Robert Martin Codding
Feb. 11, 1920 - Jan. 12, 2011
Bob was born in Yakima, to Andrew and Irma Codding. After a short illness, Bob passed away in his home Jan. 12, 2011. In the early 1900s, Bob's family homesteaded in White Bluffs along the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River where he grew up. As the second of four children, Bob described his childhood as a "Huck Finn" existence of freedom and adventure. Bob graduated from White Bluffs High School in 1938 and left home to work in mining in the North Cascades.
In 1941, Bob and both his brothers enlisted and served overseas for the duration of World War II. Bob served in the U.S. Navy in the Atlantic for three years and the Pacific for one year. While the sons were at war, Bob's family was forced in 1943 to abandon their homestead to establish the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Bob enrolled at Washington State University on the GI Bill and graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude in 1949 with degrees in American history and economics, interests he maintained for his entire life.
While senior class president at WSU, Bob met Margaret Pryor Davis on a blind date for the holiday dance. They were married in 1950 and raised a large family. Bob worked in the fresh produce industry in Washington, Oregon and California from 1950 to 1990, mostly in Yakima, Wenatchee, Tonasket, and Milton-Freewater. Bob and Peggy retired comfortably to Hillsboro in 2001.
Bob was a truly great guy. He was charming, friendly and very intelligent. He made friends easily and maintained relationships with people from every aspect of his life. Bob was always active in his community on the local school board, at his church, in Kiwanis and Rotary Club, and with music and poetry in his retirement community. He and Peggy were very proud of the family they created. They all genuinely enjoy and respect one another. Bob's parents, brothers and Peggy preceded him in death.
He is survived by his sister, Jean Johnson of Kittitas, Wash.; and his children, Lucy (and Gary) Grout of Poulsbo, Andy Codding of Vancouver, Maggie (and David) Jones of Hillsboro, Carrie (and Mike) Hendricks of Yakima, and Beth (and Tim) Gienger of Tillamook. Bob is also survived by seven grandchildren, who revered and adored him. Bob's first great-grandchild is due in January 2011.
At Bob's request, no service was held. Private family memorials will be held later. The family suggests memorial donations may be made to Washington State University Alumni Association, PO Box 646150, Pullman, WA 99164-6150.