Robert Congdon, known to all as Bob, slipped peacefully away from us on Dec. 3, 2014 in Anacortes, Wash. at the age of 87.
A resident of Lopez Island, Bob was born in 1927 to Guerdon and Esther Congdon in Sandpoint, Idaho.
An optimistic and cheerful person by nature, he was tempered by growing up in the Depression years, learning the value of hard work and looking outward to his community with a kind and gregarious outlook toward service.
Bob earned the Eagle Scouting honor and lived by scouting codes for the rest of his life. A varsity athlete and honors student, gifted in mathematics, Bob was the valedictorian of his 1945 graduating class at Sandpoint High.
He joined the Navy immediately upon graduation and had passed the training for radio tech school when the war ended.
Declining other opportunities, Bob enrolled at Washington State University on the GI Bill.
It was a lucky choice for a man who was fortunate all his life, for he met his soulmate on campus there, the beautiful Joan MacLeod.
After completing ROTC officers training in the Army Corp of Engineers and attaining his B.S degree in Civil Engineering, he and Joan married in 1951 and began a life of adventure and devotion to each other.
Bob’s executive marketing career with Chevron took Bob and Joan from Vancouver, WA to Baltimore, MD and finally to San Francisco, CA where he retired in 1985 as the General Manager of the Asphalt Division, Chevron USA.
In retirement, and being avid golfers, they enjoyed a ‘sunbird’ lifestyle, maintaining a home in Tucson, AZ for the winter and a home on beautiful Lopez Island in the summer.
Bob and Joan enjoyed many travels both in Europe and the United States, especially visiting the many friends they had made during the Chevron years.
Bob participated in many service organizations throughout his life wherever he lived. He was a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity in college, attained the 32nd degree of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, was a Shriner and served as a Presbyterian deacon and member of the session at the many churches they attended.
Most recently, Bob was instrumental in the renovation of Woodmen Hall on Lopez and as a member of the Lopez Senior Advisory Board.
A life-long prankster and member of Toastmasters International, Bob had a ready wit and was a collector of jokes and anecdotes which he could break out at any moment.
In his free time, Bob enjoyed books, being an amateur ham radio operator and was a car enthusiast. Bob was particularly fond of his prized El Camino, which was a highly recognizable vehicle on Lopez in Bob’s distinctive WSU colors. Chocolate, peanut butter and good scotch were always savored!
Bob is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Joan, and their two children, Craig Congdon (Pleasant Hill, CA) and Lynn Randelman (Paul) of Orinda, CA, along with two grandchildren, Jonathan and Matthew Randelman, a brother, Darrell Congdon (Verle) of University Place, WA, sisters-in-law Mary Harris (Howard) and Gwen Lamb, wonderful nieces and nephews and countless friends.
Bob will be remembered by all who loved him for the inspirational courage he displayed during his five-year grapple with Parkinson’s Disease and for his reliably optimistic and cheerful approach to life.
A memorial service was held at the Lopez Community Church on December 13.
The family wishes to thank the wonderful Lopez and Chandler’s Square communities for their kind support throughout Bob’s illness.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to Lopez Senior Services (Attn: Bob Congdon Fund, P.O. Box 154, Lopez, WA 98261) or Shriners Hospitals for Children.