In Loving Memory of Robert White

From: Trevor Dick
Executive/Artistic Director and Artist Missionary - Flyingbow

Dear Flyingbow Friends and Family,

The news of the sudden passing into glory of Robert White on Monday morning, March 8, 2021 was like a severe gut punch that knocked the wind out of me.

We all knew Robert struggled with multiple health concerns. In many ways, he was a walking miracle, but he always persevered and rose above his physical challenges and lived life to the fullest with urgency and purpose.

I first got to know Robert years ago as he worked as a journalist. He was also an active member of my home church of Lakeside in Guelph, Ontario. He started out as a fan/supporter of my music and performances. He interviewed me numerous times as I released recording projects and went on international mission trips. He always asked excellent questions and had an uncanny ability to capture the essence of what I was trying to accomplish.

As our friendship grew, I learned of our shared vision for music, the creative arts and faith across Canada and abroad. He was part of the original Flyingbow advisory team who helped coin our core values and finalize our strategic plan with the mission: "Musicians and Artists called by God to encourage others to discover and worship Jesus Christ". Well before Flyingbow’s founding, Robert was a “fellow dreamer”, one who saw the possibilities, encouraged me, asked the hard questions and then eventually joined our Board of Directors in 2012. He then moved into the Board Chair position in 2016 until late 2020.

As a Flyingbow board member, Robert had a strong moral compass, an eye for detail, an unusual grasp and love for policies and procedures. He had a broad knowledge and years of experience. He understood the heart and universal struggle of the creative artist. He was an artist himself.

He was like a lightning rod, a “partner in crime”, a trusted advisor and friend. A true colleague. He was a caring, warm-hearted, curious man. His dry wit and quirky sense of humour was endearing. He was one who spoke the same creative language. He was an anomaly - extremely gifted and brilliant in many ways - “oozing” with creativity. Robert was known for his creative word-smithing as a journalist, author and playwright. He also deeply enjoyed acting and photography. There was always an understated theatrical side to Robert. He had his hands (and feet) in many creative endeavours including “Audience of One” a local Christian Theatre Company and “Art of the Cross”, a Good Friday/Easter initiative at his home church of Lakeside Downtown where he brought together artists of all walks and stripes to explore the final hours of Jesus’ life on earth.

Robert knew who he worked for. In his book/devotional, “Chasing the Wind” in the chapter entitled “Work” he states: “One reason we feel the daily grind pummels us into meaningless chaff is because we’ve forgotten for whom we work.” Robert worked for his master, Jesus Christ, and strove to give Him all the glory with all his creative endeavours.

As I have seen condolences pour in from the broader art-world, I am realizing that a huge hole has been left with the passing of Robert. He had a contagious enthusiasm. Any time I shared with him my ideas and dreams for a project, I always left the conversation inspired and encouraged to continue.

Only weeks ago, one of my last in depth conversations with Robert was over Zoom. I felt led to share my computer screen with him and show him the inner workings of a new Good Friday/Easter recording project I am presently working on. As I played the song for him, a progressive rock/world instrumental reworking of Handel’s “Worthy is the Lamb that was Slain”, I shared my vision for the arrangement and some of the technical nuances of the music.  He got more and more excited about what I was trying to accomplish. He loved the retro prog rock direction I was going. He passionately stated, “I love it. This reminds me a lot of the band, Yes”. That contagious excitement was there. It is the fuel for the fire of creativity. A deep sharing of creative hearts, wanting to work hard and serve our King - in our areas of calling for His glory and honour.

Our love, prayers and deepest condolences go to Robert’s wife, Pamela, his children, Tim and Kathleen and the extended White family and friends. We grieve with you. Robert has gone home to be with the Lord, his "Master Artist".

A GoFundMe page has been set up in memory of Robert to help Pam and her family with immediate funeral costs and living expenses moving forward. Please share this page widely and financially support Pam and the family as you can:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-loving-memory-of-robert-white

A memorial service for Robert, by invitation only, will be held in Guelph, Ontario at Lakeside Church on Saturday, March 13 at 2 pm (EST). The service will be live streamed via Facebook. More information can be found here, including visitation details: http://www.gilchristchapel.com/obituaries/152541

Love in Christ,

 

 

Trevor Dick
Executive/Artistic Director and Artist Missionary - Flyingbow

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About the author

Amy is a wife, mother, writer, and church planter living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. When she's not in a whirlwind of activity from all the things you can find her curled up with a cup of coffee, a cozy blanket, a dog, and a stack of good books.