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Trent University Mourns the Death of Robert Lightbody

January 23, 2017

Proud Trent alumnus, community leader, lawyer, philanthropist, and former Trent board member

The Trent University community is saddened to learn of the passing of Robert Lightbody ‘64, member of Trent’s original class, former Board member, and community leader.

“Bob will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by the Trent community as someone with endless volunteer energy and remarkable institutional knowledge,” said Lee Hays, director of Alumni Affairs. “He, along with his wife Margie, were often the first alumni to commit their support towards University developments, be it the original athletics building, the expanded athletics facilities, or the new Student Centre. As a founding member of the Trent University Alumni Association, Bob’s positive leadership spanned over five decades and he cared very much about keeping the original class (1964) connected to each other and the University.”

After graduating from Trent with a degree in Economics and Mathematics, Mr. Lightbody was a dedicated volunteer of the Trent University Alumni Association (TUAA), for over five decades, dating back to the Association’s inception in 1967 when the earliest meetings were often held at his home. Building on his student leadership experience as a member of Trent’s original class, Mr. Lightbody was a key young alumni leader who gave shape and structure to the TUAA. He also served on the Trent University Board of Governors for eleven years from 1972-1983, including serving on the Executive and Property Committees.

To celebrate his contributions to Trent, the Robert Lightbody Prize was created by his fellow alumni in 1984. The award recognizes a graduating student of Peter Gzowski College (originally the award was for Peter Robinson College students) for significant contributions to college life. Mr. Lightbody was also a visible and dedicated volunteer for all of Trent's fundraising campaigns since his graduation, including holding a class captain role throughout the recent and successful Alumni Student Centre Challenge. He was an active member of the Trent University Foundation and its successor, the Planned Giving Advisory Committee. He proudly represented Trent’s original class with service to Trent's 50th Anniversary Steering Committee, and in 2014, he and his wife, Margaret (Margie) ’64 helped to coordinate a memorable 50th reunion celebration for the classes of 1964 and 1965. In 2013, the TUAA presented Mr. Lightbody with the Tony Storey Service Award in recognition of his longtime service to the Association.  

Below is an excerpt from his obituary notice:

Robert (Bob) Lightbody, known by friends as "Lighty" passed away peacefully at the PRHC on January 20, 2017. At the age of 72, he was still playing hockey when he suffered a stroke. He was best friend, husband and the love of her life to Margaret (Margie) Lightbody for 48 years and will be truly missed by daughters Deborah (Sandy Keay) and Dr. Tamara Lightbody (Rick Murdock). Visitation will be held on Friday, January 27, 2017 from 6-8pm at Highland Park Funeral Centre (2510 Bensfort Rd., Peterborough) with the Celebration of Life on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 2pm.  In memory of Bob, donations may be made to Trent University in support of the Student Centre or the PRHC Foundation.

Trent thanks Mr. Lightbody's family for choosing to remember him through gifts to the new Student Centre. To make a donation to the Student Centre in memory of Mr. Lightbody, visit Trent’s Give Now webpage.

The University extends heartfelt sympathies to Mr. Lightbody’s family and friends, and to all who knew him. In honour of Mr. Lightbody, the University will lower the flag atop the Bata Library to the half-mast position on the day of his visitation.