Bob died December 10, 2020 in Medford, Oregon. Due to wartime enlistments and lack of manpower, Bob started working with the Forest Service at age 16 and had two seasons working in Blister Rust Control and two as a lookout before he went to smokejumping. He was a student at Oregon State in Forest Management and, being very familiar with the Siskiyou NF, Cave Junction was a natural for him to enter the smokejumper program.
Bob jumped the 1949 (five fire jumps) and ’50 ( three fire jumps) seasons, but at the end of the 1950 season, he didn’t go back to school and was drafted. He was a Sergeant First Class in the Army Signal Corps stationed in Germany.
When he came back from the military in 1953, Bob did his refresher training along with rookie and future astronaut Stuart Roosa. He remembers Roosa as a “sharp go-getter.” They jumped out of Medford that year, and he made seven fire jumps.
In 1954 he made squadleader and had three fire jumps—a slow season. 1955 was his last year as a jumper, and he made four fire jumps.
In 1955 he graduated from Oregon State with his degree in Forest Management and started a career with the Forest Service as District Ranger on the Routt NF in Colorado. He continued his career with the Forest Service retiring in 1984.
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