Robert (Bob) Fewer was born in Conception Harbour to Albert and Lydia (nee Critch) Fewer and is the oldest of four children.
In 1975 he married Clarice King and together they raised four daughters. During the early years, while trying to build the business, Bob would be on the road and Clarice would be at home answering the phones and raising the family. Sadly, Clarice lost her battle with cancer in 2009. All four daughters have been involved in the business over the years and three remain working there today.
Bob Graduated Roncalli Central High School in Avondale at the age of 15 and the following year enrolled in the Clerk Accounting course at the District Vocational School in Seal Cove. At the end of his work term, at Baine Johnston Insurance in St. John’s, he took his books and went home. He never finished saying “that’s not for me”.
He moved to Clarenville in the fall of 1971 and worked as a labourer (cement work) building the Irving station on the TCH in Clarenville. Even at that time he had a vision and began saving his pay cheques for his future endeavors. He saved so many that his boss called and asked him to cash them because it was interfering with their bookkeeping. From these savings he purchased his first ambulance.
In March 1972, operating out of the basement of his Mother’s Senior’s Home, he commenced ambulance services in the Clarenville area. It was also in March 1972 that he began a one-year Funeral Embalmer apprenticeship with Hogan’s Funeral Home in Windsor, NL and was employed on an on-call basis. In September of that same year, while continuing with the apprenticeship, he also worked the midnight to 8am shifts at the Golden Eagle Station in Clarenville; which he continued doing until January 1973.
He received his Funeral Embalmer’s licence from the Department of Health in 1974. That same year, he purchased an existing funeral home in Clarenville and began operating as a sole proprietorship. In January 1976, he incorporated Fewer’s Funeral Home Limited and additional funeral homes were established in Lethbridge in 1977, Port Rexton in 1980, Arnold’s Cove in 1995, and Little Heart’s Ease in 1996.
Throughout those same years he also grew the ambulance operation by establishing services in Lethbridge in 1977, Port Rexton in 1980, Catalina in 1983, Bonavista in 1986, and Terrenceville in 1989.
In 1985, he began to partner with other businesspersons and together have acquired/established numerous businesses. In 1985 a number of funeral homes were established on the Burin Peninsula, in 1986 funeral homes in Whitbourne and Green’s Harbour and an ambulance service in Whitbourne was established, in 1986 a monument plant, that supplies monuments to funeral homes across Newfoundland, was also established, in 1990 and 1992 commercial real estate properties were constructed, in 1995 a personal care home was acquired, and in 1997 a funeral home in Upper Island Cove was constructed and the first Fishing Enterprise acquisition occurred. In 2000, a marine service centre was acquired and subsequent fishing enterprises followed. In 2001, a funeral home and ambulance service in the Spaniard’s Bay area and ambulance services in the New-Wes-Valley and Happy Valley-Goose Bay areas were acquired.
Even in the midst of all this diversity Bob became interested in the car industry. In 1993 an opportunity arose to acquire the Hyundai franchise and he took it. In 2002, he was approached on the Toyota franchise and he accepted that challenge as well. Now, in 2012, he is on the verge of opening another dealership in Clarenville under the Kia franchise.
Not to be slowed down, in the past couple of years he has also continued to expand his ambulance operations by acquiring services in Burin, Gambo, St. Lawrence, Bell Island, Boyd’s Cove, Fogo, Carmanville, and Ferryland. He was also awarded the contract to supply ambulance services to the Bull Arm site.
Truly a self-made businessman; Bob now employes over 200 full-time and part-time employees. While he has had some bumps along the way this versatile, hard working, and well-respected businessman continues to increase his business holdings and create job opportunities for many Newfoundlanders.