Robin Wayne was born on September 6, 1956, in Chesley to proud parents Samuel and Susie (Sproat) Hepburn. He was the youngest of three children joining older siblings Rodney (1948) and Donna (1951). The Hepburn family resided in Chesley where Robin attended Chesley Public School as well as Chesley District High School.
Robin’s love of sports began early in life and throughout his life he influenced countless coaches, teammates, and spectators. In fact, in his day, Robin was often considered to be one of the best athletes in Chesley. It was on the diamond where Boog first got his nickname, from his coach, the late Jack Woods. In the 1960’s the Baltimore Orioles had a stand-out first baseman by the name of Boog Powell. He was a stocky, talented ball player, with many attributes that could often be seen in Robin’s game, and thus the nickname, Boog. It just stuck from there! It was used so often that throughout his life, most of Boog’s associates didn’t even know his given name. Crazy!
Boog’s talent in sports truly blossomed when he entered high school. In 1971 under the guidance of coach Ross King, Boog’s midget boys volleyball team won both the BIA and CWOSSA before placing 3rd in the OFSSA championships. That same year Boog was the second highest point scorer for the Junior boys basketball team. 1972 was a milestone year for Boog. Given his talents, he was called up from Midget to play for the Juveniles hardball team. This team went on to win the All Ontario Championship. A feat only accomplished twice in Chesley’s history. Track & Field was another sport Boog excelled in. This same year (1972), C.D.H.S. won both the BIA and CWOSSA championships, with Robin Hepburn and Barry Middleton being crowned individual champions. Boog held the high jump record at C.D.H.S. for almost thirty years, clearing 6′ 2″. In hockey, Boog’s Midget team won the WOAA championship twice during the years spanning 1973 – 75. Although extremely gifted, Boog took everything in stride, and with his easy-going demeanor, valued the companionship of his teammates much more than individual accomplishment or winning. He rarely got upset and was always extremely humble about his numerous accomplishments. Although he never boasted about his many accomplishments, Boog kept and treasured all of his awards and trophies.
Although sports took up a great deal of his time through his high school years, Boog was also elected by his peers to Student Council. He helped plan dances, a winter carnival, and several other events…. basically anything to get out of class! 🙂 One morning it was announced that a Student Council meeting would be held “at Mary Rutherford’s tonight at 7 p.m.!” Needless to say, Principal Smith didn’t realize Mary wasn’t a student, but instead, Mary lived in a popular cemetery for gravel runs! Lol!
Boog looked up to his older brother Rod, as Rod had a strong work ethic and held down 2 – 3 jobs at a time. Boog came by this honestly as he began his work life during high school working at Krug’s factory on weekends. On occasion, he would fill in as night watchman, whereby the odd party would develop when he snuck his friends (and their beer) in the back door! Following high school, Boog supplemented his full-time job by working part-time as a projectionist at the Bijou Theatre. I am told on occasion a case of beer would find its way up the fire escape, and stories were told of the night the boys shared their pea shooter (and its contents) with moviegoers. After all, it got pretty boring watching the same movie over and over again… right?
Through the years Boog spent time working at Krugs, Heirloom Furniture, Sklar Peppler as well as Durham Furniture. He worked hard but was known to play even harder… Free time was often spent with a case of beer (Labatt Blue of course!) driving the gravel roads with the tunes cranked! One Saturday afternoon Boog and some buddies were on a gravel run in his Córdoba and amazingly they ran out of beer. On the way to get more, Chief Quinn pulled them over at the top of the north hill. Needless to say, the back seat was full of beer bottles. It should be no surprise that Chief Quinn had stopped Boog on numerous occasions previously. Chief Quinn stated, “I finally got you!” as he threw all the empty bottles out on the lawn, but there were NO full bottles of beer! Given the time period, there was nothing Chief Quinn could charge him with. In true Boog fashion, at the end of the interview, and when he was being released with no tickets, he remarked to the chief, “now put my empties back!” Honestly, though, Boog must have had a beer angel watching over him, as he was stopped at numerous RIDE programs, given Breathalyzers, and NEVER blew over the legal limit. Boog loved to drive around Chesley as it was his way of socializing. When he saw a friend, he would stop and chat. He was a great listener and always made you feel special. Every time Boog and Larry Brown met on Main Street, they would maneuver their vehicles close enough to HIGH 5 each other on the way by.
Boog loved his pizza (as it went quite well with beer… right?). Papa Johns in Hanover was his favourite. The story was often told of how four guys would split two large pizzas. Boog would eat one and the other three would share the other. Lol! Once Boog had a vehicle, he rarely walked anywhere. Some even said he lived in his car. One of his curling teammates recalls a time they were going to a bonspiel in Hanover and Boog offered to drive. When he picked him up, the back seat was full of beer bottles and pizza crusts (he obviously didn’t like the crusts) so he tossed them in the back seat. Boog was also an amazing dancer. He had rhythm and music in his soul. He could also jive on roller skates, looping up and down the boards at the arena. “Rockin’ Robin” was his signature song on skates and “Unchained Melody “on the dance floor. On occasion Boog was known to “borrow” the key to the Chesley arena (that Recreation Director Murray Thomson hid under a rock), to break into the arena for some roller skating lessons with his friends. They would always crank up the tunes and have a blast.
As life went on Boog continued in sports, often catching softball. He used to joke “Wiener pitches and I catch, but he doesn’t throw hard enough to break in my glove!” Hockey was a way of life for Boog for many years. He was a staple in the Chesley Frogs’ goal and his teammates recall how he always left his goalie equipment in his car. Therefore, when he entered the dressing room his equipment had to thaw out before he could dress. Boog was so committed to the Frogs that he along with a handful of teammates have the team logo, The FROG, (drawn by Joan Denomy) tattooed on their chest. Other sports and activities Boog participated in, included curling, golf, shuffleboard, horseshoes (a.k.a. shoes), cards, and even lawn bowling. He was a great dart player, often traveling locally to participate in competitions, and never missed dart night with his buddies.
In the summer of 1998, Boog and friends were listening to (loud) music and playing cards in his apartment above Beckers. Deborah Elizabeth Bluhm was in the area and heard the festivities and went upstairs to check it out. She and Boog had first met each other in high school and had a lot in common. To say they hit it off in short order would be an understatement as the couple was married on Saturday, August 26, 2000, on a dock, on the edge of the Saugeen River in Chesley. Once they were married, his free life was over, and he took to his new role as a husband, stepdad, and Papa like a pro. He was always loving, kind, and gentle to his family. He would participate with them in any activity they wanted and never said no to the things they asked for. Boog spoke with the boys about some of the important things in life and instilled in them the need to work and make their own way. Although now married, Boog remained a kid at heart. We can never forget the “Tom & Boog Classic” golf tournament! His “golf juice” as it was known, could make you think you could hit a hole in one! But when that juice took hold, you were lucky to stay on the cart. When leaving (Deb driving), the time came for a serious “you need to stop…I’ve gotta go!” With his mother-in-law in the middle, Boog opened the door to get out, missed his step, and quickly ended up going down and ended up at the bottom of the ditch, almost taking his mother-in-law with him. His golf juice, as mentioned, had done its job! Everyone who met Boog had a Boog story! Just ask Deb about Christmas when they returned home from London only to witness Boog trip up the stairs (and what happened to Deb!). He was a fun-loving, witty, and compassionate man, who had the biggest heart. He was loyal, kind, and very patient. It shouldn’t be a surprise that he was a bit of a joker… and could adapt to any situation. He was also well known for his Herman Munster impersonations.
Boog enjoyed traveling, seeing much of eastern Canada, and Cuba a few times as well as experiencing a few cruises. He was fond of anything bright and enjoyed being entertained by television. In addition to his staples, NASCAR, baseball, hockey, and darts, Boog loved Law & Order, Bonanza reruns, and old movies, particularly drama, action, and war movies. We cannot forget Boog and his animals. He absolutely adored and loved each of them. There was Madison, Bailey, Bucko, and most recently Pappy, all of whom received Boog’s constant love and affection. Bucko gave him many a scratch, and Pappy was constantly on his lap. When he lost his Madison years before, it broke his heart. He never had animals growing up, and the ones that he had in his later life brought him joy and contentment.
In 2016, Boog and Deb relocated to Keady and settled on Harvey Street. Sadly, in recent years, Boog endured many health issues in his life, (too many to list) and through it all, he never complained or looked for sympathy. As he always said “my mother told me I better slow down and take care of myself, or I’d pay for it later in life” … she sure was right on that one. But he wouldn’t have changed one thing. Even though his health had declined, his personality never changed. Ask Deb about the story of the poor nurse after his first toe amputation… it will bring a smile to your face. More recently, Boog was diagnosed with cancer and the prognosis was not good. Although difficult, Boog made the most of every day and was never one to miss out on a party. With the help of Deb, Boog attended the 50th reunion of his All Ontario baseball team two days prior to his death. It was a great day for everyone, and many stories were told of years gone by. It also afforded his teammates and friends the opportunity to share his last beer with them! In closing, I hope that we all can or have learned something in this life from Boog. He will remain in our thoughts and hearts forever. He was one of a kind for sure! Boog passed away at home, on Monday, August 29, 2022, in his 66th year.
Beloved husband and best friend of Deb. Loving stepfather of Scott and Jen and Papa to Braxton, Braydon, and Haiden. Boog will be lovingly remembered by his brother-in-law Dave (Chris) Bluhm, sister-in-law Jeanette (Brian) Norris, cousins Janet (Chuck) Andrews, Gillian (Dave) Greene, and his many friends. He was predeceased by his brother Rodney, sister Donna, stepson Geoff Deacon and his parents Samuel and Susie (Sproat) Hepburn.
A casual celebration of Boog’s life (just as Boog would want it) will be held at the Dave Spencer Memorial Pavilion, Chesley on Sunday, October 2, 2022, from 1:30 – 4 p.m., with memories and stories being shared at 2 p.m. Inurnment in Chesley Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Jumpstart (allowing underprivileged youth to enjoy sports), Canadian Cancer Society, or Diabetes Canada would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.