It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn Rob’s passing at the age of 69 years in Victoria, B.C. on October 18, 2022 in the loving arms of his wife of 24 years Pamela Miller.

Rob was born December 30, 1952 in Edmonton, Alberta to parents Bob and Hilda Macklem. The memory and legacy of this amazing and caring man will be held by all who knew him and especially by his family.  Daughter Heidi (Chris) Reiter, grandchildren Zachary and Zoey; his son Russell, granddaughter Georgia; sister Karen (Tom) Nicholson and brother Kelly (Sandy).

As a graduate of the University of Alberta, Rob’s career as a pharmacist spanned 36 years starting with McGill and Orme in 1974.

He had many hobbies that became passions.  He was an accomplished action sports photographer, avid gardener, dog lover, hummingbird caretaker, a snowbird to Mexico for 10 winters and an adventurous world traveler.  His lifelong passion and body of work was in the sport of Olympic weightlifting as a competitor and as an esteemed and respected coach. At his passing the motto on his t-shirt read “LIFT HEAVY FEAR NOTHING.” (Google Rob Macklem weightlifting).

Rob will be missed by all whose lives he touched and changed.  A celebration of life will be held in the spring of 2023.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Sharon Ham for assisting Rob and all frontline health care workers in the community and hospitals for their care, especially the doctors and nurses of Palliative Care.

Donations in his name can be made to any organization that promotes his passions.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens

  • Brent Kostyniuk

    Rob grew up across the back alley from me. I suppose from the time I could walk we were best friends; “bosom buddies” we called ourselves. We were forever at each other’s house or playing in the field across the road. I recall with sadness the day, when I was about 12, he said they were moving away to a more upscale district in Edmonton. We still saw each other occasionally, however a great part of my young life was lost. The last time I saw him was in Victoria about 10 years ago. The years apart disappeared and we were bosom buddies once more. Rest in peace, Rob.

  • Joe Baxter

    Dear Pam, family and friends:

    I’m very sorry about Rob’s passing. I understand & feel the grief that comes with losing him. I owe him a lot for teaching me almost everything that I know about Olympic weightlifting and introducing me to the sport. He took me on in my 30’s, which is not the optimal age to start receiving coaching. We trained, took courses & coached together for about 10 years, and remained friends for the following 25 years. We trained a lot at his garage in Langford, where I got to know his family. We were also were involved in the years leading up to the 94 Commonwealth Games, as well as running the training facility at Claremont during the Games and a club there for a number of years afterward. It was always good to speak at length with him in the subsequent years as he branched out in weightlifting & other sports photography at a world class level, and coached Rachel who has competed at the World Weightlifting Championships.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you,

    Joe Baxter

  • Gerry Fox

    It is with great sadness and sorrow to hear about Robs passing. We trained and competed back in the 70s 80s.He was an amazing athlete and friend. What a terrific photographer. I will sure miss him.My sincere condolences go out to Robs wife and his Loving family.My Prayers and thoughts go out to each and everyone.

  • Linda Brestar


    Having met you at the condo here in Mexico was a great addition to our life. Once we got to know the quiet Rob we learned to love him and our time together with both of you.
    One of my favorite memories was him poking his GoPro camera at the monkey in the tree and when the monkey got on the power line you started singing the circus song. Still makes smile. My heart hurts for you. But always remember some people never share the love you had for each other. Which makes it harder when they are gone. Take care of yourself. You know Rob and you are loved and he will be missed. Loved the beach picture!! Love and hugs. Paul and Linda

  • Sue Sibbald and Hiro Nara

    Pam – we are so very sorry to hear of Rob’s passing and the suffering he experienced. And you suffered along with him. So young ! We keep you in our thoughts and prayers for peace and remembering all the great times you had together.

  • Nancy Trueman

    Heidi, Chris and family
    So sorry to hear about your Dad. Such a loss in your life
    Nancy and Gerry Trueman

  • jan streader

    Our deepest heartfelt condolences to Pamela and all the family.

  • Steve Dove

    I worked with Rob at McGill & Orme Prescriptions (and Rexall) for 36 years. Rob was great to work with and we enjoyed his dry sense of humour. He will be missed.

  • Maria & Cal Fleming

    So sorry to hear of Rob’s passing. Know that we are thinking of you. Maria & Cal

  • Claire and Dave

    Our thoughts are with you at such a sad time.
    Please accept our sincerest condolences.

  • Alyssa Weninger

    Wow – it hurts my soul to hear this news. Rob welcomed me into his weightlifting group and greatly advanced my lifting while I was training in Victoria for rowing. His influence on my training and sports mentality helped me leverage a place on the National Rowing Team. Rob is an inspiration to all that got to work with him. He eagerly helped beginners and athletes with high performance goals. You will be missed, Rob. I am grateful for the impact you had on me.. You are an inspiration. -Alyssa Weninger

  • Dorothy Found

    Dear Pam,
    Love and Memories Live Together
    May they bring you peace.

  • Jen & Sid Tafler

    Dearest Pam, our hearts are with you at this most difficult time. You were truly blessed to have shared those 24 wonderful years with the love of your life. Rob loved you from the moment he met you at Ogden Point. Thinking of you, sending love ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Gloria Snider

    Heartfelt condolences to Pam and the rest of Rob’s family. There are no words I can say that will take away your loss and pain Pam but know that thoughts of love are winding their way through the ether to you.

  • Randy Knill

    There were a few of us who started lifting weights in Grade 10 in Edmonton. Rob was a stand out in our little group and was always able to lift more than the rest. We hooked up a couple of years ago in Victoria after almost 50 years and shared a few funny memories, including our “one arm snatch” that nearly took out a few of us!!

  • Herman Chan

    Rob was the person who got me to pick up my camera again to get back into sports photography.. We always said hi to each other at a meet and he would always ask me why I wasn’t out there taking more photo. He was a true pioneer in this great sport of weightlifting both as a coach/mentor and as a weightlifting photographer.

  • Janie Morris

    Dear Pam,
    So sorry to hear of your loss.Take care of yourself.We will talk when you have time.
    All the Best,

  • Sydney Idle

    I didn’t know Rob well, but I saw him coaching during some of my lifting competitions. You can see from afar that he was an amazing person and had strong relationships with each of his athletes. And a great photographer of course. I’m sorry to hear of his passing and hope his wife and his family find strength during these challenging times.

  • Alice Bacon

    Pam and family:
    My wholehearted sympathy to all of you for having to say goodbye to a man you all clearly loved so much. Sending you our love and wishes for strength.
    Alice, John and Will

  • Kelley Gorman

    So sorry to hear of Rob’s passing. I only met him a handful of times but he was clearly devoted to his lovely Pam – who gushed about him like they were kids in love. Sending all my love to Pam during this sad time.

  • Pamela Edwards

    Remembering the many special times we shared with Rob and Pam over the years. Our condolences and love to Pam and to their family. You will be missed Rob. Rest in Peace. With love from Doug and I.

  • Darryl Conrad

    I had limited interactions with Rob through weightlifting. One thing that always stuck with me about in my numerous but brief interactions with him was how he could make you feel like he was your best friend despite how little of time you actually spent with him.

    Grief is the price we pay for love.

  • Bill McReynolds

    Great guy. Taken before his time. We will all miss him and offer condolences to Pam and Rob’s entire family.

  • Denise Girvin

    Sending love to you Pam. In timely you find strength and comfort in your wonderful memories.

    Denise xo

  • Suzanne Bell

    Sending many hugs and condolences to dear Pam. It is so challenging to lose your partner and love. Thinking of you. ❤️❤️

  • Robert Kabbas

    Extending sincere condolences from Australia. Rob and I crossed paths in weightlifting over many years but it’s only been the past few years that I got to know him better through online conversations and appreciate the man he was. Rest in Peace my friend.
    Robert Kabbas

  • Chris Dariotis

    May he rest in peace and his memory be eternal. We lifted on the same platforms many times. He took photos and videos of the greatest lifts of my lifetime.
    He was a great photographer and friend of weightlifting.

  • Darleen Carty

    Pam, I am so sorry to hear about your husband’s passing. May your cherished memories comfort you. Sending you my love and strength.

  • Victor Pasta

    Rob was a gentle and kind soul who was clearly devoted to Pam. I always enjoyed talking with him on those occasions when he was attending any of Pam’s shows.
    He will be missed.

  • Daniel Robitaille

    All my interactions with Rob were memorable.Both athletes competing at the 1975 Canada Games…then meeting him at Various National or International Championships.Our last Interaction (winter if 2022) was about photography.Rob took time to call me to educate me on what types of cameras would suite me best.
    He was a kind thoughtful man.
    Condolences to family and friends.

  • Sylvia Hosie

    Sending much love to dear Pam …

  • Dira

    So Sorry to hear of Rob’s passing. A deep hole in the hearts that loved him will someday fill with years of loving memories.

  • Sally Brooks

    Dearest Pam and family, Heather and I are so sorry to read of Rob’s passing. Although we haven’t seen you in a long time, Pam, we think of you often, remembering the time we spent with you and Rob fondly. Prayers and condolences to you all.

  • Mike Bencsim

    I’ll never forget all the battles, emotions laughs and times we shared in the sport we grew to love.

    Rob phoned me once to ask about my plans for a competition I did in Gold Coast, Australia while congratulating the qualification. I complained about how busy my life was and how expensive it was going to be.

    He replied and said, “ Mike, you won’t regret spending all that time training and money traveling to lift weights for fun years down the road. Life is too short to worry about trivial things such as money and wasted time worrying”.

    He is right. It was one of those pushes I needed at a tough time in my lift back in 2017.

    There is so much more I can say even though we never saw each other much. I guess sports can bring people together in a way not much else can

    I’ll miss you coach, be seeing you sometime.

  • B& B Normand

    Dear Pam & family……sincere condolences…..Rob was special in his caring , energy and thoughtful support of others , including the puppies…..and his life.
    I had the pleasure of meeting Dad “Bob “, several times and Rob was his “son” in looks and quiet , considered approach to all.
    Rob’s retirement , following his passions,…..coaching,travel, biking, photography , healthy food & wine……hopefully made the illness part of his life journey bearable…..
    You are admired and appreciated, Pam , for your tenacious vigilance and loving care & support during Rob’s final journey.
    Sincerely, Bonnie & Bob

  • Raphael Dozzi

    Rob coached me during the 2015 Canadian Nationals and we kept in contact ever since. He’s a great guy that’s meant a lot to many people. Sad to hear of his passing. Thank you Rob!

  • Janice Macklem

    Rob’s daughter Heidi Reiter and son in law Chris , parents of Rob’s grandchildren Zachary and Zoey.

  • Janice Macklem

    Thank you Rob for our 27 years of life together? I met you at 15! I introduced you to Victoria and we made a life together. My friend Donna Maier got you a job at McGill&Orme. We married on September24,1977. Nov.20, 1978 our beautiful daughter, Heidi Patricia was born, then our beautiful son Russell Clayton Robert was born on January 27, 1982. Our beautiful children then blessed us with our first grandchild Georgia February 17,2010. Child of Russell and Carly. Our first born grandson Zachary Wayne Reiter February2,2012. Our youngest grandaughter Zoey Patricia Reiter born in Edmonton June 11,2015. Thank you for blessing me with such a beautiful, caring, compassionate family. Our special times learning about our garden of life together I will be forever grateful! You earned your wings dear Rob. Your life will live on through your children and grandchildren that you blessed the world with! We will continue to do our earth works and make you proud! We love you! Till we meet again. Blessings, Janice Macklem.

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