Obituary of Robert Chippier

Robert Alec Patrick Joseph Matthias Chippier

March 22, 1931 – May 22, 2024

Store #15: the fifteenth Tim Hortons in a burgeoning chain that would grow to 5,500 locations around the world. The store that prompted Bob Chippier to pack up his young family and move to Kingston. And the store where Bob invented a Canadian icon: the Timbit.

Longtime Kingston businessman Robert (Bob) Chippier died May 22 at the age of 93 at Rideaucrest Home. Born in Kirkland Lake, Bob moved to Hamilton as a teenager to become a motorcycle constable with the Hamilton Police Department. It was there that he met his beloved wife Jeanette Dirnberger (1933-2014), whom he married in 1957. It was also where he met Ron Joyce, a fellow motorcycle constable, who co-founded Tim Hortons in 1964. As the company expanded, Ron persuaded Bob to leave the force as well,and buy his own franchise in Eastern Ontario.

When it opened in December 1969, Tim Hortons at Princess and MacDonnell was the first doughnut store in Kingston. The city’s love for doughnuts propelled Store #15 to become one of the Top 3 performing franchises in the chain for many years. It was a definitive family business, with Bob, Jeanette, and their children Linda, Lisa, and Danny all working countless hours in the store in a variety of roles.

Always an entrepreneur, in 1975 Bob started selling “Timmies”, fried pieces of left-over dough, for 2 cents each – and before he knew it the delectable bite-sized treat was a hit. Although he was never credited or compensated, Bob’s made-in-Kingston “Timmies” were adopted by the chain as “Timbits”, now as quintessentially Canadian as hockey and maple syrup.

A complex and complicated man, Bob was nevertheless a character, who lived large and charmed many. Known for his gift of the gab, he loved to tell tales, tall and otherwise. Growing up in Northern Ontario, he loved the outdoors and was an experienced hunter, as well as an award-winning marksman. For many years, Bob was an active member of the Knights of Columbus, as well as the Kingston-Frontenac Rotary Club, acting as president in 1999-2000.

In addition to Jeanette, Bob was predeceased by his sister Iris Pawluk (1928-2015) and by his second wife Marjorie Allen (1928-2023), with whom he spent several lovely years at Country Pines.He is survived by sons-in-law Gary Murphy (Linda), Kevin McHale (Lisa), and Scott Henderson (Dan), six grandchildren, and fourgreat-grandchildren.

The family is grateful to the staff at Rideaucrest for taking such good care of “Chip” over the past 14 months, in particular nurse Dave Jones.

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