Captain Robert L. Clouthier passed away in the comfort of his Bellingham home on October 21, 2013. Robert enjoyed a long and productive life and passed in the company of his loving wife Nettie and his kind caregiver Elia. Captain Clouthier was born in Laval, Quebec on September 5, 1924 to Raoul Clouthier and Jeanne Fortin. Encouraged by an early passion for flying, Robert volunteered for WWII service as a pilot and commissioned officer in the RCAF. His wartime flying for the RCAF Ferry Command involved delivering warplanes of various types from North America to the European Theatre of War. That service included missions flying the B-25, B-26, C-46 and the C-47. After the war Robert joined his father in operating the family farm hotel/resort located in the Laurentian Mountains near Quebec City. It was there that he met and married his first wife, Nicole Tison. Drawn away from the farm by his love of aviation, in 1952 Robert joined Canadian Pacific Airlines as a flight officer. During his 38-year career with CP Air, Robert flew thousands of accident-free hours over much of the world. Robert took his first flight as a student pilot in the venerable Tiger Moth and concluded his professional flying as a captain on the Boeing 747, which he described as, "The biggest and best airplane ever built." After retirement, Robert continued enjoying the loves of his life - airplanes and the companionship of his second wife Nettie, whom he met on a Mexico City layover in 1961. Together they traveled the world and spent many happy days camping and fishing in the wilderness of British Columbia - by floatplane, of course! In 2001 Robert became a proud citizen of the United States. Robert is survived by his wife Nettie, of Bellingham, the children of his first marriage, son Daniel Clouthier of Burnaby, B.C., daughter Suzanne Wei of Vancouver, and grandson Zacharie Clouthier also of Burnaby. Nettie would like to express her heartfelt thanks to the many neighbors and friends who provided kind assistance during Robert's illness. A celebration of Robert's life will be held on November 17, 2013, 1PM at Bellingham's Hotel Bellwether. In lieu of flowers, the family recommends memorials to the Whatcom Hospice Foundation or, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
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Published in Bellingham Herald on Nov. 2, 2013