David Jobin’s handiwork is on display at Sam and Renata Bullock’s home – the owners of Old Town’s iconic fish restaurant say the master carpenter was a good friend.
“There was one year that all of our family went on holidays, Jobie had been doing work for us and we drove out and came back six weeks later and in our house, he’d cooked up fresh caribou stew and bannock for our arrival,” says Renata.
“That’s what he did; that was the heart that he had. He was just a great guy.”
The Bullocks first met Jobin when he became a regular at their restaurant. “He was a riot,” says Renata.
On Sunday, Nov. 29. RCMP were called to investigate a sudden death and, though they have not released the name, neighbours and relatives have confirmed it was 66-year-old Jobin, affectionately called Jobie, outside his home in Peace River Flats. The cause of death is not yet known, but RCMP said no immediate signs of foul play were present.
“I think any death is a shock and a great sadness,” says Lois Little.
“I’ve lived in the same neighbourhood as Dave for many years. He was a very kind, helpful person.”
She describes Jobin as an extremely talented master carpenter. Focusing on fine-finishings, she says, he had an eye for detail – producing a lot of great work while he ran his business, Jobie Enterprises. No surprise, when she points out his bungalow, it’s the one with the beautiful mural on it, just across from the ball diamond.
“He’s lived here for so long. When Back Bay or Peace River Flats was developing as a modern neighbourhood, he was one of the first newer homes that was being built in the neighbourhood,” says Little.
“He’d been here in this neighbourhood, in Back Bay, since the early ‘80s.”
Jobin was born in High Prairie, Alberta, first heading up to the Northwest Territories when he was still in school for civil engineering in 1969, Jobin’s brother Ambrose Jobin tells EDGE.
“He did complete his civil engineering course and worked in civil engineering for a couple of years… when working in the field he was telling carpenters what to do but he didn’t know much about carpentry and felt awkward about it,” Ambrose says.
“So, he went out and got his journeyman certificate and never looked back.”
Continuing to travel to the North for work off and on until 1979, Jobin settled in Yellowknife in 1982 to build his home.
“I came in ‘83. I came to help finish building his house,” says Ambrose, while at his brother’s home cleaning and sorting through his things.
“I came up with my little brother, so we all worked on finishing off this house. It was already built. He had the structure up but we helped him finish off the exterior and interior.”
Despite his home down the hill, some of Jobin’s neighbours also remember him as a part of the downtown scene.
“Jobie, he was a man about town,” says Shane Clark. “I’ve known him quite a few years.”
Familiar with his contracting work and odd jobs around town, Clark describes Jobin as a very gentle, humorous man.
“If he was heading uptown, I’d give him a lift up the hill and the same coming back down,” says Clark.
A few months ago, Clark recalls giving Jobin a ride up to the library – which he frequented – when he started giggling in the passenger seat.
“He says, ‘This book I’m returning to the library, I really like the author’,” Clark recalls, laughing. “I asked why and he said, ‘Well, because every few pages she makes me laugh, cry and feel a little bit frisky.”
Another neighbour, Kevin Hodgins, lived in the area with Jobin since around 1990, and also shared regular car rides with Jobin.
“He’d often sit out and take the bus up Franklin and I’d pick him up and drive him where he’d want to go,” says Hodgins. “He was a pleasant, friendly guy. A hard worker when he was working. He was a carpenter and did lots of work in the last few years at Aurora Village.”
Jobin’s kindness and generosity, Rinata says, is how he should be remembered. And Little also illustrates this.
“I remember one year – we do an annual Back Bay bazaar, which is quite an amazing attraction for the city – and he made a bunch of bird houses and contributed those to the bazaar as a fundraiser,” she says.
“He was just a really kind, helpful person.”