Vale Bob Lewis | Page 13 | Youth Insearch


Thu, 17/08/2023 - 12:50



It is with great sadness that we share the passing of long-time Youth Insearch supporter and Support Adult volunteer Bob Lewis, who passed away on the evening of Sunday 13th August surrounded by his loving family. It was on the evening of what would have been his late and beloved Morna’s 63rd wedding anniversary. 


For those who did not know Bob, he was 89 years young, and he said that the young people of Youth Insearch kept him feeling that way. He loved attending the weekend workshops in Victoria which was over a 500km trip for him a bus and a train to Melbourne, then another train to Warragul where we would pick him up. Bob’s last program was November 2022 at age 88.  

One thing you could always rely on was an email from Bob after the program giving you his run down on the situation and always asking after the wellbeing of the young people, passing on his chats he’d had with them over a cup of tea.

Bob loved supporting Youth Insearch in any way that he could. Bob said he was always blown away at how accepting the young people were of an old bloke like him. 

A lot of our older generation that attend can get the nickname of Pop or Nan but not our Bob. Bob was Bob to everyone because it was his name and title, and his alone. 

Bob first became involved with Youth Insearch in 1998, when he heard about us on ABC Radio, and he attended his first program in 2002. Bob has attended over 30 Weekend Workshops and even during COVID he made it a goal to buy a webcam to join virtually. After a few lessons over the phone with him and much elation when we got it to work, he attended 25 of the Virtual Support Groups.  

Bob thought that the program was so needed in Victoria that he personally put up around $40,000 each year for 3 years to support the efforts of building up Youth Insearch in Victoria and the crucial employment of Sharon Schofield. So many lives have been turned around by Bob’s generosity, and the opportunities young people have today to attend in Victoria is because Bob kept it going. 

Bob was always the one to go and sit with the quieter ones, listen to them intently and offer that Bob advice or care. He would have a good chat over a cup of tea, and he always knew who he was having lunch with because he’d ask if they minded if he ate his meal with them. 

There are so many Bob stories – from his interpretive dance to his old-fashioned music during the entertainment session that you would think get him booed of a stage, however the stage was full of the young ones getting up and joining in to dance with Bob. 

Bob will always hold a special place in the hearts of so many that met him, and Youth Insearch would not have been the same without him. 

Each time we saw off Bob at the train station or at camp those hugs got a little bit tighter not knowing if we would see each other again.

One of his last trips back to Melbourne on the train was with Leader Kate Hornick who sent us a photo of her and Bob enjoying some Hungry Jacks in Melbourne before going their separate ways. Kate said to Bob “make sure you email me Bob when you’re home safe”, which of course he did.

Words alone cannot do justice the difference that Bob made to so many lives – not just the young people, but the workers on the ground too. Bob is often asked after and will be remembered as someone who genuinely cared for others just as we cared about him.

Thank you, Bob, rest easy with your beloved Morna together forever, in your eternal paradise that you always spoke about.