Saskatoon's arts community is mourning the death of Robert (Bob) Hinitt this weekend. He was 85.

Hinitt, who had been suffering from diabetes in recent months, passed away on Friday afternoon.

A longtime educator and drama producer, Hinitt founded the drama department at Aden Bowman Collegiate and was instrumental in building the school's Castle Theatre. He was also a founding member of the Saskatoon Gateway Players and Saskatoon Summer Players.

Hinitt was also behind the fantastic Christmas displays that have raised money for the local SPCA every year.

"It was amazing how many people wander over and say, 'Mr. Hinitt, you don't remember me, but…' and usually he would say, 'Oh yes, I remember you,' and I think that's just part of his legacy," Wendell Owen, a longtime friend, told CBC News.

Shirley Kolbeinson, Hinitt's sister, said her brother did not want a funeral but family members will hold a memorial service for him.

The date and location of the service has yet to be determined, but she said it could possible be held at the Castle Theatre.

"I'll miss him because he was a very good brother to me, very kind. Did lots for me. So I'll miss him a great deal," Kolbeinson said.

Hinitt was named a member of the Order of Canada and invested in 1983 and was inducted into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2000.