Robert MacLaggan

Obituary of Robert Somers MacLaggan

The family of Robert (Bob) Somers MacLaggan, RPF, 92, of Fredericton, New Brunswick, sadly announces he passed away peacefully on February 5, 2024, surrounded by his family.

Bob was born on June 14, 1931, to Clyde and Leona (Somers) MacLaggan, in Montreal, QC. He attended the University of New Brunswick, graduating in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry.  He was an officer in the Canadian Army Reserve, and it was during a summer training program at CFB Shilo, Manitoba that he met and fell in love with the beautiful Margaret Morden.  They were wed on May 12, 1954, spending almost 60 years together until Marg’s passing in 2014. Together they raised 4 children. 

Bob had a very successful 32-year career with the New Brunswick Civil Service, beginning as a Forester in 1956 and progressing through increasingly senior roles, including his 12-year appointment as Deputy Minister of Tourism.  He concluded his government career in 1988 when he retired as the President of New Brunswick Housing Corporation. Throughout his career he proudly maintained his Registered Professional Forester designation and, after retiring from the provincial government, he worked as a consultant on a variety of forestry-based projects.

Bob was an avid outdoorsman, and summer family outings would often consist of trapsing through the woods “running lines” on his various woodlot properties.  He was a skilled paddler, and enjoyed white water canoe trips on the many New Brunswick rivers he knew so well and loved. Skiing was a favorite sport of Bob’s, and the entire family spent most winter weekends at Crabbe Mountain.  Bob was active in his community, serving on Fredericton City Council, and volunteering with the Kiwanis.  In 2018, he was honoured with a Life Membership by the Golden Club of Fredericton.  Bob and Marg loved to travel.  Bob was a voracious reader, especially in later life, consuming a couple of books a week.

Bob is survived by his daughters Catherine MacLaggan (John Lavigne) of Fredericton, Mary Jane Bessey (Peter Bessey) of Greenfield, NS and Linda MacLaggan (Wayne Gillis) of Greenfield, NS. He leaves behind 6 grandchildren, Angella Price, Joel MacLaggan, Sarah Hamilton, Christopher Bessey, Alexander Bessey, and Bradley Gillis as well as 8 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by Ellen Hurley Legere, his long-time care worker and friend, and by his dear friend Donna Clark. In addition to his parents and wife, he was predeceased by his son Lawrence (Larry} MacLaggan and daughter-in-law Althea (nee Price) and his dear friend Carol Dykeman.

Bob spent the last 16 years of his life at the Shannex facility off Rainsford Lane in Fredericton, progressing through the various levels of care provided.  The family extends sincere thanks to the many doctors, nurses and care workers who looked after Bob and Marg for so many years.  A very special thank you is extended to the amazing nurses and care workers who attended Bob so diligently during his brief period in palliative care at Thomas Hall. 

In keeping with Bob’s wishes, there will be no visitation or funeral. A celebration of life for family and special friends will occur at a later date, and he will be interred at Blackville Cemetery. For those who wish, memorial donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Society or a charity of the donor’s choice. 

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