Updated: Former Wolfville Mayor Bob Stead dies

Stead to be remembered at Acadia's University Hall Jan. 21

Wendy Elliott welliott@kingscountynews.ca
Published on January 18, 2014

By Wendy Elliott



Bob Stead, who served for 15 years as mayor and nine years on Wolfville town council, died Jan. 18 of cancer. He was 72.

Outgoing and organized, Stead involved the town in many projects.

Recently, he was honoured by Annapolis Valley Health for his leadership in healthy communities, with a focus on tobacco and alcohol-related harms.

“What I would like us to do is keep encouraging others to do what we've done,” Stead said then. “Great projects that a lot of you had great visions about and were really keen and concerned about getting on with and making those work as a part of the conscience of this community.

“I am grateful...we have accomplished so much together,” he added.

Related to his work on making a healthier Wolfville, in 2008 he accepted on behalf of the town the Courage in Public Policy Award from the Canadian Cancer Society.

Nov. 7, Stead received the first biennial Ken Simpson Memorial Award for Outstanding Public Service and Leadership in Nova Scotia Municipal Government from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities.

Current Mayor Jeff Cantwell noted Stead’s passing on social media Saturday, calling his predecessor “a man of courage, vision and commitment.”

Read more online tributes to Stead here.

Stead had a personal interest in gardens and arranged a formal agreement between Wolfville and Kingstec that declared the entire town an arboretum and led to special plantings in Clock Park and Seymour Gordon Quiet Park. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Wolfville Watershed Nature Preserve.

Stead was also very dedicated to his alma mater. In the spring of 2013, he was honoured with a Distinguished Alumni Award from Acadia University prior to his 50th class reunion.

Stead was not only an Acadia graduate, but also worked or the university for 27 years.

University president Ray Ivany wrote, after hearing of Stead’s passing, “Bob became the face of the Admissions Office, epitomizing the ‘personal touch’ that is an Acadia trademark. He was exceptionally well-liked and well-respected by colleagues and students alike.

“Well-known for his visionary leadership and commitment to community, Bob leaves behind a shining example of a life both fully and well-lived,” Ivany added.


Stead retired from politics in the fall of 2012. His most recent project was heading the fundraising campaign for the new home of L’Arche Homefires.

He recently married his longtime partner, Danny.

The funeral is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2 p.m. at Acadia's University Hall.