Bob was born in Napier, being the second of five children, and grew up on a farm in Otorohanga. As a young man he went to Australia and worked on wheat farms there, before coming back to Otorohanga. Bob had the first herring-bone cow shed in the district and the first wintering barn.
Bob loved playing rugby at school and later became interested in cycling. He had a number of trips away with cycling friends. He enjoyed water skiing at Lake Karapiro and golf at the Waitomo golf club.
After Bob’s parents died in 1981 he moved to Waihi and then semi-retired to his farm at Papamoa in 1985. He continued playing golf at the Te Puke club and was always a keen sea fisherman.