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The Reluctant Mentor

A Tribute to my friend and colleague Bobbi Junior

Two weeks ago, my friend and colleague entered heaven after succumbing to liver disease.

For more than a year before she went to be with Jesus, her health deteriorated, but she quietly and diligently kept on with her duties as treasurer of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, a Canada-wide organization for writers of Christian faith. (For which I am currently serving as president.)

I first met Bobbi at an InScribe conference in 2012. We were both relatively new to the organization, but for some reason, we both agreed to join the executive that year, Bobbi as treasurer and me as the Writing Groups’ Coordinator. The conference was held outside the city of Edmonton that year and since I had flown into Edmonton, I was looking for a ride back to the city. Bobbi offered. On the drive, I learned a little bit about Bobbi’s outlook on life: complaining doesn’t help. Instead, put your trust in God and keep doing what needs to be done. Positive and practical. That was Bobbi in a nutshell.

It has been my observation that many writers do not also have a numerical gene, so Bobbi’s penchant for numbers, details, and keeping records were a godsend. It’s why she remained as treasurer right up until this September. Although she knew her health was not going to get any better without a transplant, she kept on doing her work until we could find another treasurer to take her place. Even up to a week before she passed away she was communicating with the rest of the executive on matters such as membership tracking and the like. Rather than concentrate on her illness, she did what needed to be done, just like she’d said.

Practical and detail-oriented are just two phrases that aptly describe Bobbi. Other words that come to mind are kind, generous, and witty. Even though she did not like the limelight and claimed to be an introvert’s introvert, she had a witty way about her. When she shared something, people listened. She had a quiet assurance that made people sit up and take notice. It’s just one reason she was so treasured by everyone who came to know her. Despite her introverted ways, she really was a mentor to so many people.

She had two books published. The Reluctant Caregiver was selected by Word Alive for publication in 2014 and went on to garner other awards and accolades, endorsed by people like Phil Calloway, as just one example. It chronicles her experiences caring for her mother who had dementia – despite the fact that she did not always have a very good relationship with her mom. It has been a help to many, not only those dealing with dementia but those dealing with severed relationships. Her honesty and grace despite difficulties are what shines through. Even though it is a Christian book, she was featured on many secular broadcasts and her book was recommended by Alberta Health for those dealing with mental health issues.

In fact, Bobbi made no secret of the fact that she had suffered from mental health issues herself, including multiple personality disorder brought on by childhood trauma. She wrote a short story about it which I don’t know ever got published, but it was very impactful. I know she did have many articles published in various publications, so perhaps it was. I hope so. It is a story that needs to be told.

She also wrote a book in 2016 called When the Bough Breaks about her experience losing a newborn child. I don’t have a copy because I keep giving them away to people I feel could use her message of hope in such a tragedy. Bobbi is no stranger to tragedy. Besides the things already mentioned, she’s had other difficulties to deal with. Her daughter became a quadriplegic when she was only fourteen and Bobbi had to go through the heartache and subsequent care that this devasting change made to the family.

Despite the trials, she never complained, but just told her stories with quiet grace. This was the thing that really stood out about Bobbi: her positivity and constant reliance on God. Simply put, she had a deep and abiding faith. Even in the face of imminent death, she commented quite calmly that she was ready whenever God was.

Here’s to my friend, colleague, and sister in Christ. So many will miss your quiet, sensible voice and your big heart. But we know that we will see you again in glory, where you are now rocking your little daughter…


  1. Thank you, Tracy, for sharing what it was like to work closely with Bobbi. I’m not sure what year I met Bobbi at Fall Conference, but she was a person who reached out to people and, in this way, connected with others. I haven’t been able to attend FC these past few years. I’ve missed the conference for what I learn. I also miss it because I don’t get to see the wonderful folks, like Bobbi, and you, Tracy, and other good people who make InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship something special for Christians who are writers.

    1. tracykrauss says:

      thanks for your thoughts, Sharon. Bobbi was special.

  2. Gloria Guest says:

    Hi Tracy. Bobbi’s life and death had a definite impact on me. I met her around the same time as you did at a conference in Edmonton and had a blue pencil session with her regarding the never ending, never finished memoir I’m writing. Bobbi’s words were full of grace and understanding and what stood out the most beyond her encouragement to continue was her genuine concern for me as a person. We bonded over some mutual understanding of trauma and the consequences in ones adult life. She honored me by asking me to write a short review on the back of one of her books; When the Bough Breaks and I had so hoped to one day have her endorsement on mine. However I know that she now cheers us on from above as one of those great cloud of witnesses. She truly was a mentor to many, however reluctant that may have been, it never came across that way. She is missed! I am so pleased to see that the Easter Anthology, in which she has posted a favorite recipe that I also grew up with, is dedicated to her.

    1. tracykrauss says:

      I absolutely agree! It is just a small way to honour her…

  3. Marnie Pohlmann says:

    Bobbi was truly a mentor who discipled by example and encouragement.
    One conference I was standing near her during a worship time. The Spirit was palpable and her presence beside me suddenly reminded of my Mom, who I miss, so much that I needed to go to the restroom to shed a couple quiet tears.
    Thank you for this tribute about Bobbi. She is missed. I, for one, will never be the same for having known her. I look forward to standing beside her again as we worship our Lord.

    1. tracykrauss says:

      Yes. She was one of a kind. I know people always say these kinds of things when someone passes, but in Bobbi’s case she really was!

  4. Pam Mytroen says:

    Hi Tracy, thank you for this tribute. There’s so much about this that resonates with me. Like you said, she had that quiet voice of assurance that made us sit up and listen. And this – so true: “ Despite the trials, she never complained, but just told her stories with quiet grace. This was the thing that really stood out about Bobbi: her positivity and constant reliance on God.” What a treasure she was. I’m so thankful I knew her. She always calmed me too. I believe I let her the same year you did.

    1. tracykrauss says:

      She was definitely a treasure! (not only the treasurer!)

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