noted that he was “ahead of his time for how he treated all the women at the Board. He was a gentleman.”

He is survived by his wife Louise (“Louie”), a son Bruce (married to Korine) a daughter Heather (married to Ian) Margerison, nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, a brother (Derek), and a niece and nephew.

By the grace of God, a convert can be made in a moment’s time. Character, (and its influence), is something that requires years of consistent Christian living. In the home-call of Bert Reilly, his family has lost a beloved member, the Unionville assembly has lost a valued elder, and the Toronto area has lost a leader and dependable guide. Such believers are neither easily nor quickly replaced, if ever. And they are never forgotten.