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So the last letter got me thinking about Bob. For a while now I’ve wanted to have a post dedicated to him because I felt it was important to make clear how big an impact he had in the lives of our family, not just on my father forty years ago. As most of you reading this are either family members or close friends, most of you already know something about him.

Today there will be no letter, but instead a short post I asked my sister to write.  She had a very close relationship with Bob and his family.

I should also mention that Bob passed away from cancer a few years back (after beating it down two or three times first).

First of all, he and dad knew each other for as long as I can remember stories being told- they used to go pheasant hunting in fields that are now housing developments. They got into a lot of trouble together and had a heck of a time along the way! Bob’s oldest child, Dan, and I (also the oldest) are only a couple of months apart in age and Dan’s middle name is Jeffrey (after my dad).

They moved to Pierre around the same time and lived not to far from each other while their families were young. Even after my dad moved our family to Arizona they stayed close- talking on the phone and going on hunts together. Every time our family would come back to SD to visit, Bob would be one of our first stops. Best friends if I ever saw it.

My dad passed away in February 1992 and Bob was there. He had flown in to spend some time with dad and they had spent that whole day together. Bob had gone back to his hotel that evening and I think he had just settled in when I had to call him to tell him dad had passed- he was the rock, the fill in for dad that night and many, many years after. I was very thankful he was there for our mom.

The year after I graduated I was trying to find my way in life, not really knowing what to do next. I decided to move back to Brookings, living with my aunt and uncle but spending most of my time at Bobs. I was their 3rd child- always eating with them and spending many long evenings sitting next to Bob listening to advice and great stories of my father! Bob really filled that void that my dad’s death had left. He got me my wonderful job at the bank, which led to me meeting my husband and having 3 beautiful girls- I really owe it all to Bob. I feel very lucky to have known him and to have had the opportunity to spend so much quality time with him. Sadly he also lost his battle to cancer years ago but he will always be in our hearts!

Jeff’s oldest child and only daughter, Alana

Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday


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January 2009