Funeral For Rob Stewart Scheduled For February 18th

Marine Conservation Group Fins Attached To Name New Research Ship 'Sharkwater'

The funeral for “Sharkwater” Director Rob Stewart will take place in Toronto, Canada on February 18th, according to a statement from Rob’s family.

In that statement, the family says:

“The outpouring of love, support, encouragement and prayers we’ve received from across the globe since Rob went missing continues to be overwhelming.

“We’d like to reiterate our profound appreciation and respect for the U.S. Coast Guard, the three levels of Canadian political officials who offered their assistance, and all of the many professionals and selfless volunteers who committed their time and resources in trying to bring our son and brother home safely.

“Our hearts are broken. While we are overcome with grief, we know in our hearts that Rob is at peace and that he would want us to continue his mission to save the sharks and the oceans, and to inspire the world to protect and nurture our planet. We are committed to realizing Rob’s goals and will not rest until the change he fought for tirelessly is achieved.”

A second memorial ceremony celebrating Rob‘s life will be held in Los Angeles at a later date as so many of his friends are there. Both will be open “to everyone who loved Rob.”

Additionally, in honor of Rob‘s memory, his family is collecting donations through WWF-Canada to continue his conservation activities. To donate, go to wwf.ca/robstewartfund.

Stewart went missing after surfacing from a dive on Tuesday, January 31st.  An extensive search by the U.S. Coast Guard as well as private boats and aircraft covering over 6,000 square miles of ocean was conducted over three days since he went missing. His body was recovered on February 3rd.

The funeral service will be held at Bloor Street United Church on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 1:00 pm (300 Bloor Street West, Toronto, M9B 6B7). Kids are welcome.

Following the funeral service, a celebration of Rob’s life will take place from 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm at a location within walking distance of the church. Details on that will be shared at the funeral.

Rob’s parents also re-versioned Mary Elizabeth Frye’s poem, “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep”:

FOR ROB STEWART: TAKE HOLD MY MISSION

DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND WEEP,
I AM NOT THERE; I DO NOT SLEEP.

I AM A THOUSAND WAVES THAT ROLL,
I AM THE DIAMOND GLINTS ON SNOW.
I AM THE SUN ON GLISTENING TREES,
I AM THE GENTLE HUMMING BEES.

WHEN YOU AWAKEN IN THE MORNING’S HUSH,
I AM THE SWIFT UPLIFTING RUSH
OF QUIET ANGELS IN CIRCLED FLIGHT.
I AM THE STARS THAT SHINE AT NIGHT.

DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND CRY,
I AM NOT THERE; I DID NOT DIE.

I AM THE SHARKS AND WHALES AND REEFS;
THE RAYS AND CREATURES OF THE DEEP.
I NEED YOUR VOICE TO MAKE MINE HEARD:
TAKE UP THE TORCH, TO SAVE OUR WORLD.

DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND CRY,
TAKE HOLD MY MISSION, I WILL NOT DIE.

The family also shared a memorial video created by Pablo Garcia, a dive friend of Rob‘s. Check it out below.

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  • Rob Stewart was a true voice for the oceans and the creatures that live within it. His work for the protection of the marine environment was second to none. He was also a very fine film maker and I am only sorry that we did not meet, especially with regard to the important role that sharks play in the ecology of the sea. May he rest in peace knowing that he did make an important contribution to our better understanding and appreciation of the ocean environment. My deepest sympathies to all of his friends and family.

    John Stoneman. B.Sc., M.Sc., C.S.C.