Robert R. Hansebout, born 1935, son of Andre and Martha, brother to Loretta (m. Peter Does). Well-respected surgeon, educator, administrator and internationally-recognized researcher. He excelled scholastically, obtaining many scholarships and awards. He worked as a general labourer and truck driver to fund his education. Robert gained specialist recognition in neurosurgery in Canada and the United States. In Montreal, he married Agnes Bodi, they remained married 43 years. They returned to Ontario and had a daughter Diane and son Christopher (m. Christine Tran, parents of Isacc Robert and Isabelle Mai).

Robert served as chair of the Department of Surgery at McMaster, as well as Chief of Surgery for area hospitals. He developed popular financial practice plans and recruited many surgeons to Hamilton. He was instrumental in the inception of the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre and Centre for Minimal Access Surgery. He held important roles in surgical advocacy bodies. Robert rose to Full Professor at McMaster University, becoming a tenured Professor Emeritus in 2000.

He worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life of patients with spinal cord injury. His main interest being spinal and trauma surgery; he performed over 4,000 operations. He authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications and gave over 100 scientific presentations at national and international conferences and dozens of media interviews. Robert established spinal cord injury units in Montreal, Hamilton, and Minneapolis and he pioneered and patented the use of the drug fampridine in chronic spinal-cord-injured patients. He received many honours and awards for his research.

Bob volunteered extensively, working with the Spinal Cord Society in Minnesota, Canadian Spinal Research Organization, Hamilton Learning Centre, Think First Foundation, Acorda Therapeutics’ drug safety monitoring board, Canadian Tire Jump Start program, and Air Cadets. He gave patent rights of 4-aminopyridine to the CSRO and McMaster University. He provided extensive contributions to McMaster University and UWO, as well as École Monseigneur-de-Laval and St. Mary’s Secondary school.

Bob loved life and technology. He was an avid internet surfer and reader. He loved the outdoors, camping, and nature. He liked to drive large vehicles and travelled by motor coach with his family, exploring the far reaches of North America. He and his wife also travelled extensively abroad.

A funeral mass will take place at Our Lady of Sorrows R.C. Church in Aylmer, Ontario on Saturday, March 23, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. Following the mass, everyone is invited to a reception at the H.A. Kebbel Funeral Home, Aylmer. A celebration of Robert’s life will take place at a date to be announced. Share memories and condolences at kebbelfuneralhome.com

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