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Robert F. "Bob" Kruckeberg ( North Cascades 1951 )

posted: Aug 5, 2023

Bob died July 2, 2023. He was raised and went to high school in Springfield, Illinois. He achieved the Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts and felt that gave him direction in his career. He attended college in Boulder, CO, majoring in architecture, but soon switched to Colorado A&M majoring in forestry. He was an avid hiker & climber, conquering his favorite Longs Peak 13 times. Bob was in the ROTC program and graduated as a 2nd Lt. in the USAF. He jumped at NCSB during the 1951 season.

After he married Joyce a few weeks after graduation, they worked in Rocky Mountain National Park at a remote fire control tower. Then he began his service in the Air Force, training to be a helicopter pilot. He served three years and was released just after Joyce got to pin his captain's wings on him.

Bob then worked for the Forest Service in Colorado, designing campgrounds and ski runs and doing avalanche control. He moved to the Black Hills in South Dakota to combine his helicopter and smokejumping training to establish a program to get firefighters closer to the fires via helicopters. That program has celebrated its 50 year anniversary.

Bob worked for the Forest Service again in Wyoming, then earned a master's degree in Forest Management at Yale University. He worked in National Forests near Gunnison, CO and Cody, WY. He then took a job at the fire research laboratory in Missoula, MT, where they were testing an infrared fire detection and mapping system, using low flying planes.

In about 1974, Bob & Joyce Joined Wycliffe Bible Translators to serve as full time missionaries in management positions.